Compilers - Principles, Techniques, & Tools
Programming languages are notations for describing computations to people and to machines. The world as we know it depends on programming languages, because all the software running on all the computers was written in some programming language. But, before a program can be run, it first must be translated into a form in which it can be executed by a computer.
The software systems that do this translation are called compilers.
This book is about how to design and implement compilers. We shall dis-cover that a few basic ideas can be used to construct translators for a wide variety of languages and machines. Besides compilers, the principles and techniques for compiler design are applicable to so many other domains that they are likely to be reused many times in the career of a computer scientist. The study of compiler writing touches upon programming languages, machine architecture, language theory, algorithms, and software engineering.
In this preliminary chapter, we introduce the different forms of language translators, give a high level overview of the structure of a typical compiler, and discuss the trends in programming languages and machine architecture that are shaping compilers. We include some observations on the relationship between compiler design and computer-science theory and an outline of the applications of compiler technology that go beyond compilation. We end with a brief outline of key programming-language concepts that will be needed for our study of compilers.