40 year old compilers

"Charles E. Bortle, Jr." <charlesb.cca@mpowercom.net>
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 03:01:08 -0700

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From: "Charles E. Bortle, Jr." <charlesb.cca@mpowercom.net>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2013 03:01:08 -0700
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 13-06-004
Keywords: books, history
Posted-Date: 15 Jun 2013 12:55:01 EDT

> I still have http://www.amazon.com/dp/047132776X (Gries) that I bought
> about 35 years ago, but that might not be the best to understand
> C compilers.
> Most should be availabl for low prices on the used book market.
> Gries is $0.01 plus $3.99 for shipping.

Putting my 2cents in...

My copy of Gries, purchased in 1974, still has the Cal State Long
Beach bookstore price tag on the inside of the cover...$19.75. ;-)
(No, I was not taking a compiler class at the time...I was just
interested in learing how to write compilers.) Actually, I was a
business major (Accounting) but spent 11 years as a computer
technician at MAI Basic Four, Inc. I took a Fortran IV class as part
of my Business electives and eventually realized I could write a
Fortran compiler using what I later learned was called Recursive
Descent parsing...that was in '74 and I hired in at Basic Four in '77.
I am oriented more to Top Down rather than the Bottom Up that is
generally used to parse C. Gries did cover both. Along the way I
learned digital electronics and began learning how to build
microprocessor based computers. I even designed a horizontal
microprogrammed super mini (never could aford to build it though) so I
got to see both the hardware and software side of compiler tech.

Charles Bortle
[Somehow I ended up with two copies even though my undergrad compiler
course didn't use the book. Gries was quite young when he wrote that
book and is still around, by the way. http://www.cs.cornell.edu/gries/

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