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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Compiler development 2/2

OK, what is the status It's in the technical design phase. Graphica is a 3D scene graph language, ( the first version of ) the Graphica compiler generates Mathematica source code that will be handled by Mathematica ( another target to compile to could be Java/jReality for example ). I am at the point of studying the theory behind compilers and the selection of tools, candidates I have pre-selected are:
- javaCC,
- jparsec and
- an all handcrafted option.
More options may pop-up while studying though. I selected four books to study:
- (1) Modern compiler implementation in Java, A.Appel, CUP 2004
- (2) Programming Language Processors in Java, D.Watt, D.Brown, Prentice Hall 2000
- (3) ANT LR Reference, Terence Parr, Pragmatic Bookshelf 2007
- (4) Compilers, PT&T, Aho, et al, Pearson 2007
Title (4) is aka the Dragon book and supposedly is the best book on the subject, I'll use that as a glossary. Title (1) supports a javaCC approach, and develops MiniJava, a subset of Java, (2) builds a compiler and interpreter for a language called Triangle ( with Java ). I already downloaded the source, created a project for it in NetBeans and tested a few compiles and runs of a Triangle program which is a Pascal type of language. Several bugs have been reported over the years which I have collected and should fix. Title (3) is clearly pro ANTLR. And (4) is the authoritative reference. Some of the books may seem old but I used a list from a 2010 university syllabus.

I'll have to solve one other issue on the Mathematica side of the project, and that is how to remotely create a Notebook using a kernel I am connected to in Java. Once that is solved I can continue programming, using a stub compiler if necessary.

The purpose of Graphica is to stimulate my personal development and knowledge of computer science, so any pro-s and con-s that I might mention are clearly mine and have to be seen in that light only.

To be continued

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(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)