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am 2. Juni 1998
If you are getting into compiler construction today, you will see a lot of "cutting edge" stuff which discusses minute details of optimization but assumes you are already versed in the art. You may also see a few "baby books" that don't require any real background but also don't give you any real depth.
This is the Standard reference on compiler construction. It assumes you are familiar with programming, and it gives you enough tools and techniques to write good compilers. More importantly, it is the book that will give you the grounding in terms of art and technique that more recent works require for comprehension.
In short, this is the book that can take you from knowing programming to knowing how to build compilers. There are cutting edge things it doesn't cover, but it gives you the knowledge to understand them when you get to them.
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am 23. März 2000
There's no doubt that this book is very comprehensive and probably covers just about everything there is to know about compilers. The problem is that it's TOO comprehensive. It radiates it comprehensive. It drips with comprehensivity. If fact, it gets completely bogged down and utterly lost (as will you) in its own comprehensiveness. There's just too much info there.
Furthermore, and even worse, it has some serious organizational problems. It reads like a the author decided to publish the notes he sketched out before actually writing the book. From beginning to end, this book is just a long list of ideas. No real structure. No overarching lessons or conclusions drawn. It's just a 796 page pile of information and it's left up to you to find the good stuff (which, unfortunately makes up about 20% of the book). These guys needed to cut back on trying to cover everything under the sun and work more on giving this book some structure and coherence, which it sorely lacks.
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am 26. April 1999
Of the "classics" in computer science, this one is the worst. It is poorly written and difficult to follow. Concepts are inadequately explained. There is no logical progression of ideas. Fundamental principles are mixed with details, and there is no sharp distinction between the two. One gets the impression that Aho has an excellent command of compilers but a poor command of English.
The book has a great many redeeming advantages. It is very dense, it contains alot of material, and it is quite comprehensive. However the other classics manage to be dense and explanatory at the same time (K&R, Structure & Interpretation of Comp. Programs).
This book would make a good reference or a good adjunct to a class. It is a bad explanation. People looking to learn compiler construction from a book alone should look elsewhere.
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am 15. August 1999
I took a class during my college career that used this book for the main text. It really was a handy item for me to have, and when I finish school, I plan to read it again and make another compiler for _fun_. Anyway, I thought the book was very helpful, and would recommend it to any newcomer to compilers like I was.
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am 5. Januar 2000
Leicht ist der Stoff bestimmt nicht. Dieses Buch beschreibt viele Themen gut, eher schwerer zu verstehen war das Thema: Attribute. Ansonsten werden alle Themen mit Beispielen erklärt. Ausserdem leicht zu lesen, wenn man in Theoretische Informatik gewandt ist.
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am 25. November 1999
I had to write a CORBA idl compiler and my last acquaintance with compiler programming was a college course 15 years old. I found this book to be an indispensible review and it helped me greatly, especially in dealing with the grammar issues.
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am 29. September 1999
This is a comprehensive and easy to understand text. It covers all the fundamental stages of compiler design, with plenty of explanation (both practical and theoretical). It doesn't exhaustively cover every conceivable topic, but it does leave you with a good taste of what's involved. Of course, it is not a book for beginning programmers, and there are very few code examples. Judging by the comments of some reviewers, I would suspect that they gave poor reviews because they lacked the prerequisite background (familiarity with a good HLL like C, data structures, mathematical background etc). As with any 'advanced' topic in computer science, there is quite a lot expected from you. Upon first reading, some topics occasionally seem overwhelming. Welcome to Earth. This is where your library card comes in. Do a little research and then come back to this text; you'll find that it is well organized and extremely clear. If you want a cookbook this book isn't for you. If you want a solid understanding of compiler fundamentals then this book is your best bet.
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am 11. Oktober 1996
This is THE compiler design book. It's used in both undergraduate and graduate level computer engineering courses throughout the Western world. The immediate descendent of the classic Principles of Compiler Design by Aho and Ullman (the "Dragon Book"), it's 796 pages (hardback) of algorithms, diagrams, and code segments from (mostly) C and Pascal perspectives.

From the contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Compiling

Chapter 2: A Simple One-Pass Compiler

Chapter 3. Lexical Analysis

Chapter 4. Syntax Analysis

Chapter 5: Syntax-Directed Translation

Chapter 6: Type Checking

Chapter 7: Run-Time Environments

Chapter 8: Intermediate Code Generation

Chapter 9: Code Generation

Chapter 10: Code Optimization

Chapter 11: Want to Write a Compiler?

Chapter 12: A Look at Some Compilers

Appendix: A Compiler Project

It would be silly to recommend the text to students, because if you're taking collegiate or occupational compiler design, you'll be using it anyway. Instructors thinking of adopting the text can write me for specifics. This text is exlusively used by the Computer Science department at Ashland University
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am 15. Januar 1998
"The Dragon" is the standard text on compiler theory and practices, and a must to have in your library if you are into compiler writing. It covers all what could be referred as the fundamentals of compiler engineering. When I first got my copy of it, late 1986 it soon became my number one reference, although I had most of the other compiler titles as well on my bookshelves. It completely covered my needs for a reference in those days, from parsing through global optimization.

But on the negative side. It can no longer be considered as a the complete reference as it used to be. Due to it's age, it is obviously missing totally on today's advanced topics, specially on native code optimization for the state of the art super-pipelined, super-scalar RISC architectures, and special issues concerning object oriented languages of today, and technologies like JIT compilation.
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am 14. März 2000
During each compiler stage (lexical analysis, syntax analysis, translation, type checking, translation, code generation, and code optimization) multiple methods, strategies, and algorithms are presented. This comprehensive book examines items that are unique to the various languages presented (Fortran, C, and Pascal); there are even sections on dealing with estimation of types (10.12) and symbolic debugging of optimized code (10.13). Wow! The exercises are thorough, challenging, and thought provoking. Examples are interleaved with the discussion and algorithms. There is an excellent set of historical and bibliographic information at the end of each chapter. The use of automated tools such as lex, yacc, and compiler-generators is discussed throughout the text. This is an advanced book, however a good understanding of compilers can be obtained without understanding the details of every algorithm.
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