Re: Language Books

Carsten Link <>
26 Jul 1998 00:32:24 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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From: Carsten Link <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 26 Jul 1998 00:32:24 -0400
Organization: Telemedia News Server
References: 98-07-131
Keywords: books, comment

Russell Rader schrieb:
> Can anyone out there give me your recommendation on books on programming
> language design? (not compiler design itself, but overlap between the
> two would be ok, I guess) I went out to and, and

I've recently read
A) Watt, Programming Languages- Concepts and Paradigms, 1990
B) Ghezzi/Jazayeri, Programming Language Concepts, 1987
both in their German translation.

A) and B) show basic concepts like types, control structures and so on
B) looks a bit to software engineering and 20 has pages about designing
a language (what you are looking for)
A) is a little bit more mathematical (Watt seems to prefer LISP or ML)
and thinner than B)
Both introduce the common paradigms
B) shows a lot of existing programming languages
in B) you can see a complete LISP interpreter programmed in LISP on 3!
B) introduces formal specification

I got both books from the library, if I had to buy one
I think I would buy B)

> I am looking for something that explains and contrasts most of the major
> paradigms (imperative, object-oriented, functional, logic) and whatever
> other minor flavors are out there now. Also, any book that goes into
> formal specification of semantics (as opposed to the grammar) would be
> interesting as long as it's not too abstract or mathematical. (Is that

i've also read
C) Ryan Stansifer
i can't remeber the title

its was more mathematical and showed more formal specification
with Lambda Calculus attributed grammatics and so on.(i think to

if you have read B) you will have seen so much languges and their
(bad-) concepts, that you know what to do/not to do in designing
a language.

hope it helps,
[Watt's book is out of print. Ghezzi and Jazayeri have a new edition,
Stansifer's book is "The Study of Programming Languages",

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