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Programming Languages: Design and Implementation

2.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0137304325
ISBN-10: 0137304323
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This text is designed to provide students with a broad and deep understanding of the major issues in both design and implementation of modern programming languages and a basic introduction to the underlying theoretical models on which these languages are based. The emphasis throughout is on fundamental concepts -- students learn important ideas, not minor language differences. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Exceptionally comprehensive in approach, this book explores the major issues in both design and implementation of modern programming languages and provides a basic introduction to the underlying theoretical models on which these languages are based. The emphasis throughout is on fundamental concepts—readers learn important ideas, not minor language differences--but several languages are highlighted in sufficient detail to enable readers to write programs that demonstrate the relationship between a source program and its execution behavior--e.g., C, C++, JAVA, ML, LISP, Prolog, Smalltalk, Postscript, HTML, PERL, FORTRAN, Ada, COBOL, BASIC SNOBOL4, PL/I, Pascal. Begins with a background review of programming languages and the underlying hardware that will execute the given program; then covers the underlying grammatical model for programming languages and their compilers (elementary data types, data structures and encapsulation, inheritance, statements, procedure invocation, storage management, distributed processing, and network programming). Includes an advanced chapter on language semantics--program verification, denotational semantics, and the lambda calculus. For computer engineers and others interested in programming language designs. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (June 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137304323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137304325
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,717,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Althought the authors tried hard, this book really isn't worth the time it takes to read. The book is littered with numerous errors, both technical and theoretical. The writing quality is poor, and the typesetting renders most code samples almost unreadable. The book has been very poorly updated, and still shows a world-view strongly anchored in it's first 1975 edition. A chapter on the web has been tacked on in an effort to make the book seem modern, but the authors seem to be considering html a programming language worthy of inclusion. Although the authors play lip service to explaining the theoretical concepts behind programming language theory, many of their statements are simply given on faith, and the times they do attempt explanations, they are generally either poor or very incomplete.
Please, do yourself a favor and get a copy of David Gelernter and Suresh Jagannathan's Programming Linguistics. If you want more of the math behind the theory, John Mitchell's Foundations for Programming Languages is excellent as a supplement, and Jaco de Bakker and Erik de Vink's Control Flow Semantics covers formal semantics from a more strongly mathematical perspective (the other two books are probably prerequisites for this).
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Format: Paperback
This book is one of the driest book in computer science that I read. It may take a little bit more effort to read than other computer science book, but the topic and its explanation are not incomprehensible. If you are willing to put time and effort, you will gain quite a lot of information out of it.

It is true that this is not UP TO DATE and some information have been outdated and needs revision. However, many of these topics are fundamentals of different languages that most of these explanations and theory are very much applicable today as they were a decade or so ago.

What many students are forgetting is that this is a concepts book. Many arrivals in the technology are going to come and go, but the important thing is the ability to draw on from the knowledge you have and make analysis, comparison, and contrast. This is a very good way to mature in and gain a better understanding of subject materials.
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Format: Paperback
I had to use this for a class and boy was I dissapointed. This book relies more on words than examples. Each sentance feels like a mouthful, packed with words that each refer to a concept in programming. Subsequently, you either have to read extremely slow, or read the paragraph over and over before you understand what the author is trying to say. Extremely unclear and frustrating. Avoid this book.
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By A Customer on May 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had to use this book in one of my classes, and it was really bad. It didn't do a good job of explaining anything and was really confusing. Alot of what they had to say seemed to be really out of date, and there were a bunch of technical errors.
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Format: Paperback
Awesome! Book looks like new and well binded. No sign of wear. More over price is $.067, yes it is $0.67
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Format: Hardcover
This edition is from 1975, and it shows. There is no mention of Java or C++ or even C: they hadn't been invented yet. But there is a good overview of the major languages of the time that provides a fascinating glimpse into programming history and programming language development.

Besides programming language development, the text also provides a good introduction to the hardware/software interface (arithmetic-logic unit, pipelining, &tc.), the Backus-Naur Format, differences between interpreted and compiled languages, and a brief introduction via example into the differences between iterative and functional programming, threading, and simple data structures. The languages covered in this edition are FORTRAN (1971), ALGOL60, COBOL, PL/I, SNOBOL4, and LISP 1.5
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