Re: Language used to write compilers

Peter Flass <Peter_Flass@Yahoo.com>
1 Jan 2005 17:33:16 -0500

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
[6 earlier articles]
Re: Language used to write compilers nick.roberts@acm.org (Nick Roberts) (2004-12-30)
Re: Language used to write compilers samiam@moorecad.com (Scott Moore) (2004-12-31)
Re: Language used to write compilers Martin.Ward@durham.ac.uk (Martin Ward) (2004-12-31)
Re: Language used to write compilers nmm1@cus.cam.ac.uk (2004-12-31)
Re: Language used to write compilers nmm1@cus.cam.ac.uk (2004-12-31)
Re: Language used to write compilers idbaxter@semdesigns.com (Ira Baxter) (2004-12-31)
Re: Language used to write compilers Peter_Flass@Yahoo.com (Peter Flass) (2005-01-01)
Re: Language used to write compilers nmm1@cus.cam.ac.uk (2005-01-03)
Re: Language used to write compilers napi@cs.indiana.edu (2005-01-03)
Re: Language used to write compilers vbdis@aol.com (2005-01-09)
Re: Language used to write compilers nmm1@cus.cam.ac.uk (2005-01-12)
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From: Peter Flass <Peter_Flass@Yahoo.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 1 Jan 2005 17:33:16 -0500
Organization: Road Runner
References: 04-12-148 04-12-172 04-12-174
Keywords: practice, comment

Martin Ward wrote:
>
>>There are three essential aspects to writing a good compiler (which
>>probably apply to most software anyway): it is well-designed; it is
>>correct; it is efficient. Of these three, the first two are far more
>>important than the third.
>>...
>>A possible fourth aspect will be that the compiler emits
>>well-optimised code, if this is in fact a specific requirement of
>>your compiler.


> I would put the efficiency of the generated code higher than the
> efficiency of the compiler. Generally, more CPU cycles are spent
> executing compiled code than on running the compiler (with the
> possible exception of Gentoo Linux systems...)


"It all depends"(tm). If you're writing a compiler for "production"
use, then true. If you're writing something for an educational
environment, than features like good diagnostics, speed of
compilation, etc. are the chief goals, and execution speed is far down
the list. The expectation is that a program in this environment will
be compiled many times, executed (successfully) once, then never run
again. PL/C is a good example of a compiler that did this very well.


[It seems to me that even places that care about performance do vastly
more compiling for debugging than for long runs, so even compilers
with whizzo back end optimizations would benefit from better
diagnostics. -John]


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