A compiler is a computer program that transforms source code written in one programming language into another computer language.

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Is Ken Thompson's compiler hack still a threat?

Ken Thompson Hack (1984) Ken Thompson outlined a method for corrupting a compiler binary (and other compiled software, like a login script on a *nix system) in 1984. I was curious to know if modern ...
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Why is software OS specific?

I'm trying to determine the technical details of why software produced using programming languages for certain operating systems only work with them. It is my understanding that binaries are specific ...
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6answers
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Why does Facebook convert PHP code to C++? [closed]

I read that Facebook started out in PHP, and then to gain speed, they now compile PHP as C++ code. If that's the case why don't they: Just program in c++? Surely there must be SOME errors/bugs when ...
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0answers
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What are the advantages of the Intel C++ compiler? [duplicate]

What are the advantages over the Intel C++ Compiler over the (much cheaper) free alternatives, such as gcc?
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How to write a very basic compiler

Advanced compilers like gcc compile codes into machine readable files according to the language in which the code has been written (e.g. C, C++, etc). In fact, they interpret the meaning of each codes ...
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6answers
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Aren't there compilers better at telling the programmer what's wrong in a code?

I have worked a little while with the Microsoft compiler from Visual C++ but I worked a long time with G++, and I remember often having bad times understanding what was wrong in my code with the ...
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5answers
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What is the history of the C compiler?

When we say that "Dennis Ritchie developed C language", do we mean that he has created a compiler (using an 'already' developed other language) which can compile the source code written in C language? ...
13
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3answers
548 views

How compilers know about other classes and their properties?

I'm writing my first programming language that is object orientated and so far so good with create a single 'class'. But, let's say I want to have to classes, say ClassA and ClassB. Provided these ...
12
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1answer
256 views

What intermediate representations can be used to reason about concurrency?

I am trying to better understand what would be required for a compiler to be able to make intelligent choices regarding concurrency on behalf of the programmer. I realize that there are many difficult ...
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Do you read C or C++ compile errors after the first one?

I never understood why C and C++ compilers try to recover from errors and continue parsing. Almost always, the first error generates a stream of bogus errors that will disappear as soon as the first ...
11
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3answers
507 views

How is type checked in a dynamic language interpreter/compiler, such as JavaScript?

In dynamic languages, such as JavaScript or Python, the type of a variable is determined at runtime. This is one reason why they are slower than typed languages such as Java. How is type checking ...
11
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2answers
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How easy should a language development framework be to use?

This is part of a series of questions which focuses on a project called the Abstraction Project, which aims to abstract the concepts used in language design in the form of a framework. Another ...
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4answers
568 views

General rules for writing a X compiler to Z in Y

Suppose X is the input language, Z is the output language, then f is the compiler, which is written in language Y. f = X -> Z Since f is only a program, I think Y can be any language, right? So ...
8
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4answers
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Why can't native machine code be easily decompiled?

With bytecode-based virtual machine languages like Java, VB.NET, C#, ActionScript 3.0, etc., you hear sometimes about how easy it is to just go download some decompiler off the Internet, run the ...
8
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9answers
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How do I know if the compiler broke my code and what do I do if it was the compiler?

Once in a while C++ code will not work when compiled with some level of optimization. It may be compiler doing optimization that breaks the code or it may be code containing undefined behavior which ...
8
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5answers
1k views

Do compiler-writers actually need to 'understand' machine code? [closed]

Might be kind of an odd question. A guy writing a C++ compiler (or whatever non-VM language): Does he need to be able to read/write raw machine language? How does that work? EDIT: I am specifically ...
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6answers
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Why don't compilers inline everything? [closed]

Sometimes compilers inline function calls. That means that they move the code of the called function into the calling function. This makes things slightly faster because there's no need to push and ...
7
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5answers
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Why is it called Just In Time?

I know what the JIT compiler is but how about why is it called that, it obviously catches exceptions Just in Time, but how and why should it be called this? Sorry if this sounds a bit vague.
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3answers
453 views

Convert an interpreter to a compiler?

First off, I know this is a question asked by MANY other programmers before me. But I couldn't find any useable resource that could help me. Well, I'm creating an programming language called "Light" ...
7
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5answers
433 views

Is it a good idea to read compiler source code? [closed]

I'm a junior in college majoring in Computer Science. Apart from writing lots of code, I want to start reading source code written by others to improve my coding skills and learn better/different ways ...
7
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2answers
964 views

Why isn't anyone talking about parallel compilation for .Net?

Builds are slow and take time. We can get MSBuild to parallelize them, but only on a single machine, not across a cluster. Why hasn't anyone come up with clustered build solutions in the .Net space? I ...
6
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6answers
3k views

Is there a language that transcompiles to C with a better syntax? [closed]

CoffeeScript is a language with a very clean Ruby-like syntax that transcompiles to JavaScript. Does the same thing exists with C? Then writing more readable and as fast as original C programs would ...
6
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3answers
457 views

What are the challenges related to typing in writing a compiler for a dynamically typed language?

In this talk, Guido van Rossum is talking (27:30) about attempts to write a compiler for Python code, commenting on it saying: turns out it's not so easy to write a compiler that maintains all the ...
6
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2answers
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Idea for a domain specific language or DLR port?

I have my undergraduate final year project coming up and am very interested in lexers, parsers, compilers and so on. I would like to use the DLR (.NET 4.0 dynamic language runtime) for my ...
5
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3answers
405 views

Should a standard include header be specified in each file or as a compiler parameter?

I've got a file such as this: #ifndef STDINCLUDE #define STDINCLUDE #include <memory> #include <stdexcept> #endif I want this file to be included in every header file, because I use ...
5
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7answers
406 views

Does the source language matter for your first (few) compilers?

I've been very interested in writing compilers but have been scared off by the complexity of it. I've finally took the plunge and started writing my first compiler and the language I picked is ...
5
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4answers
940 views

Programming Language Parser (in Java) - What would be a better design alternative for a special case?

Background I'm currently designing my own programming language as a research project. I have most of the grammar done and written down as context-free grammar, and it should be working as is. - Now ...
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4answers
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Can someone provide a short code example of compiler bootstrapping?

This Turing award lecture by Ken Thompson on topic "Reflections on Trusting Trust" gives good insight about how C compiler was made in C itself. Though I understand the crux, it still hasn't sunk in. ...
4
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2answers
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Should I commit my generated parser to source control?

I'm using a parser generator to build a compiler. Should I commit the source files produced by the parser generator? I want to commit them to avoid a dependency on the parser generator during the ...
4
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3answers
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Understanding stack frame of function call in C/C++?

I am trying to understand how stack frames are built and which variables (params) are pushed to stack in what order? Some search results showed that the C/C++ compiler decides based on operations ...
4
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2answers
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Optimizing code generation for expressions in a compiler

I don't know if this question has a simple answer or not, but I just have to ask. I'm reading this tutorial (I don't know if this is a well-known series, but it's name is 'Let's build a compiler!' by ...
4
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3answers
221 views

How do I compile my software for all platforms from Ubuntu Linux 64 bit?

I write a lot of open source software that I make available on my website. How do I get my software compiled for all relevant platforms including: Windows OS X Linux 32 bit deb Linux 64 bit deb ...
4
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324 views

Compiling multiple languages and Javascript

I have read numerous times that programming languages when making games or large software often use multiple languages / scripts together. I'm wondering how that works. How do they compile it? How ...
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Learning to implement dynamically typed language compiler [closed]

I'm interested in learning how to create a compiler for a dynamically typed language. Most compiler books, college courses and articles/tutorials I've come across are specifically for statically typed ...
4
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2answers
585 views

Implementing non-fixed length array support in a compiler

I'm thinking of building a language for PIC microcontrollers. I want to be able to use non-fixed size arrays, like this: Declare the variable as int[] Wait for input from serial connection Make the ...
3
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1answer
936 views

What is the Ken Thompson Hack? [duplicate]

I read some stuff like cm bell labs but i couldn't get it all. How does it work really? What is the logic in that?
3
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1answer
247 views

Why did GCC switch from Bison to a recursive descent parser for C++ and C?

Was there a language change that required it or some practical reason why Bison was no longer appropriate or optimal? I saw on wikipedia that they switched, referring to the GCC 3.4 and GCC 4.1 ...
3
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1answer
153 views

How do I add link-time optimization capabilities to my LLVM-based compiler?

I am designing and implementing a programming language, and I am using LLVM for native code generation. Among others, performance is a key feature of the language, and as such, I am looking to ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What would be the best way to learn about compilers, and executable formats? [duplicate]

I want to write my own compiler for my own language. Yes, it's going to be hard, and it will take long, but I think it will be worth it. I have looked into OSDev.org, and read about executable ...
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5answers
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How are operators organized in memory

How are operators organized/saved in the memory in context of a programming language. Are they procedures/functions saved somewhere and compilers just manipulate things to call these procs whenever ...
2
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Understanding hand written lexers

I am going to make a compiler for C (C99; I own the standards PDF), written in C (go figure) and looking up on how compilers work on Wikipedia has told me a lot. However, after reading up on lexers ...
2
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4answers
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What programs emit C++ code and pass it to mainstream compilers?

I suspect there're programs that instead of emitting machine code instead emit C++ code and then start a mainstream C++ compiler to compile it to machine code. I can't find any notable examples ...
2
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6answers
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Can I get a C++ Compiler to instantiate objects at compile time

I am writing some code that has a very large number of reasonably simple objects and I would like them the be created at compile time. I would think that a compiler would be able to do this, but I ...
2
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5answers
236 views

Where could SPMD parallel programming be used in a Compiler?

I have little knowledge about the subjects of compiler construction and parallel programming, so please bear with me. This is a course about compiler construction, and we are asked to learn CUDA while ...
2
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3answers
364 views

What code lays behind C++ exception?

In C and C++ you can return a single variable inside a function. Now in the case that variable is returning data, and not an error code, you can use exceptions. But how is that possible? If you data ...
2
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1answer
318 views

Brief explanation for executables in a GNU/Clang Toolchain?

I roughly understand that cc, ld and other parts are called in a certain sequence according to schemes like Makefiles etc. Some of those commands are used to generate those configs and Makefiles. And ...
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1answer
656 views

Do compilers have to be written for each model of CPU?

Do you need to take account of the different processors and their instructions when writing a compiler? Have instructions been standardised? Or what tools and techniques are available to assist with ...
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10answers
536 views

Compiler time versus programmer time [closed]

I want to briefly discuss managed or interpreted languages. It's said that they're worth developing in, because the CPU time is worth less than the programmer time required to develop in a faster ...
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Is there a more modern program than lex or yacc, which does not require JVM?

Is there a "modern" bison and flex equivalent which does not require the JVM or .NET or similar "heavy" runtimes? Thanks for comments, edit: By modern, I mean for example Antlr and another one in ...
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From a technical point of view, could JavaScript be compiled instead of interpreted?

The question title speaks for itself. I'm specifically thinking in terms of a Node.js server. Additionally, this question is assuming that you don't need eval(). Also, if this is not possible, why ...