|Java compiler courses firstname.lastname@example.org (wooks) (2007-04-20)|
|Re: Java compiler courses DrDiettrich1@aol.com (Hans-Peter Diettrich) (2007-04-23)|
|Re: Java compiler courses email@example.com (2007-04-26)|
|Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses cfc@shell01.TheWorld.com (Chris F Clark) (2007-04-27)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses firstname.lastname@example.org (2007-04-27)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses DrDiettrich1@aol.com (Hans-Peter Diettrich) (2007-04-27)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses email@example.com (Lauri Alanko) (2007-04-28)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses firstname.lastname@example.org (Jon Harrop) (2007-04-28)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses DrDiettrich1@aol.com (Hans-Peter Diettrich) (2007-04-28)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses email@example.com (Daniel C. Wang) (2007-04-28)|
|Re: Language features for compiler writing was: Java compiler courses firstname.lastname@example.org (Simon Richard Clarkstone) (2007-04-29)|
|[2 later articles]|
|From:||email@example.com (Torben =?iso-8859-1?Q?=C6gidius?= Mogensen)|
|Date:||27 Apr 2007 14:34:42 -0400|
|Organization:||Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen|
|References:||07-04-074 07-04-084 07-04-109 07-04-125|
|Keywords:||courses, functional, Java, OOP|
|Posted-Date:||27 Apr 2007 14:34:42 EDT|
Chris F Clark <cfc@shell01.TheWorld.com> writes:
> Again, let me preface my comments, by saying I think a functional
> programming language like ML or Haskell is probably a best language
> for a first compiler construction course (and perhaps a best first
> language in general). Having said that, I want to backtrack and argue
> some other points (and in the end ask a question).
> Not to pick on this particular post, but it brings up issues I want to
> address, so it's the candidate of choice.
> firstname.lastname@example.org (Torben Ęgidius Mogensen) writes:
>> C is a horrible language for writing compilers due to bad
>> infrastructure for tree and list structures (i.e., GC, polymorphism
>> and pattern matching).
> You can get polymorphism, by using C++ as your C. You should be able
> to get pattern matching from your compiler-compiler (or other) add-on
> tool. I don't know that you can in many cases, but you should be able
> to get it, and if you can't that's a fault in the tool chain.
These are all true, but I find that "it's not in the language, but
external tools might/do have it" is not a very good defense for a
> That leaves GC. You can get GC by going to Java (or C# or even
> "managed C++"). More importantly, you can get poor-person's GC in a
> variety of means (the Boehm collector) or a variety of coding
True. Andrew Appel uses this appraoch in "Modern Compiler
Implementaion in C". It has a bit of the above flavour, though.
> Here is the point I want to debate/discuss. What C and its semantic
> (if not syntactic) cousins Pascal and PL1/G have is the ability to
> create a modify complex graph structures (with complex vertexes and
> edges) in place (i.e. by side-effect). (This ability exists in all
> languages where one can explicitly manipulate pointers and not just
> lists.) Now this may be a dubious advantage, but it does make certain
> things work well. There are times I would trade GC for this
> advantage. Now, perhaps this just shows my age. Moreover, I don't
> like trading pointers for higher-order-functions.
SML and O'Caml both have updatable pointers, so you can build and
manipulate graph structures to your heart's content. I agree that
Haskell is a bit lacking here, but people find other structures to
use. Chris Okasaki's book shows a variety of efficient fully
functional data structures.
> So, this is the question, is there an FP technique that allows
> inidividual elements of an array (list, bag, someother roughly
> equivalent structure) to be addressed and arbitrary (i.e. cyclic)
> graphs to be constructed (and rearranged) on-the-fly, but where
> unreferenced elements get collected? If so, where can I learn about
In SML and similar langauges with updatable references, you can build
and manipulate graph nodes and edges directly. If a part of the graph
becomes unreachable from the root set, it is GC'ed. In Haskell, this
gets a bit more tricky (which is why I use SML for compilers).
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