The Dragon Book

cullvax!drw@EDDIE.MIT.EDU (Dale Worley)
15 Jul 87 14:23:05 GMT

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The Dragon Book cullvax!drw@EDDIE.MIT.EDU (1987-07-15)
Re: The Dragon Book steve@hubcap.clemson.eduStevenson) (1987-07-16)
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From: cullvax!drw@EDDIE.MIT.EDU (Dale Worley)
Date: 15 Jul 87 14:23:05 GMT
Organization: Cullinet Software, Westwood, MA, USA

I'm not an expert on all this, but... Its strong points are the
description of LR parsing and the more machine-independent aspects of
code optimization. The parsing stuff is very helpful, because Yacc
(or one of its clones) is really the only sensible way to build a
parser anymore.

Its weak point is the lack of discussion about the really hairy
aspects of run-time storage and stack handling. I much prefered
Gries' "Compiler Construction for Digital Computers". (But don't
bother reading the chapters on parsing -- they're all precedence
techniques.) I attribute this to the Gries' coming from the Algol
(European) tradition, where these things have to be attended to
carefully; whereas AHU come from a more Fortran/C (American)
background, where you don't even have nested procedures, fer

[I always thought that the lack of attention to LR parsers was a social
phemonenon. Lots of people had programs that turned a BNF grammar into LR
state changes, but it was always up to you to wrap a parser and semantic
routines around them. Yacc was the first to create a usable language in which
you could write an LR parser. At that point, everybody started to use
bottom-up parsers, because they were made so easy to write. But the reason I
really hated Gries' book is that it was reproduced from ugly 1403 line printer
output. -John]

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