Re: Compiler implementation language preference ?

Walter Banks <>
Thu, 7 Jun 2018 12:58:40 -0400

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Compiler implementation language preference ? (Michael Justice) (2018-05-22)
Re: Compiler implementation language preference ? (Bruce Mardle) (2018-05-23)
Re: Compiler implementation language preference ? (2018-05-23)
Re: Compiler implementation language preference ? (Walter Banks) (2018-06-07)
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From: Walter Banks <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2018 12:58:40 -0400
Organization: NNTP Server
References: 18-05-009
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Keywords: practice
Posted-Date: 08 Jun 2018 12:17:44 EDT
Content-Language: en-US

On 2018-05-22 4:58 AM, Michael Justice wrote:
> Is there any preference to writing a compiler in say c instead of say
> java, fortran, basic etc? I ask cause i see many of the projects using
> either c or c++ instead of other programming languages.
> Sincerely,
> nullCompiler
> [Mostly people use what they're used to, or in languages that are easy
> to bootstrap on the machines they want to use. IBM's Fortran H
> compiler was famously written in itself, but I wouldn't write a new
> compiler in Fortran because it doesn't have great data structuring or
> dynamic storage management. (Yes, I know that Fortran 2008 is a lot
> different from Fortran 66.) -John]

Most of our compilers (including C compilers) are written in Pascal.

There are two reasons. The strong type checking in the Pascal compiler I
use is an important part of development productivity.

The second reason is Pascal has features that make it well matched to
the implementing a compiler. Pascal's fundamental support for string,
sets and boolean support tends to be very useful and natural to use. We
regularly use expert systems as part of our code creation process. Our
experience has been that they are easier to implement in Pascal than C.

The final point is an area of personal preference is the scoping
support for local functions.


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