- Hardcover: 592 pages
- Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (January 24, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0534939724
- ISBN-13: 978-0534939724
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Compiler Construction: Principles and Practice 1st Edition
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1. Introduction 2. Scanning 3. Context-Free Grammar and Parsing 4. Top-Down Parsing 5. Bottom-Up Parsing 6. Semantic Analysis 7. Runtime Environments 8. Code Generation Appendices: A: Compiler Project B Tiny Compiler Listing C: Tiny Machine Simulator Listing
About the Author
Kenneth C. Louden is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and a past chair of the Department of Computer Science at San Jose State University, Silicon Valley's primary supplier of graduates to the tech industry. He has written several texts and articles on advanced topics in computer science.
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Compiler construction is relatively hard topic with lot of theory needed to be understood before you can write even the most trivial compiler. Regular expressions, finite automata, BNF or attribute grammars are just few things you need to know and known them very well before you can write you own compiler.
Many books paying too much attention to theory, but theory itself without many practical examples is nearly useless - especially if you are new in this field. You need examples, very good, thoroughly explained examples and even better source code where theory is transformed into practice. This is something that the book does and does it very well.
Every topic is covered by such examples and at the end of every chapter there is practical implementation of scanner, parser (recursive descent), semantic analyzer and code generator in 'raw' C, using very simple (but useful) language called TINY.
Another great thing is how the book is organized. First chapter introduces major steps in compiler design like scanning, parsing, semantic, runtime environment, code generation and subsequent chapters dealing with these topics. That's great, because after finishing each chapter you can write your own scanner (chapter 2), top down parser (chapter 4), bottom up parser (chapter 5), semantic analyzer (chapter 6) and runtime environment and code generation (last 2 chapters).
Probably the best 'proof' how great this book is, is the fact that I as an absolute beginner in compiler construction (I have been working professionally as developer for 10 years), was able to write down my own scanner, parser (LL(1), LR(1), and also LALR(1)), semantic analyzer and code generator to 0x86 MASM ASSEMBLER in 'raw' C#, without using of any automatic generators like Lex or Yacc for simple C- language presented in the book (language has global and local variables, procedures, simple arrays and strings).
Compiler Construction: Principles and Practice is the best book for everyone who has no previous experience with compiler construction. Book doesn't cover all advanced topics but it's the best material for those ones who are new in this field. After finishing book you will have enough theoretical and practical experiences to move to more advanced books (but also much more difficult to grasp) like famous Dragon book.
I would thereby caution the prospective compiler writer/student looking to study compiler construction in-depth to avoid this book. Nevertheless I was quite pleased with the book because it presents the front and middle ends of compiler construction in a clear and concise way. Furthermore, it contains excerpts of code that implement a working compiler for a 'theoretical' language and a theoretical architecture (albeit in text. Unofficial code is available on github though). Which is surprising despite the lack of coverage on subjects like register allocation, dataflow analysis, etc.
Tl;Dr, if you're looking for an introductory compiler book, without the complexities of back-end compiler construction, I recommend one to get this. Otherwise, either get the Dragon book or eingeering a compiler. This book wouldn't satisfy the adventurous compiler writer/student.