Re: Unsafe Optimizations

David S. Harrison <davidh@dent.Berkeley.EDU>
Fri, 22 Jun 90 17:21:18 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: David S. Harrison <davidh@dent.Berkeley.EDU>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 90 17:21:18 GMT
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: C, interpreter, debug

In article <>, (Jonathan Leech) writes:
|> After using the Saber-C interpretive environment for a while, I
|> find it offers the protection without the loss of utility - and the
|> code will be compiled later for speed.

I have always wondered why most popular compiled programming languages don't
provide an interpreter as part of the package. It seems to me that
developing an interpreter before the compiler would have several advantages.
It would familiarize the implementation team with the nasty details of the
language. It could be used to develop a testing suite for the compiler
while the compiler was under development. It could be used as a
bootstrapping step allowing the team to implement the compiler in the target
language. Most important, the interpreter could be provided to customers as
a valuable debugging and development aid. Perhaps it is just a matter of
time, effort, and cost. Are there other more fundamental reasons for a lack
of interpreters?

David Harrison
UC Berkeley Electronics Research Lab
(davidh@ic.Berkeley.EDU, ...!ucbvax!ucbcad!davidh)
[PL/I users on IBM mainframes have long had a compiler and a semi-interpreter
(byte codes, as I recall) for development. -John]

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