Books on compiler backends?

Kaleb Pederson <>
Tue, 5 Feb 2008 12:56:40 -0800 (PST)

          From comp.compilers

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From: Kaleb Pederson <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 12:56:40 -0800 (PST)
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: books, question
Posted-Date: 06 Feb 2008 22:02:03 EST

Hello all,

I'm looking for some good books on compiler backends. I'm fairly
proficient with the scanners and parsers, but am now starting work on
some source-to-source translation projects and need to become much
more familiar with backends and the related technologies and

Given my AST's, I now need to be able to handle tree transformations
as I manipulate everything towards my target language. I've been
trying to figure out things like the following:

* if I should manually walk/manipulate the tree or use a tree grammar
    with a supporting tool (such as ANTLR's generated tree
* if there are any good/standard tree matching or rewriting algorithms
* whether or not I can use the standard instruction selection
    algorithms for my source-to-source translation
* how to correctly handle logical inference with inheritance

I currently have the Dragon Book (original version) and Appel's
"Modern Compiler Implementation in Java" but don't find either
particularly well suited for what I need to do: (Aho et al, new dragon book) (Appel et al, Modern Compiler Construction in Java)

After perusing some of the compiler books, the following books looked
like they might be good candidates, but wanted to get some feedback: (Grune et al, Modern Compiler Design) (Cooper and Torczon, Engineering a Compiler) (Allen and Kennedy, Optimizing
Compilers for Modern Archtectures) (Muchnick, Advanced Compiler Design)

I'm leaning towards the first two, "Modern Compiler Design" and
"Engineering a Compiler" as they seem to have the most relevant

Thoughts or suggestions, even if completely different from what I've


[I'm always looking for additions and updates to the list of compiler
books in the FAQ. I have a copy of Muchnick and like it pretty well. -John]

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