Re: Best language for implementing compilers?

George Neuner <gneuner2@comcast.net>
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 18:36:42 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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From: George Neuner <gneuner2@comcast.net>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2019 18:36:42 -0500
Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
References: 19-02-002
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Keywords: ML
Posted-Date: 10 Feb 2019 14:53:53 EST

On Fri, 8 Feb 2019 12:20:18 +0000, "Costello, Roger L."
<costello@mitre.org> wrote:


>What is it about ML that makes it such a good language for implementing
>compilers?


Compiling involves a lot of pattern matching, and pattern matching is
a native feature of ML.


I can recall papers from that same era advocating writing compilers in
Prolog, or similar declarative languages, in which essentially all
programming is done with pattern matching.




Lisp and Lisp-like languages - Scheme, Racket, etc. - are also nice to
work with for compiler writing. These languages don't natively include
pattern matching, but they are extensible [using metaprogramming] and
there are good pattern match libaries available for most popular
implementations.


Racket, in particular, is a "batteries included" Scheme derivative
that includes ML-like pattern matching in its basic distribution.




George


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