Re: [QUERY] A "ignorant newbie" question about compiler-writing

Conor O'Neill <>
9 Jan 1997 22:04:19 -0500

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[QUERY] A "ignorant newbie" question about compiler-writing. (1997-01-02)
Re: [QUERY] A "ignorant newbie" question about compiler-writing (Conor O'Neill) (1997-01-09)
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From: Conor O'Neill <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 9 Jan 1997 22:04:19 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 97-01-013
Keywords: practice

synaptik <> wrote:
>My question is... what is it that makes compiler development so
>difficult? Forgive my ignorance, but I have always thought it would
>be a fun project, but then become disillusioned when I pick up a book
>on compiler theory and it doesn't appear "straight forward."

Do not underestimate the sheer volume of 'donkey-work' required
to cope with the multiplicity of types and operators, etc.
For example, in C, expressions can be evaluated in six different
types: int, unsigned int, long, unsigned long, float, and double.
This means that each operator needs to be written for each type
making a huge amount of work just to implement simple expressions.

Conor O'Neill, Aethos Communication Systems Ltd, Bristol, UK

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