Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Johnny Billquist bqt at
Fri Feb 20 19:46:04 CST 2015

On 2015-02-21 02:40, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> "Bootstrapping" compiler code is quite common.  So, it's not unusual to
> find FORTRAN source code in FORTRAN compilers, etc.  I doubt that many
> compilers are written entirely in assembly nowadays.

I would dare to say that pretty much none are, and none have been for 
the last 30 years at least.

> For example, back in the late 70s, I put together a business BASIC
> compiler for the 8080/8085.  Theoretically, it was coded in assembly,
> but it wasn't 8085 assembly.  The technique was to code in a
> platform-independent assembly language whose data types and operations
> match the language elements that you're working with--words, numbers,
> tokens, etc.  Then one codes a small emulator in whatever is handy for
> the target system to get code generation shaken out.  Finally, one
> implements the final compiler by taking the specialized machine and
> converting them via macros to native assembly.

Yes. That is pretty much how compilers work today as well. You compile 
to some abstract intermediate form, and then you have a backend that 
translates into actual machine code for the target machine.

It's been that way for a long time...


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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