Re: Interpreter design (Norman Ramsey)
26 Jan 2001 16:45:30 -0500

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From: (Norman Ramsey)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 26 Jan 2001 16:45:30 -0500
Organization: Harvard University
References: 01-01-059 01-01-115
Keywords: books, interpreter
Posted-Date: 26 Jan 2001 16:45:29 EST

Laurent Guerby <> wrote:
>I found "Programming Languages An Interpreter-Based Approach" by
>Samuel N. Kamin, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-06824-9 very interesting
>on this topic since it covers, imperative, functional, object and
>logic interpreters by "patching" a basic interpreter. Unfortunately it
>looks like it is out of print (I got mine from a used book sale).

I have been hard at work on a second edition. If you would like to
review a draft, please let me know.

I will point out that the interpreters work directly on the syntax of
the programs (concrete syntax in the 1st edition, abstract syntax in
the 2nd). This is a very good strategy for understanding the
semantics of the programming languages, which after all is the object
of the exercise. It is not such a great way to get the last ounce of
performance out of the interpreter, however. So, if you want to
experiment with language design, it might be a nice book to start
with. If you want to build *fast* interpreters, you should look
around for additional techniques.
Norman Ramsey

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