Good books on language design

Good books on language design

Post by James Harr » Fri, 23 Jul 2004 07:13:45


Hi,

Can anyone who has developed a new programming language recommend books or other
publications that were helpful? I can start the ball rolling with two I have,

Programming Language Pragmatics, Michael L Scott
Programming Language Essentials, Henri E Bal and *** Grune.

Both are good for reviewing existing languages but not ideal for designing a new
one.
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by torben » Fri, 23 Jul 2004 20:57:11

"James Harris" <no.email.please> writes:


I have heard good things about

Bruce J. MacLennan,
Principles of Programming Languages Design, Evaluation, and
Implementation, third ed.,
Oxford University Press, 1999

but I have only read extracts.

Another good classical reference is

P.J. Landin,
The next 700 programming languages,
Communications of the ACM Volume 9 , Issue 3 (March 1966), Pages: 157 - 166

However, I find that there is no substitute for having used a wide
variety of languages, experimental as well as mainstream. Good
knowledge of compiler construction is also a must, as you will know
what will be problematical for the compiler.

Torben

 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by cr8819 » Sat, 24 Jul 2004 08:06:14


other
have,
a new
existing languages are one of the best places to find ideas, and talking to
people is a good way to eliminate ideas that are stupid...

something worthwhile is to try looking at various languages, and
determining:
what are possible uses for a given approach or feature;
what are possible costs (eg: in terms of things they might rule out, or in
terms of the implementation);
is there any value-added to the programmer, or is it just an implementor
frill;
why they did it that way, and is there another way to do it;
...


and yes, experience will also point out things that are major design flops
(thus one can expect signifigant issues with probably their first-few
languages...).
eg: my previous language suffered from a few limitations inherent in scheme
(some implementation related, some semantic), many which were a result of my
own errors, along with several horridly designed object systems (I don't
remember exactly, but I think this part of the language was redesigned
probably about 4 to 6 times).

just my oppinion:
if something starts looking like a bit of a design issue, don't be afraid to
remove it and redesign (it is better than leaving it for too long until it
turns into something that can no-longer be reasonably fixed...).

(me just considering adding a feature which has been floating around in my
head for several years but is just now reasonable...).


books:
dunno, largely I have just used the "looking at what exists" and "talking to
people" approaches.
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by r » Sat, 24 Jul 2004 13:17:30


XXXX@XXXXX.COM

Ask in comp.lang.forth

Thinking Forth, Brodie

My osimplay...

ftp://linux01.gwdg.de/pub/cLIeNUX/interim

Knuth




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"The Vision Thing", original ASCII-art by

Rick (Richard Allen) Hohensee
independant candidate for President
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by cr8819 » Sat, 24 Jul 2004 14:46:12


or other
have,
forth is cool but almost ensures that very few (if any) people are actually
going to code in it...

forth is still a good lang to look at, as it can give some ideas, eg, for
the design of an interpreter.

one still needs to decide for themselves though.
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by gabriele r » Sun, 25 Jul 2004 01:12:49

il Wed, 21 Jul 2004 23:13:45 +0100, "James Harris" <no.email.please>
ha scritto::


I did not developed any programming languages, but I just came across
David Lester's "Implementing Functional Languages" (out of print but
available online). Someone would express a judgement on it ?
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by James Harr » Sun, 25 Jul 2004 06:55:52


other
new

For the record, based on the recommendations given I have bought these,

"Principles of Programming Languages: Design, Evaluation and Implementation"
Bruce J. MacLennan ?9.75
"Programming Language Design Concepts"
David A. Watt ?0.99
and downloaded David Lester's "Implementing Functional Languages"

Thanks to all for the advice.
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by r » Sun, 25 Jul 2004 15:36:02

XXXX@XXXXX.COM

Chuck Moore is one of the very short list of great programmers ever. Forth
as a whole is not the only lesson of Forth. His scaling operator, for
example, is how you do that, regardless.




I'm Rick Hohensee, and I created this message... @$%*%*%$$@*@$*@*@###*
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"The Vision Thing", original ASCII-art by

Rick (Richard Allen) Hohensee
independant candidate for President

 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by cr8819 » Sun, 25 Jul 2004 17:27:55


books
I
actually
scaling operator?...

well, forth does have lessons, largely about a general way to structure
interpreters...

forth does not present itself that well as a programming language, but it
does at least look like a good alternative to assembler. a high level
language can be made, and can be compiled directly to something resembling
forth...

many common bytecode interpreters bear similarity to the general design of
forth with a fixed set of words, a few things missing, and a few things that
go outside it (eg: occasional bytecodes with fixed arguments or whatever).
forth itself would not be that effective for bytecode, the bytecode needs a
little more cooking, but the differences are minor...

however, like assembler, many programmers will generally refuse to code in
it directly, so other languages are needed, even if in many cases they are
not technically an improvement...

(once again are the idle thoughts that it would be cool as a misc project to
write a standalone bytecoded forth interpreter in assembler, and then maybe
writing other interpreters and the drivers in the bytecoded forth, but there
is little reason really, the only real use would probably be as a
distraction...).

the real use wouldn't really show up until one wrote pretty much an
interpreted unix, and performance would likely be worse than one written in
c...
maybe a completely different architecture could be done, but there is little
point to this either...

or something...
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by r » Tue, 27 Jul 2004 15:48:35

XXXX@XXXXX.COM

You have much to learn.


 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by cr8819 » Tue, 27 Jul 2004 16:44:31

"cLIeNUX user" <r@cLIeNUX.> wrote in message
news: XXXX@XXXXX.COM ...
two
for
Forth
resembling
of
that
whatever).
a
in
are
to
maybe
there
in
little
eh?
what about?...




 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by Marco van » Tue, 27 Jul 2004 17:52:51


[.]

Well, the both of you could learn a thing of two about pruning posts to
acceptable sizes?
 
 
 

Good books on language design

Post by cr8819 » Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:45:16


oh yeah...