40 year old compilers

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by glen herrmannsfeldt, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Someone in comp.lang.c is interested in understanding how a 40 years
    old C compilers works, but doesn't know much about compilers.

    Seems to me that one way to learn is to read 40 year old compiler books.

    I still have http://www.amazon.com/dp/047132776X (Gries) that I bought
    about 35 years ago, but that might not be the best to understand
    C compilers.

    So, I wonder (cross post replies) about favorite 40 year old compiler
    books, especially if written using C-like languages for examples, or
    otherwise better than average for understanding C compilers.

    Most should be availabl for low prices on the used book market.
    Gries is $0.01 plus $3.99 for shipping.

    For a description of the development of C, and a few other languages,
    one might look at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1578700094 only about 15
    years old, and available used starting at $0.80 (plus shipping).

    -- glen
    [Seventh edition Unix C compiler description here http://plan9.bell-labs.com/7thEdMan/vol2/ctour.bun ]
    glen herrmannsfeldt, Jun 3, 2013
    #1
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  2. glen herrmannsfeldt

    Anton Ertl Guest

    glen herrmannsfeldt <> writes:
    >So, I wonder (cross post replies) about favorite 40 year old compiler
    >books, especially if written using C-like languages


    I like [wulf+75]; however, that's mostly about optimizing, and I don't
    think that C compilers of that time had serious ambitions in that
    direction.

    Given that C compilers from 1973 came from Bell Labs, and Al Aho
    worked at Bell Labs, the books he coauthored around that time might
    fit the bill.

    @Book{wulf+75,
    author = {William Wulf and Richard K. Johnsson and Charles
    B. Weinstock and Steven O. Hobbs and Charles M. Geschke},
    title = {The Design of an Optimizing Compiler},
    publisher = {Elsvier},
    year = {1975},
    isbn = {0-444-0164-6},
    annote = {Describes a complete Bliss/11 compiler for the
    PDP-11. It uses some interesting techniques: it
    uses a (hand-constructed) tree parsing automaton for
    parts of the code selection (Section~3.4); it
    optimizes the use of unary complement operators
    (Section~3.3); it uses a smart scheme to represent
    a conservative approximation of the lifetime of
    variables in constant space and uses that for
    register allocation (Sections~4.1.3 and~4.3).}
    }

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl

    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/
    Anton Ertl, Jun 5, 2013
    #2
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  3. glen herrmannsfeldt <> wrote:

    > Someone in comp.lang.c is interested in understanding how a 40 years
    > old C compilers works, but doesn't know much about compilers.


    How good is the interested party in reading assembler. The 7094 emulator
    comes with ithe Fortran compiler, more than fifty years old as of this
    date.
    http://www.piercefuller.com/oldibm-shadow/709x.html
    William Clodius, Jun 6, 2013
    #3
  4. glen,

    > Someone in comp.lang.c is interested in understanding how a 40 years
    > old C compilers works, but doesn't know much about compilers.


    This begs the question of what is the oldest compiler still in
    production use.

    Here is a non-C candidate:
    http://shape-of-code.coding-guideli...e-oldest-compiler-still-in-production-use-is/

    > Seems to me that one way to learn is to read 40 year old compiler books.


    They don't always reflect reality on the ground.

    Here is a 30 year old C compiler:
    http://www.desmet-c.com/

    and of course the grandaddy of them all:
    http://www.cs.bell-labs.com/who/dmr/primevalC.html
    Derek M. Jones, Jun 6, 2013
    #4
  5. glen herrmannsfeldt

    Jorgen Grahn Guest

    On Wed, 2013-06-05, Anton Ertl wrote:
    > glen herrmannsfeldt <> writes:
    >>So, I wonder (cross post replies) about favorite 40 year old compiler
    >>books, especially if written using C-like languages

    >
    > I like [wulf+75]; however, that's mostly about optimizing, and I don't
    > think that C compilers of that time had serious ambitions in that
    > direction.
    >
    > Given that C compilers from 1973 came from Bell Labs, and Al Aho
    > worked at Bell Labs, the books he coauthored around that time might
    > fit the bill.


    There's also the CSTR series of technical reports from Bell Labs itself:

    http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr.html
    http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr/bib

    A lot of them relate to compilers (but not all are available online,
    not from Bell Labs anyway).

    /Jorgen

    --
    // Jorgen Grahn <grahn@ Oo o. . .
    \X/ snipabacken.se> O o .
    Jorgen Grahn, Jun 6, 2013
    #5
  6. > How good is the interested party in reading assembler. The 7094 emulator
    > comes with ithe Fortran compiler, more than fifty years old as of this
    > date. http://www.piercefuller.com/oldibm-shadow/709x.html
    >


    I'd be interested in reading Xerox Data Systems... Sigma 9 assembly
    language.

    --

    numerist at aquaporin4 dot com
    Charles Richmond, Jun 8, 2013
    #6
  7. glen herrmannsfeldt

    Guest

    , Jun 8, 2013
    #7
  8. Am 03.06.2013 02:14, schrieb glen herrmannsfeldt:
    > Someone in comp.lang.c is interested in understanding how a 40 years
    > old C compilers works, but doesn't know much about compilers.
    >
    > Seems to me that one way to learn is to read 40 year old compiler books. ...


    Have a look at books from Aho and Ullman. Those are well written
    (IMO) and were quasi standard to read hereabouts around the late
    1970's and 1980's.

    Janis
    [That's the classic 1977 Dragon Book, rather than the more recent
    and much more expensive editions. Link to Amazon"
    http://net.gurus.org/bk/a/0201000229 -John]
    Janis Papanagnou, Jun 21, 2013
    #8
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