Writing a disassembler ?

"So and so" <lightfault@gmail.com>
Fri, 10 Oct 2008 16:57:31 +0200

          From comp.compilers

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From: "So and so" <lightfault@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 16:57:31 +0200
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: disassemble, question
Posted-Date: 11 Oct 2008 05:55:37 EDT


I've set myself a goal to write a disassembler, so far I've managed to
understand most of Intel's documentation (for now it's only going to
disassemble x86 code) and I'm about to start writing the basic

The algorithm I had in mind was :
Read N bytes (or the whole files, I'm not sure about it yet)
if this byte is part of a prefix instruction, parse it else continue
to opcode, and so on and so on .

Though, I ran into several "problems" in mind:

1. Which data structure should store the values I read ? A hash table
or a Tree ? Or a combination of both ? (trie) Should the tree be
balanced ? If not, will it cost in efficiency or whether balancing it
will cost in efficiency ?

2. What about invalid instructions ? Should I strip them the moment I
detect they're invalid or should they be stored FFU ?

3. Which data structure should hold the final result of the
disassembled instruction ?

5. Should the disassembler itself be multi threaded or one program
which does everything step-by-step and if it will be multi threaded -
how can I handle or parse different instructions ? or handle
synchronization ?

best regards,

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