Re: Request comments on text. (Compiler textbooks)

jbn@glacier.STANFORD.EDU (John B. Nagle)
4 Jul 87 21:32:36 GMT

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Re: Request comments on text. (Compiler textbooks) jbn@glacier.STANFORD.EDU (1987-07-04)
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From: jbn@glacier.STANFORD.EDU (John B. Nagle)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 4 Jul 87 21:32:36 GMT
References: <252@hubcap.UUCP>
Organization: Stanford University

        The "dragon book", ("Principles of Compiler Design"), is a bit weak
in the optimization area. There's an extensive treatise on some of the
applicable graph theory, but not much guidance about what really ought
to be in an optimizing compiler and how to organize it.

        There's a recent book published by Digital Press (unfortunately the
title escapes me) which describes the optimizer for the VAX PL/1 and C
compilers in some detail. This book is weak on theory but gives a
clear idea of what really goes on inside a big compiler.
[It's "Engineering a Compiler: VAX-11 Code Generation and Optimization,"
by Anklam et al. It talks in considerable detail about the VAX PL/I code
generator, but hardly at all about the front end which they bought from
someone else. -John]

        After reading both of the above, one should have an idea of how
to approach the problem. (Given the present glut of mediocre compilers,
there's not much reason to write another one rather than porting something
widely available, unless your needs are very specialized.)

John Nagle

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