Re: Incomplete compiler?

Bernhard Pfahringer <>
1 May 2002 23:23:04 -0400

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From: Bernhard Pfahringer <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 1 May 2002 23:23:04 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 02-04-147
Keywords: design, Lisp, comment
Posted-Date: 01 May 2002 23:23:03 EDT

Uwe Altenburg <> wrote:
>I would like to know, if there is a compiler (and a language) where I
>tell the compiler in the source-code how to compile the source? Let's
>say an "incomplete" or "simple" compiler that can be extended if
>needed or is this a "perpetuum mobile"?
>Thanks for comments
>[Look at the work done in the 1970s on extensible languages, where
>you could add BNF and semantics right in the middle of your program.
>It seemed like a cool idea but turned out to be useless. -John]

Actually there is a language where this capability is present and
considered essential by most advanced users:

Common Lisp with its macros and compiler-macros
  see e.g.

Bernhard Pfahringer, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Waikato +64 7 838 4041
[Well, yeah, Lisp. Do people write their own macro packages, or are
there popular ones that define dialects that programmers all use? -John]

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