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Modern Compiler Design [Paperback]

Dick Grune , Henri E. Bal , Ceriel J. H. Jacobs , Koen G. Langendoen
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2000 Worldwide Series in Computer Science (Book 3)
While focusing on the essential techniques common to all language paradigms, this book provides readers with the skills required for modern compiler construction. All the major programming types (imperative, object-oriented, functional, logic, and distributed) are covered. Practical emphasis is placed on implementation and optimization techniques, which includes tools for automating compiler design.

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"There's nothing this programmer likes more in a book than a structured, logical layout, and Modern Compiler Design has it by the bucketful. [...] this excellent book covers not just procedural languages, but object-oriented, functional, logic and parallel/distributed languages too. [...] a well-written and thorough book [...] recommended for the compiler novice." - David Johns in Application Development Advisor, Nov/Dec 2000

From the Back Cover

A compiler is one of the most vital parts of a computer?s system software, translating programs written in a high-level language into low-level commands that the machine can understand and execute. Most compiler design books focus only on techniques for imperative (or procedural) languages like C or Pascal, whereas Modern Compiler Design also covers compilation techniques for object-oriented, functional, logic and distributed languages. Features of the book include:
  • A focus on essential traditional and advanced techniques common to all language paradigms, giving readers the skills required for modern compiler construction.
  • Coverage of all the major programming language types - imperative, object-oriented, functional, logic and distributed languages.
  • A practical emphasis on implementation and optimization techniques, including tools for automating compiler design.
  • A strong intuitive style, illustrated by many practical examples.
All the authors are experienced teachers and researchers in programming languages and their implementation and have acquired a wealth of experience in compiler construction for a variety of languages. This experience has also been reflected in previous texts on Programming Languages, Programming Distributed Systems and Parsing Techniques.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Figures 2.5 through 2.12 contain the elements of a simple but non-trivial lexical analyzer that recognizes five classes of tokens: identifiers as defined above, integers, one-character tokens, and the token classes ERRONEOUS and EOF. Read the first page
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Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Requires additional references Feb. 24 2003
I bought this book as an introduction to Compiler Design and to that end I have found it quite useful. The material is dense, so expect to have to re-read chapters quite often. Also, I have found it necessary to supplement this book with additional resources to fully understand what Grune is attempting to explain, particularly with chapter 3, which covers attribute grammars. The book's english can be poor sometimes so expect to have to back-track over convulted sentences. Overall, however, this book succeeds in being useful as an introduction to the theory. The authors skip implementation details, so if you are expecting to be able to actually write a compiler when you are done, you are going to be needing additional sources.
Pros: 1)great introduction to theory and maintains enough detail in each section to keep you interested. 2) Book is organized well. Each chapter represents the next step in compiler design. 3) This book covers theory, not implementation...it does not bind itself to one particular language
Cons: 1) Expect to check-out or buy additional reading to supplement this book. 2) The english often leaves something to be desired. 3) The excercises at the end of each chapter were obviously just "thrown-in" at the end. They are quite poor.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not good as a starter. Tedious. Sept. 22 2001
By A Customer
Don't buy this book if you're looking for an introduction to compilers. I've purchased or borrowed 5 books on compiler design and this and Dragon are the least well written. This book does not suffer from the organization problems of the Dragon book, but it never provides simple overviews/explanations of a topic before diving head first into it. And it takes a heck of a lot of words for the authors to say anything. It is a chore to read. It is not the depth that is a problem. Intro to Algorithms and Advanced Compiler Design are as rigorous as this text, and yet I found them to be a lot more succinct and enjoyable.
If you have already read an introductory book on the topics it covers, you should be OK with this text if you can stand the high word to concept ratio. After trying to stay awake for the first few chapters and not understanding the treatment of lexing and transition tables at all, and after skimming through some of the later chapters, I can say for sure that I will only use this book when I can find no other reference. It does cover topics not found in any other text - which is the only reason I'm keeping it.
If you are starting out, then buy "Programming Language Processors in Java: Compilers and Interpreters" by Watt, Brown and Brown. It is far more appropriate for anyone not versed in basic compiler theory. Also, "Constructing Language Processors for Little Languages" is a pretty good introduction.
For advanced reading, I much prefer "Advanced Compiler Design".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good Oct. 27 2003
Overall, this is an excellent book for compilers. It covers a broad range of concepts. On think that I like is that the authors didn't take the very popular approach of "hey, let's write a small subset of Pascal". They actually only covers the concepts. So, this is not a beginner's book.
Algorithms are written in "english pseudo-code" and, altought I tought it'd be a good idea, it ended up being harder to read than the "usual pseudo-code" (like in the Dragon book).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good compilers text June 4 2001
By A Customer
This is really an excellent book that proves that a computer science text can have huge scope and be rigorous yet still do a good job of teaching and presenting its topics. Well written and laid-out. I would recommend it to anyone doing a course in compilers, provided you know the relevant chapters to choose to read (it goes way beyond the scope of an intro course) and any more advanced course. This book was actually recommended to over the "dragon book". It is more up-to-date and relevant.
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