|Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters email@example.com (1994-08-18)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters kendall@pot.East.Sun.COM (1994-08-19)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters firstname.lastname@example.org (1994-08-19)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters email@example.com (1994-08-19)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters firstname.lastname@example.org (1994-08-20)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters email@example.com (1994-08-22)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters firstname.lastname@example.org (John Lacey) (1994-08-22)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters email@example.com (1994-08-23)|
|Re: Looking for a book with emphasis on interpreters firstname.lastname@example.org (1994-08-23)|
|Date:||Sat, 20 Aug 1994 15:56:57 GMT|
kendall@pot.East.Sun.COM (Sam Kendall - Sun Microsystems Labs BOS) writes:
> You might look at the Proceedings of the SIGPLAN '87 Symposium on
> Interpreters and Interpretive Techniques. Since then I don't think
> there's been much new to say about interpreters.
> [Good suggestion. There were a lot of good papers. -John]
I agree with the assessment of these Proceedings. There are also a couple
of good books that discuss the implementation of specific interpreters. I
like Budd's _A Little Smalltalk_ and Griswold's & Griswold's _The
Implementation of the Icon Programming Language_. Friedman, Wand, and
Haynes have written _Essentials of Programming Languages_ which looks to be
interesting, but I haven't gotten into it in detail. I also like the
discussion on interpretation issues by Debaere and Van Campenhout in
_Interpretation and Instruction Path Coprocessing_.
What I am wondering about is why there has been so little written of late
on the topic of interpreters. Do people feel that we have learned all that
can be learned/invented on this topic? If so, then I would have thought
that we would have seen someone's attempt at the definitive book on
interpreter technologies published by now.
Is it just that other technology areas are sexier or more interesting
(e.g., things such as portable backends to compilers, squeezing the last
cycle out of processor pipelines, and ways to speed up object oriented,
method dispatch)? Are interpreters just too pedestrian to bother writing
I, for one, would love to see a cohesive description of the tradeoffs
surrounding different interpreter techniques - especially those related
to runtime issues. (Parsing issues/techniques are well covered elsewhere.)
What are the cost/benefits associated with the different threading
techniques? How can garbage collection be integrated with an interpreter?
Can the same interpreter be fitted with different collectors based on the
costs of the collectors and the needs of the user? How can coroutines,
closures, and continuations be handled? What are the different ways to mix
interpreted code with compiled code for better performance? Method
dispatching, backtracking, tail recursion, just to name a few topics.
I realize that this would require the author(s) to cover a lot of ground,
but since the field appears to be fairly quiet perhaps the time is write [sic]
for such a book.
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