The basics

The basics

Can anyone tell me where I could find a good, layman's explanation of how a compiler works?


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I can tell you that in school they made the "Dragon book" to be the text book -
Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools
by Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, Jeffrey D. Ullman

But I am curious to hear myself, if there are other recommendations.


Besides the dragon book, supplementary musts include the
bison manual, the flex manual, and the O'Reilly Lex and
Yacc book. That should get you started on writing the
compiler's front-end. However, to write the back end
some book on assembly would be required which is why
I'm here (plus optimization requires good knowledge
of assembly code and the underlying architecture's



The classic alternative to the Dragon is the Tiger -

Modern Compiler Implementation in ...
Appel, Palsberg, 2nd Ed.

There are three versions of the book, one for Java, one for C and one for ML.

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