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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37
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12answers
8k views

Should I use a parser generator or should I roll my own custom lexer and parser code?

What specific advantages and disadvantages of each way to working on a programming language grammar? Why/When should I roll my own? Why/When should I use a generator?
1
vote
0answers
104 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Compiler/OS Design - Where to start [closed]

I have a fairly strong background in C and Assembly and I am starting to look into basic compiler and operating systems design, but my biggest problem is where I should really start, seeing as both ...
0
votes
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
3 views

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: ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Objective-C an Interpreted or Compiled language?

I want to know if Objective-C is an interpreted or a compiled language.
5
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
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, ...
14
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
543 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
473 views

Does a prose to code compiler exist? [closed]

I have seen some horrible code in my time including people virtually duplicating the code in comments // add 4 to x x+=4; // for each i in 0 to 9 for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) { // multiply x ...
5
votes
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, ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
31
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
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?
0
votes
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 ...
48
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
936 views

Writing a new programming language - when and how to bootstrap datastructures?

I'm in the process of writing my own programming language which, thus far, has been going great in terms of what I set out to accomplish. However, now, I'd like to bootstrap some pre-existing data ...
19
votes
4answers
19k views

Is Python Interpreted or Compiled?

This is just a wondering I had while reading about interpreted and compiled languages. Ruby is no doubt an interpreted language, since source code is compiled by an interpreter at the point of ...
0
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
7
votes
9answers
779 views

Compiler Warnings

Many compilers have warning messages to warn the programmers about potential runtime, logic and performance errors, most times, you quickly fix them, but what about unfixable warnings? How do you ...
-1
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
517 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 ...
1
vote
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++){ ...
1
vote
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 ...
12
votes
13answers
1k views

Is it true that first versions of C compilers ran for dozens of minutes and required swapping floppy disks between stages?

Inspired by this question. I heard that some very very early versions of C compilers for personal computers (I guess it's around 1980) resided on two or three floppy disks and so in order to compile ...
5
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
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 ...
0
votes
4answers
583 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Computation Program Not Running at 100% CPU Utilization

I have a program which has a GUI and performs some very heavy mathematical computations for a couple of minutes and then outputs a result. When I try to directly interface it through its DLL's, it ...
0
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
290 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

When to pay for C++ compilers [closed]

Recently I have began to wonder when developers should pay for compilers. Compilers come for free with most platforms or there is a free version easily obtainable. Example: OS X - GCC and Clang/LLVM ...
1
vote
5answers
281 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
22
votes
5answers
28k views

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 ...
-3
votes
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 ...
12
votes
12answers
1k views

Are there any compilers that attempt to fix syntax errors on their own? [closed]

I heard a while back that there used to be a compiler that attempted to fix syntax errors by analyzing context and inferring what was intended. Does such a compiler really exist? Obviously it has ...
1
vote
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. ...
1
vote
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
832 views

What does scannerless parsing have to do with the “Dangling Else Problem”?

I do not understand this sentence from the Wikipedia article on the Dangling Else problem: [The Dangling Else problem] is a problem that often comes up in compiler construction, especially ...
2
votes
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 ...