Recommended reading for C++ compiler writers

Stephen Hite <>
Tue, 19 May 1992 13:14:46 GMT

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Recommended reading for C++ compiler writers (Stephen Hite) (1992-05-19)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: Stephen Hite <>
Keywords: C++, bibliography
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Tue, 19 May 1992 13:14:46 GMT

    There are three papers by Stephen Dewhurst I'd like to share with the
group. The first is a general paper providing an overview of experiences
gained from building a C++ compiler in C++:

                      "The Architecture of a C++ Compiler"
                      Usenix C++ Workshop, Santa Fe, NM, 1987
                      pages 35-45

Dewhurst references two other articles of his in the above paper that go
into detail of to how build a flexible symbol table structure for a C++
compiler and in doing so, shows how it elegantly captures the dynamic
scoping information during translation (i.e. the various advantages of its

I would not be surprised if Borland and/or Microsoft developers read these
papers during the design stage of their respective C++ compiler efforts.
The notion of using pre-compiled headers lends itself well to the concepts
set forth in Dewhurst's papers.

      S.C. Dewhurst, "Object Representation of Scope During Translation,"
      Proc. 1st European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP),
      Paris, 1987.

      S.C. Dewhurst, "Flexible Symbol Table Structures for Compiling C++,"
      Software Practice and Experience, Vol. 17 No. 8, August 1987.

I tried to reach Stephen on the net but I discovered he no longer works
for AT&T. His current employer is Imagesoft (no e-mail address

The first reference is not as detailed as the remaining two (i.e. I
wouldn't recommend you go out and buy it from Usenix for the article).
The third reference can easily be found at most university libraries. The
second reference may be a little harder to locate. I suggest you go to
the nearest university library and request an inter-library loan. This is
how I got it and it took about 2 weeks...well worth the wait.

Oh, also, pages 118-123 of Dewhurtst and Stark's book, "Programming in
C++", outline what the last two references above talk about at length.


Steve Hite

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