Re: Is it just me or... (Gene Wirchenko)
25 Jan 1997 21:46:20 -0500

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Is it just me or... (1997-01-22)
Re: Is it just me or... (1997-01-25)
Re: Is it just me or... (1997-01-25)
Re: Is it just me or... (1997-01-25)
Re: Is it just me or... (1997-01-26)
Re: Is it just me or... (1997-01-29)
Re: Is it just me or... (Tim Roberts) (1997-01-30)
Re: Is it just me or... (1997-02-07)
[7 later articles]
| List of all articles for this month |

From: (Gene Wirchenko)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 25 Jan 1997 21:46:20 -0500
Organization: MIND LINK! - British Columbia, Canada
References: 97-01-180
Keywords: practice (Jay Cole) wrote:

>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.

          I, also. ("Me too!" is a trademark of America On-Line.)

>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.

          I would like to know why I can't find a good book on compiler
writing that isn't either:
    a) "Here's the source for a Very Tiny <language>." or
    b) a jungle of mathematical notation that is not explained in the
text. (I'm not a mathephobe, but I do like to understand what I

          Over the years, I have found it very useful to write parsers for
code generators and data converters. Usually, these are front-ends
with little or no understanding of the code they generate. I can't
help feeling that if I could learn some more about the subject that I
would be able to do more.

          Currently, I can design and write DFSAs for simple parsing. I
can construct a parser given a syntax (say in BNF), but I get lost
whenever I try reading about LL<whatever>, how to implement recursive
descent, etc. My syntax scanners are homebrew, not table driven. I
can handle lexical scanning with tables though.

          I suppose you could call me a comp.compilers wannabe.

          Is there any hope that I can find some clear material?


Gene Wirchenko

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.