Another Compiler book to add to the FAQ

Trevor Jenkins <>
Fri, 8 Jan 1993 20:45:21 GMT

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Another Compiler book to add to the FAQ TDARCOS@MCIMAIL.COM (Paul Robinson) (1993-01-08)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: Trevor Jenkins <>
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1993 20:45:21 GMT
References: 93-01-044
Keywords: books, interpreter, comment

[re Brown, P. J., Writing interactive compilers and interpreters]

This is one of the few books that addresses real implementation issues.

P J Brown has a good writing style, one of the best bits of the book is
the "Deadly Sins". A list of aphorisms (much like those in "Elements of
Programming Style" *) dedicated to the compiler (interpreter) writer.

There is one beautiful quote "There is a powerful psychological aid which
can help both you and the users [of your compiler]. It is suggested by
Rain (+) and consists of offering a free beer to the first user to find
each bug in you compiler. ... If certain computer manufacturer made the
same offer they would need to take over a brewery to satisfy the user
demand." ($)

I am certain (0.45) that there was a paperback edition in print not long
ago. Next time I'm in my local bookstore I'll have a look---assuming that
I find it then I'll auction it for a copy of "The Design of an Optimizing
Compiler" by Wulf et al.

Regards, Trevor.

*) Like Kernighan and Plauger Brown also recommend reading Strunk and
White's "Elements of style" before writing the documentation.

+) Rain, M "Two unusual methods for debugging system software"
      Software Pratice and Experience, vol 4 #1 61-63.

$) Microsoft I claim my free beer for the bug I found today in C/C++ v7.00.
      Try compiling the following two files which are abstracted from some
      real code:

      File a.h | File b.h

      #include "b.h" | #include "a.h"
      // end of file | // end of file

Trevor Jenkins
134 Frankland Rd, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, WD3 3AU, England
email: radio: G6AJG
phone: +44 (0)923 776436
[As noted before, the book still seems to be available as an expensive
paperback. -John]

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