Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 11, NO. 1 / JANUARY 1985 / PAGE 172

Writing interactive compilers and interpreters. (book reviews) Susan Glinert-Cole.

Book Report

Some of us are curious about the tools we use. For those who wonder how compilers and interpreters work, but lack either the patience or the background to wade through the classic compiler construction texts, P.J. Brown's Writing Interactive Compilers and Interpreters is highly recommended. Written with charming humor in a relatively nontechnical manner, it is a wonderful introduction to the subject. The first part of the book is a thoughtful discussion of the points to be considered in compiler/interpreter construction. Most of the (very, very short) listings are in Basic or pseudo-code, but don't let this put you off. The simplicity can be deceiving, because the points he makes with the examples illustrate the important concepts well.

The second part of the book wrestles with Reverse Polish, tokens, and other exotica characteristic of computer languages. The book does not supply enough detail for a serious project, but the foundation laid with part two is strong enough to support any number of secondary advanced texts on the subject.

Review Grade: A