Re: writing a compiler...
5 Jun 2003 23:13:27 -0400

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 5 Jun 2003 23:13:27 -0400
Organization: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
References: 03-06-016
Keywords: books, design
Posted-Date: 05 Jun 2003 23:13:27 EDT

Tommy wrote:
> some advice, some links, some trivial compilers to look at, some
> books, some exercises and so on...

> I am proficient in C and C++ so these are
> the languages I prefer to use to write code. However, I understand and
> I am able to "use" Pascal

I've been looking at a copy of "Writing Compilers and Interpreters: An
applied approach using C++ (2nd edition)" by Ronald Mak.

It walks through the implementation of a Pascal interpreter and x86
compiler in C++. Along the way, it includes small projects like a
pretty printer, and whatever.

It's a bit frustrating, I find it a bit slow, but I wish I had had it
when I was sixteen.

> I would like to write a Pascal compiler because Pascal is "formally
> defined"

Mmph. In a round about, fudge it a bit here, kind of way....

IIRC it's Pascal that allows something like:
if f(a) and g(b) then ...
to evaluate f() and g() in either order.

But if f() and g() have side-effects such that the behaviour of the
program is determined by which executes first, then the program is
wrong. I don't think that's something that can be checked by a
compiler on an arbitrary program?

Incidently, I've seen a formal semantics of Java, by David von Oheimb
(maybe with Nipkow as well?) Oh, hang on... and seen LNCS Vol 1523: Formal
Syntax and Semantics of Java.

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but there's a copy round here


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