Where did "middle end" come from?

gah4 <gah4@u.washington.edu>
Sat, 1 Jan 2022 09:43:21 -0800 (PST)

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Where did "middle end" come from? gah4@u.washington.edu (gah4) (2022-01-01)
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From: gah4 <gah4@u.washington.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2022 09:43:21 -0800 (PST)
Organization: Compilers Central
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Keywords: history, question, comment
Posted-Date: 01 Jan 2022 13:19:28 EST

In the Wikipedia compiler page, there is a question about the naming of the "middle end" of a compiler. I have known it is the usual terminology for a long time, but would be interested in any history of the name.

I presume front and and back end were named first, and maybe used for some time before the need for naming the "middle end" came along.

As usual for Wikipedia, actual references are nice, though I would be interested to know even without any.
[I'm fairly sure you're right about the etymology, the part between the front and the back but I
dont't remember when the term became popular. I looked at some of my old compiler books from the
1970s and 1980s and don't see any reference to ends, front, back, or middle. The DEC "Engineering
a Compiler", is about how they wrote a code generator for the front end of a PL/I compiler they
bought, but they don't use the term. -John]

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