Re: Compiling Prolog-like languages

"Neelakantan Krishnaswami" <neelk@alum.mit.edu>
4 Jul 2002 23:05:17 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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From: "Neelakantan Krishnaswami" <neelk@alum.mit.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.lang.prolog,comp.compilers
Date: 4 Jul 2002 23:05:17 -0400
Organization: AT&T Broadband
References: 02-07-004
Keywords: prolog
Posted-Date: 04 Jul 2002 23:05:17 EDT

Sarah Thompson <sarah@telergy.com> wrote:
>
> Before I weigh into this and start reinventing considerable quantities
> of wheels, I thought it might make sense to ask some questions here.
>
> 1. Can someone point toward a good tutorial on implementing
> Prolog-like programming languages?


Hassan Ait-Kaci's _Warren's Abstract Machine: A Tutorial
Reconstruction_ is probably the best there is.


> 2. Much of the literature mentions the Warren Abstract Machine. Is
> this regarded as the best way to go, or are there
> simpler/faster/better/newer alternatives worthy of consideration?


Another possibility is to use a continuation-passing style framework.
This mails tail merging easier to do, and there are a *lot* of papers
on how to efficiently compile CPS code.


> 3. I currently use C++ as a target language, although this is intended
> to be an interim step toward a lower level code generator. Is this
> likely to be good/bad/indifferent as regards implementing a WAM or
> something similar to it?


It will likely be quite difficult to add backtracking to an
implementation that compiles to C++ -- you really want stack
manipulation primitives. If I had to use C++ I would probably
go for a bytecode interpreter.


--
Neel Krishnaswami
neelk@alum.mit.edu


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