Re: Best language for implementing compilers?

"Robin Vowels" <robin51@dodo.com.au>
Sat, 9 Feb 2019 19:58:42 +1100

          From comp.compilers

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From: "Robin Vowels" <robin51@dodo.com.au>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 19:58:42 +1100
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 19-02-002
Injection-Info: gal.iecc.com; posting-host="news.iecc.com:2001:470:1f07:1126:0:676f:7373:6970"; logging-data="51063"; mail-complaints-to="abuse@iecc.com"
Keywords: design, PL/I, comment
Posted-Date: 10 Feb 2019 14:58:28 EST

From: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2019 11:20 PM


> The book was written in the 90's. Are there new languages that are even better
> than ML as a compiler implementation language?


PL/I is a very good language; being general purpose, it has
everything you'd need.


Another langage is XPL, which was specially designed for
writing compilers. It has special features for string-handling
that make it fast for parsing text. (There's a text, "A compiler
Generator" by McKeeman et al, with the tools to implement
a language translator).


[I wouldn't use PL/I for writing a compiler. Its pointer handling and
strings are by modern standards pretty klunky. XPL is pretty cool for
a language designed over 50 years ago (really) but its main
improvement over PL/I, other than taking out most of the complication
not useful for system programming, was variable length strings in a
garbage collected heap. These days everything from java to python
to C++ does that for you. -John]


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