- Publisher: Addison Wesley; 2 edition (October 15, 2006)
- ASIN: B008VRILIC
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
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By Alfred V. Aho - Compilers: Principles, Techniques, & Tools [With Access Code]: 2nd (second) Edition Hardcover – October 15, 2006
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Initially when I bought this book because I was nervous about the new edition. The previous 1986 edition with the quaint illustration of the red dragon was the bench-mark gold standard for compiler texts, and I was worried that the new edition (with it's digitally animated cover, which loses much of the charm of the original) would be marred by loses and compromises. That anxiety was ill-founded. The new edition is every bit as wonderful and complete as the previous version was, with valuable information updated but nothing that I can see that is lost.
One small complaint I might have, and this is not something that the authors could control, is that some important new developments have been made in the world of compilers and interpreters in the past few years. Things like PEG (Packrat parsing and OMeta), parser combinators and compound grammars are all new in the front-end world, While the state of the art in interpreters and VMs is leading to things like JIT which are turning out to be of central importance in many places but which are barely mentioned in this book at all.
Anyway, on balance this is an excellent book and one that is well worth buying if you're interested in compilers, interpreters, VMs or other infrastructure components like that. This is a must-read if you're interested in working on a major existing compiler project or if you would like to dabble with your own little language or language runtime.
1. There at large sections of text missing. For example, on page 96 there is a sentence that stops in the middle, page 97 has some garbled text and then page 98 starts with a whole new section, so the sentence is never completed. Page 400,section 6.6.2,starts but there is no text (just an example) and page 401 begins section 6.6.3(so no text for section 6.6.2). Section 7.5.2, page 466, indicates there is supposed to be a list following but page 467 is almost completely blank (more garbled formatting), and there is no list on 468. This goes on and on throughout the book.
2. Some places have this weird gibberish formatting which, I believe, is that causes the missing text.
I am including pictures of what I am talking about.
3. It is an international edition, which would be no big deal except that I can’t contact Pearson because it was not an authorized sale.
This is all stuff I found within a few minutes of perusing the book...I am sure there are going to be even more errors once I start reading it.
Also from the back cover: "This international edition preserves the cutting-edge approach and pedagogy of the original, but may also feature alterations, customization and adaptation from the United States version."
Follow-up ... I filed an inquiry with Amazon and heard from the seller and the sale is entirely legal following a Supreme Court decision back in the '90s. So much for the above. There are some physical defects, however, as some pages are not cut at the top and the text skews downward. Still readable.
I bought this book well ahead of time, because the subject of compilers is not an easy one. Luckily, I just completed a course on Formal Languages & Automata, so some of the things involved in the compilation process is less frightening for me than they would be otherwise. However, I knew I would have to get a good head-start to do well in class, but also to truly learn and understand the subject. This book is very well written and I've gotten far enough into it to comfortably comment on it. As far as theory-packed books are concerned, this one is top-notch. The authors made it very approachable and it doesn't feel like they're trying to bloat the content with academic nonsense in order to place themselves on a pedestal above all else. No, I can confidently say that they've done an amazing job in making it as friendly as possible. With that said, and as I've mentioned, this is not an easy topic. Unless you're exceptionally amazing at comprehending complex material through the first read-through, expect to read this book a few times. On the bright side, it's a pretty good read and you will learn a lot from it.
If you have the right mindset and the necessary passion, this is the book for you. The authors have done a fantastic job and you will not regret investing time into it.