Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted

Dick Weaver <>
8 Dec 2001 20:07:33 -0500

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (Zac Hester) (2001-11-29)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (2001-12-03)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (Dick Weaver) (2001-12-08)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (Jeff Kenton) (2002-01-03)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (michelle) (2002-02-06)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (2002-03-09)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (SLK Parsers) (2002-03-17)
Re: Compiler Theory/History Book Recommendations Wanted (Math Stuff) (2002-04-17)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: Dick Weaver <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 8 Dec 2001 20:07:33 -0500
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
References: 01-11-138
Keywords: books, history
Posted-Date: 08 Dec 2001 20:07:33 EST

Zac Hester wrote:
> I'm starting out learning about compiler theory (as a hobby and for academic
> reasons). So far, I've studied some of the most basic implementation
> (parsing tokens into trees of objects and whatnot), but I would really like
> to see some of the historical solutions to building compilers from the
> ground up. I'm also desperately interested in modern techniques (heavy use
> of OOP).
> If anyone has had some good experiences with books they've read (even text
> books), could you please reply with some titles (or links)?
> [snip...]
> [Interesting question. I can't offhand think of books that provide a
> technical history of compilers, although I know a fair number of the
> important papers. -John]

Early books you might enjoy are:

Rosen, Saul "Programming Systems and Languages" 1967
A collection of previously published and unpublished reports. The
earliest reports readily available, I believe.

Wegner, Peter "Introduction to System Programming", 1964
The definition of words changes with time and "System Programming"
doesn't mean now what it meant in 1964. This book is more about
compilers than anything else.

Randell, B. and Russell, L.J. "Algol 60 Implementation" 1964

Grau, A.A. and Hill, U. and Langmaack, H. "Translation of Algol 60" 1967

Gries, David "Compiler Construction for Digital Computers" 1971
From the dust wrapper "This is the first comprehensive book on compiler
writing". Used in a lot of university courses, this is the easiest book
to acquire. $1 at most friends of the library sales.

Ingerman, Peter "A Syntax-Oriented Translator" 1966.
There is a 1967 revised ed.

Lee, John A.N. (informally Jan Lee) "The Anatomy of a Compiler" 1967
There is a 1974 second ed.
From the 1967 dust wrapper "The product of an expert programmer with
unusually broad experience in the implementation of language processors

Wegner, Peter "Programming Languages, Information Structures and Machine
Organization" 1968

Genuys, F. (ed) "Programming Languages" 1968
Includes a 150 page section "Compiler Writing Techniques" by L.
Bolliet. From the preface "... gave a clear and complete classification
of the various methods used for compiling programs ...".

Wexelblat, Richard L. "History of Programming Languages" 1981
From the dust wrapper "... Conference 1978 ... presents ... early
history of thirteen languages ..."

Yershov, A.P. (ed) "The Alpha Automatic Programming System" 1971
Remember, again, that words change meaning. "Automatic Programming" is
how we used to say "compiler". This is an English translation; I don't
have a reference for the original Russian edition.

      Almost forgot (kept on another shelf because of its 8.5x11 format)

Cocke, John and Schwartz, J.T. "Programming Languages and Their
Compilers, Preliminary Notes, Second Revised Version, April 1970" From
the preface "Our aim in the present volume is to describe the inner
working of a variety of programming languages, especially from the
point of view of the compilers ...". Likely the book you would find
most useful, it is also the rarest.

Good luck
dick w

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.