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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Compiler Construction
Author:
Niklaus Wirth
ISBN:
0 201 40353 6
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
176pp+disk
Price:
£24-60
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
compilers
Appeared in:
10-6
This is an extremely interesting book. In a world where books are expected to have hundreds of pages it has less than two hundred. I suspect that any author with a lesser reputation would feel obliged to write at least three times as much to cover the same objectives.

The author's primary premise is that those studying software development should have an understanding of how executables are created. Not only is a compiler an excellent example of a program but in order to write one you need to understand source code, machine architecture and how the later works to produce desired results.

Studying (just reading would be a waste of your time) will not turn you into a compiler implementer; that is not the author's intention. It will not turn you into an Oberon user though the author may hope that you may find the subset of the language the compiler is for interesting enough that you wish to learn more about it. It won't even turn you into an excellent programmer. However the author believes that it will lay foundations on which you will be able to build skills based on insight and understanding. I think he has a view worth considering.