Is it just me or... (Jay Cole)
22 Jan 1997 23:03:05 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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From: (Jay Cole)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 22 Jan 1997 23:03:05 -0500
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises, Inc.
Keywords: courses, practice, optimize, question

Hi all,

I've been reading this group regularly for several months, and on and
off for a year or so. I finally had to ask some questions to the
populace of comp.compilers.

1) Why isn't a compiler-type class taught in college that deals with
the applications of compiler techniques in everyday, non-compiler
design, programs. Maybe imbedded languages, or errant data parsing,
etc, etc, etc. Although I've never written a 'formal' compiler, I've
written a embedded selection language, and user interface language, a
sorting language, etc, etc, etc. Most of these generated machine code
directly into a code-aliased memory block and then jumped in and went
to town. It seems to me that your standard CS student is more likely
to run into this application of compiler theory more than the actual
writing of 'full' compilers. After 10+ years in CS, I've only met a
handful of 'real' compiler writers.

2) Am I one of the few people in the compiler world that prefers to
generate and optimize code from a tree-type structure rather than
tuples? I find optimization and manipulation much easier in the tree
format. I just have a difficult time generating real good code from
the tuple format. Is there a good book on tuple based code

3) Are there any other books out there besides "The Design of an
Optimizing Compiler" by Wulf? Even though this book is out of print
and I had to get my copy through UMI, I have not been able to find
another decent code generation book "theory-wise" than this one. His
ideas on register allocation and jump optimization were a great
stepping off point for me. Any other recommendations out there on
this type of code optimization/generation or perhaps other techniques,

4) Any suggestions on optimal register allocations without using
graphs? They are too slow. I have a pretty neat method right now,
and because I write for the intel 386+ platform, so optimal register
usage is more of a problem than normal. My register allocation scheme
is based on walking the code tree (above) before code generation. If
you're interested, let me know. It might take a while to write it up,
but if there is interest, I'll try to publish it.

Thanks in advance,

Jay Cole


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