Re: Book recommendation required (=?iso-8859-1?q?Torben_=C6gidius_Mogensen?=)
11 Feb 2005 22:20:20 -0500

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From: (=?iso-8859-1?q?Torben_=C6gidius_Mogensen?=)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 11 Feb 2005 22:20:20 -0500
Organization: Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen
References: 05-02-034
Keywords: books
Posted-Date: 11 Feb 2005 22:20:20 EST (Maarten D, de Jong) writes:

> I would like a book which covers in good detail the inner workings of
> a compiler, without resorting to terse mathematical formalisms. Some
> math is okay, though, it shouldn't be simplicity all the way either.
> The book should invite the reader to try things out for himself, so
> something which is just source code is not appreciated. I have some
> experience with lexical scanners and parsers, having written a few
> myself (and used lex and yacc). I am fluent in C, but I do not mind
> the author using different languages. I'm more interested in the ideas
> behing the compiler rather than the language the ideas are expressed
> in.

Some possibilities:

  - Andrew Appel's "Modern Compiler Implementation in ML/C/Java".
      These three books cover mostly identical topics using three
      different implementation languages. The new edition of the Java
      version has some additional material on OO languages. The book has
      two parts, a basic part which guides through the theory required to
      implement a simple but nontrivial example language. The second
      part has advanced material, some of which can be used as extensions
      to the compiler from the first part. The book is fairly focused on
      implementation, but does not give away the whole source code, so
      there is a sizeable project for a self-study reader. Appel has
      some "neat tricks" in his coding style which, while making the code
      more compact and flexible, may be a bit hard to follow for less
      hardcore programmers.

  - Watt & Brown's "Programming Language Processors in Java" also has
      an ongoing project, but does not have the advanced topics from
      Appel's books. On the other hand, it may be easier to read, as it
      has more examples and more details on the code. It targets a
      stack-based virtual machine, so if you want "real" machine code, it
      is not for you.


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