With its initial release to the calculator programming world in mid July of 1999, this GCC adaptation to the M68k processor allowed programmers of the TI-89 and TI-92 calculators to use a programming language more familiar to some -- C. Traditionally with the TI calculators, programmers had two choices: TI Basic and assembly. The first of which limited the programmer to functions described in the calculator's software that would perform basic manipulations, most notably in the form of adding and removing text from the screen, requesting information from the user, and the storing, retrieving, and manipulation of data in variables. The second alternative, assembly, required the programmer to build his or her program at the level just above machine code. Using processor instructions such as jmp, push, and pop, the program would be meticulously built step by step, but in the end had the capability of performing operations that could never be accomplished using the basic code. Almost every calculator game that uses any sort of neat graphics had to use assembly to be able to change the bits of video memory that would allow for precise control over the pixels on the screen.
GCC had already had a port to the M68k processor at the time the project was started, but it had to be reworked and recompiled to make it work with the C calling convention used by TI's compiler. At the beginning, there was only a partially usable library available for the programmers. This library relied on the Doors kernel for its functions to work. After some research, and a half year after the TIGCC project was founded, a library was formed that contained functions that called TIOS entry point routines to directly control operations on the calculator. This served as a huge advancement and became essentially the core of the project, allowing programmers to easily do in seconds what took hours or days in assembly.
Later, an IDE was constructed allowing programmers to more easily visualize their code and manage the files created for their projects. There have been Linux and Windows versions made of the TIGCC project, but only the Windows version has the IDE available. The linux version is restricted to the command line tools.
The TIGCC project has had great success, and has also spurred interest in calculator open source software. Many programs created in C for the 89 and 92 calculators are given to the public with sources included. However, there exist those who are stingy with their source and refuse to release it, even after their program hasn't been updated in months, even years. Those people should be burned at the stake.