Re: Request comments on text. (Bennett)
13 Jul 87 09:53:06 GMT

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From: (Bennett)
Date: 13 Jul 87 09:53:06 GMT
References: <252@hubcap.UUCP>
Organization: University of Bath, England

In teaching the final year compiler course here, I recommend Aho, Sethi and
Ullman as the main text. I have no complaints about the content or style, and
have had no complaints from students either. The only faults I have been able
to find have been the odd typesetting error making an explanation unclear. I
should point out that its predecessor (Aho and Ullman) is not as good, being
very weak on code generation.

At the same time I recommend Tremblay and Sorensen as an alternative. This book
seems to have one or two advantages:

a) In the UK it is cheaper

b) It has an early chapter on programming language design, which I think is
      useful background for compiler writers.

c) It covers compiler-compilers other than YACC.

d) It is slightly more recent

The handling of grammars is perhaps a little more formal than Aho et. al. The
only argument against is that it is not as well established as Aho et. al., and
may not be as widely available. My personal inclination is to let students
select whichever book they prefer. It shouldn't affect them, since my lectures
aren't based on any one book.

J.P. Bennett Tel: +44 225 826891
School of Mathematical Sciences Telex: 449097 UOBATH G
University of Bath Fax: +44 225 62508 (Group 3)
Bath BA2 7AY, England Arpa:

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