Imperative / Functional Compiling -- help!

Allen Theobald <>
7 Feb 1997 23:37:39 -0500

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Imperative / Functional Compiling -- help! (Allen Theobald) (1997-02-07)
Re: Imperative / Functional Compiling -- help! (1997-02-11)
Re: Imperative / Functional Compiling -- help! (Werner Donne') (1997-02-11)
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From: Allen Theobald <>
Newsgroups: comp.lang.functional,comp.compilers
Date: 7 Feb 1997 23:37:39 -0500
Organization: Nova Engineering, Inc.
Keywords: functional, question


Do the theory an techniques of compiler construction vary based on the
type of language being compiled? That is, what is different between
compiling imperative languages vs. compiling functional languages?
What are the similarities?

I have several books on parsing and compiler construction for
imperative languages ([Aho,Sethi,Ullman], [Hollub],
[Wilhelm,Maurer]). And for functional languages ([Jones], [Appel]).
All of these are excellent technical works, but none of them discuss
the high-level aspects of parsing such as which techniques are best
for a given language and a desired result. Any comments?

For example.

                                                / \
                                            / \
                                Analysis Synthesis
                                            \ /
                                              \ /
                                                Symbol Table
                                              Atrribute Table

Analysis can further be refined to

                                            / | \
                                          / | \
                            Scanning Parsing Static

And Synthesis can fruther be refined to

                                            / | \
                                          / | \
                          Run-time Optimizing Code
                          Semantic Generation

What aspects of these drawings apply to imperative? Functional?

I ask these questions because I have the opportunity to work on a
compiler for a visual programming language that is functional in
nature. I am a compiler writer wannabe, but don't have all the clues.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



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