A compiler is a computer program (or set of programs) that transforms source code written in a programming language (the source language) into another computer language (the target language, often having a binary form known as object code).

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What is the cost and role of parsing technology in modern compilers and other programming language processors [closed]

There are many questions on the site opposing parser generators and hand-written parsers in programming language application, such as compilers or interpreters. One argument often invoked, by both ...
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54 views

Best way to handle language interoperability

Background In a language like F#, direct interoperability with most other .NET languages is possible. For example, it is possible to use classes written in C# directly in F#, and it is possible to ...
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Why doesn't %prec have an effect in this bison grammar? [migrated]

Consider the following Bison grammar (this is stripped down from a much larger grammar I'm working on): %token ident %left '+' %left CALLPREC %% start: add ';' ; expr: ident | call | add ; call: ...
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4answers
432 views

When does it make sense to compile my own language to C code first?

When designing an own programming language, when does it make sense to write a converter that takes the source code and converts it to C or C++ code so that I can use an existing compiler like gcc to ...
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2answers
71 views

Debug symbols change application execution [closed]

I have to set up remote debugging for a multi threaded application running on a embedded device. C++ is the language. I've gotten so far and got the remote debugging working for a simple application, ...
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4answers
1k views

Why implement a lexer as a 2d array and a giant switch?

I'm slowly working to finish my degree, and this semester is Compilers 101. We're using the Dragon Book. Shortly into the course and we're talking about lexical analysis and how it can be implemented ...
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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 ...
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1answer
295 views

Do compilers un-inline recurrent expressions?

Does a compiler look for recurrent expressions to convert it into 'function' to reduce binary size and improve performance? Of course, the obvious answer might be "some do it, some don't", so I ask ...
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5answers
541 views

Are C static libraries frowned upon? [closed]

There are 2 arguments for having shared libraries: It helps reduce disk space. When a shared library is updated, all the binaries depending on it get the update. There is mainly one drawback for ...
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2answers
95 views

Microchip XC8: How to pack code against an upper limit?

I have a project for a PIC16F1454 that needs some custom linking. Basically, I've separated my code into two parts that can be downloaded separately in the field and thus update (almost) all of the ...
2
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2answers
114 views

In which stage of compilation is “typedef” resolved by the compiler?

There are different stages of compilation Such as Preprocessing stage Syntax analysis Semantic analysis Intermediate Code generation Machine Code generation Optimization Linking My question here ...
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4answers
619 views

How does Python compile some its code in C?

I read that some constructs of Python are more efficient because they are compiled in C. https://wiki.python.org/moin/PythonSpeed/PerformanceTips Some of the examples used were map() and filter(). I ...
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3answers
126 views

How exactly is an Abstract Syntax Tree created?

I think I understand the goal of an AST, and I've built a couple of tree structures before, but never an AST. I'm mostly confused because the nodes are text and not number, so I can't think of a nice ...
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2answers
385 views

C++ Without Source Files

Bjarne Stroustrup mentions in his book "The C++ Programming Language, 4th Edition" that not all C++ implementations use files to store and compile code: There are systems that do not store, ...
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2answers
97 views

Does a custom scripting language require it's own compiler/assembler? [closed]

Or is the script generally converted to a known language such as C++ first? And how generally to you integrate a scripting language with the say a game engine?
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5answers
2k views

What does “context-free” mean in the term “context-free grammar”?

Given the amount of material that tries to explain what a context-free grammar (CFG) is, I found it surprising that very few (in my sample, less than 1 in 20) give an explanation on why such grammars ...
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2answers
191 views

Writing a superset of a programming language as a transcompiler

My idea is to write a superset of C# (but question is not language-specific), so that it source-to-source compiles (transcompiles) to C# itself (fall-through switch clauses, default method parameters ...
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9answers
7k views

Why was the first compiler written before the first interpreter?

The first compiler was written by Grace Hopper in 1952 while the Lisp interpreter was written in 1958 by John McCarthy's student Steve Russell. Writing a compiler seems like a much harder problem than ...
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1answer
121 views

Coding shortcuts for type conversions or similar [closed]

bool? example = null; is actually Nullable<System.Boolean> example = null; Now for the bool to System.Boolean conversion or actually compile-time replacement: We ususally hardly care, as it ...
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1answer
170 views

Compiler warnings and errors [duplicate]

I come from a C# background before my existing role. I am developing a VB.NET app. The code I inherited had option strict set to off and all other directives set to 'None'. I have recently switched ...
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1answer
46 views

How to keep AST for feature access?

Consider such code (let's say it is C++) Foo::Bar.get().X How one should keep the AST for this -- as "tree" with root at left Foo(Bar(get(X)), or with root at right (((Foo)Bar)get)X? Or maybe as a ...
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1answer
515 views

Why isn't there a python compiler to native machine code?

As I understand, the cause of the speed difference between compiled languages and python is, that the first compiles code all way to the native machine's code, whereas python compiles to python ...
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1answer
186 views

How does an optimizing compiler react to a program with nested loops?

Say you have a bunch of nested loops. public void testMethod() { for(int i = 0; i<1203; i++){ //some computation for(int k=2; k<123; k++){ ...
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2answers
130 views

How do I simplify a compiler/interpreter?

Recently I wrote an interpreter for operations on sparse matrices (a "sparse matrix calculator") in lex/yacc. The language is still very bare bones and doesn't even include control structures or ...
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2answers
165 views

Is it possible to implement a native compiler for a 'managed language' such as Java?

In most cases, it is possible to create both a native compiler and an interpreter for a programming language. The compiler would simply convert the source code to machine code, and the interpreter ...
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2answers
76 views

Storing tokens during lexing stage

I am currently implementing a lexer that breaks XML files up into tokens, I'm considering ways of passing the tokens onto a parser to create a more useful data structure out of said tokens - my ...
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2answers
289 views

Are (C) object files created with different compilers binary-compatible?

I understand that C++ compilers are not compatible with each other. However, I was unable to find anything on this topic for C in particular. I know that the C standard leaves a lot of room for ...
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1answer
148 views

LLVM case: is the success due to the algorithms? [closed]

I'm not sure if this is a subjective question, I hope not but I'm not proficient with LLVM so I'm just wondering: how come it's become so popular and so widespread used in the industry? Were the ...
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1answer
336 views

Is the microsoft C compiler (cl.exe) a compiler driver or a compiler?

gccand clang are both known to be compiler drivers. As such, the gcc executable does not compile anything itself. Rather, it calls the compiler (cc1), assembler (as) and linker (ld) with the right ...
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3answers
186 views

Why can't we program without compiling (using an IDE/debugger)? [closed]

I find it very interesting that even people who design a particular framework still have to rely on compiling to ensure the code is correct. I don't mean for 100s of lines of code, but 2-10 lines. I ...
5
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1answer
252 views

Why do some embedded projects shun cross-compiling?

As I've been getting into embedded systems I've noticed that some projects (Arch Arm and OpenBSD for example) frown upon cross compiling. What is the reasoning for this? Is a cross-compiled binary ...
0
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4answers
582 views

How does assembly relate to machine/binary code

How does assembly relate to machine/binary code. For example here is how to print to the screen in mikeOS(a small pure assembly OS), mikeOS it uses NASM to assemble. BITS 16 ORG 32768 ...
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2answers
414 views

How do we go from assembly to machine code(code generation) [closed]

I know this is abstract as it's all about signals and switch - (electronics) - underneath, but is there a easy way to visualize the step between assembling code to machine code. For example if you ...
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4answers
175 views

Does boostrapping limit the achievable speed of the new compiler?

I have a good grasp on how the C compiler was boostrapped from itself and how that must have been very efficient, since the first pre-bootstrapping version was written in assembler, which is as low ...
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4answers
610 views

Why don't compilers support non-English keywords? [closed]

When you read C, C#, Java, Python, PHP and many other programming languages all the syntax is written in English. Simple code like this if (X+1 > 4) { } while (A == true) { } Is written in ...
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3answers
377 views

Why do some compilers generate direct machine code?

I was taking this course - CMU 18-447, Computer Architecture at Carnegie Mellon to brush my knowledge and concepts. They say that most of the machine level details and implementations is taken care ...
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4answers
877 views

Why is it so hard to recruit for compiler[-related] jobs? [closed]

Last week, a few colleauges and I were participating in career fairs at three major universities (two here in the US and one in England), where we were trying (without much success) to recruit for ...
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5answers
279 views

How to alter the code at runtime in an interpreter?

While reading the difference between Compiler and interpreter , I found the following differences fromt he internet. Advantages of using compiler: Since compiler converts the program to native code ...
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4answers
658 views

Why languages that compile to C/C++ generate unreadable, cryptic code?

I'm willing to compile certain language to C or C++ for some speedups. My idea was, though, to generate readable code and use structures such std::vector and similar wherever I can, expecting CLANG to ...
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3answers
464 views

Are VB.NET to C# converters actually compilers?

Whenever I see programs or scripts that convert between high-level programming languages they are always labelled as converters. "VB.NET to C# converter" on Google results in expected, useful hits. ...
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3answers
193 views

Requiring a specific order of compilaiton

When designing a compiled programming language, is it a bad idea to require a specific order of compilation of separate units, according to their dependencies? To illustrate what I mean, consider C. ...
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1answer
238 views

How small is the footprint of a small C compiler?

This week I could optimize using a reduced C library that allowed a drastic shrinkage in code size - from about 60 K to about 6 K and then we could load the code in the 8 K on-chip memory of an FPGA ...
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3answers
201 views

What process do typical (the majority) of high level language compilers use when changing a source-code's variable name to a machine code name?

Do long (very long) variable names slow down the compilation of source code? I'm aware that the length of variables has 0% impact on interpretation as the compiler changes them to machine code which ...
6
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1answer
175 views

.NET BCL Change Analysis - Uses Beyond Sating Curiosity

This is part of a series of questions which focuses on the Abstraction Project, which aims to abstract the concepts used in language design in the form of a framework. There is a sister project to ...
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2answers
146 views

Will a binary include methods that are not called in the source code?

[Potentially misleading title, but I'm not sure how best to word it.] Theoretical question on compilers and language design. Say I'm re-implementing a method in a code base. Instead of removing or ...
3
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1answer
476 views

Does setting a function public affect the C# compiler's ability to inline the function as an optimization?

This could be either for the .NET or Mono compilers. I know that under certain conditions the compiler can inline functions (e.g. small, single call site, etc.) as an optimization. However, if the ...
7
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1answer
293 views

How to use BDD to unit test a compiler?

My team is writing a compiler for a domain-specific language (DSL) which will be integrated into an IDE. Right now, we are focused on the analysis phase of the compiler. We are not using any existing ...
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5answers
886 views

Does Scrum make sense when implementing a new compiler backend?

I have an existing language that I need to port to a new platform. I'll probably attempt this by changing the backend of the existing compiler. It is a significant amount of work to re-write the ...
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1answer
165 views

Compiler design decision for dynamic method invocation

I asked about Compiler interpretation of overriding vs overloading on StackOverflow, and got good answers, but this led me to another question that I'm not sure is appropriate for SO, but I think is ...
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2answers
502 views

Learning YACC nowadays, does it make sense? [closed]

I have a huge project that is using YACC and I would need to fix a bug in it. I might ask someone else who wrote that to fix it but I'm interested in how compilers work. Does it make sense to learn ...