programming language design

Pete Jinks <>
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 16:12:09 GMT

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programming language design (Pete Jinks) (1995-10-31)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: Pete Jinks <>
Keywords: question, comment
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 16:12:09 GMT

I teach a course "Design, use & implementation or programming languages".
This is mainly about language design and the tradeoffs with ease of use &
ease of implementation. It also involves parsing, using packages like lex
and yacc.

I would like to use some of the discussions from comp.compilers as backup
material, or even as examples in lectures or practicals. As a sample, I
have put together most of a discussion from spring/summer '95 about
scripting languages v. programming languages, that eventually went on to
discuss statement terminators & separators, indentation to show block
structure, programming environments, and workplace practice.

I have lightly edited the messages to make them more readable and relevant
to my needs (e.g. removing what seemed to be irrelevant or personal asides,
and adding explanations). I hope this is fair use, and that no-one is
offended by what I have done - if I have transgressed, please let me know &
I will change it.
a) am I making fair use of the group effort, and of the efforts of
the moderator, of comp.compilers?
b) am I treating the individual messages/writers fairly?
If this is acceptable, I intend to collate some other discussions about
language design and parsing in a similar way.

I hope the readers of comp.compilers find the end result interesting, and
maybe even worth adding to the FAQ. If this stimulates any further discussion
or comments, I will be happy to add it to the thread.
(There are several messages from late summer that I have not added yet, and I
know I missed some earlier messages because there are gaps in the discussion.)

The sample discussion is at

If anyone is interested, more information about the course is at
If anyone is doing anything similar, I will be very interested to hear about
it & discuss it with them.
[As far as I'm concerned, anyone can do anything with comp.compilers
messages that they want. -John]

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