Tag: compilers

Episode 202: Andrew Gerrand on Go

Filed in Episodes by on March 14, 2014 1 Comment
Episode 202: Andrew Gerrand on Go

Andrew Gerrand works on the Go programming language at Google. His conversation with Jeff begins with a history of the language, including the details behind how Go was conceived and how the open source community contributes to it. Andrew explains how Go intends to simplify problems which have been motifs as Google has scaled. The […]

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Episode 61: Internals of GCC

Filed in Episodes by on July 6, 2007 4 Comments
Episode 61: Internals of GCC

This show takes a behind-the-scenes look at compilers and their inner workings, using the Gnu compiler collection (GCC) as an example. Arno interview Morgan Deters, covering all steps from the parsing of different programming languages to machine independenet optimizations and generating processor specific binary code.

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Episode 57: Compile-Time Metaprogramming

Filed in Episodes by on May 27, 2007 0 Comments
Episode 57: Compile-Time Metaprogramming

This episode is about compile-time metaprogramming, and specifically, about implementing DSLs via compile-time metaprogramming. Our guest, Laurence Tratt, illustrates the idea with his (research) programming language called Converge.

We started by talking about the importance of a custom syntax for DSL and took a brief look at the definition of DSLs by a chap called Paul Hudak. We then briefly covered the disctinction between internal and external DSLs.

More to the point of this episode, we discussed the concept of compile-time metaprogramming, and the language features necessary to achieve it: in converge, these concepts are called splice, quasi-quote and insertion. We then looked at how the Converge compiler works, and at the additional features that are required to implement DSLs based on the metaprogramming features mentioned above. Using an example, we then walked through how to implement a simple DSL.

Looking at some of the more technical details, we discussed the difference between the parse tree and the abstract syntax tree and at different kinds of parsers – specifically, the Earley parser used by Converge. In multi-stage languages (i.e. languages that execute programs and meta programs) error reporting is important, but non trivial. We discussed how this is done in Converge. We finally looked at how to integrate Converge’s expression language into your DSL and how to package DSL definition for later use.

The last segment look at the process of implementing a DSL in converge and about some of the history and practical experience with Converge. Lessons learned from building Converge wrap up the episode.

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