Introduction to Compiler Construction in a Java World

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Features

  • Presents a hands-on introduction to compiler construction, Java technology, and software engineering principles
  • Teaches how to fit code into existing projects
  • Describes a JVM-to-MIPS code translator, along with optimization techniques
  • Discusses well-known compilers from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft
  • Includes end-of-chapter exercises that encourage students to write tests, re-factor code, and create new code
  • Provides Java code on a supplementary website

Figure slides available with qualifying course adoption

Summary

Immersing students in Java and the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Introduction to Compiler Construction in a Java World enables a deep understanding of the Java programming language and its implementation. The text focuses on design, organization, and testing, helping students learn good software engineering skills and become better programmers.

The book covers all of the standard compiler topics, including lexical analysis, parsing, abstract syntax trees, semantic analysis, code generation, and register allocation. The authors also demonstrate how JVM code can be translated to a register machine, specifically the MIPS architecture. In addition, they discuss recent strategies, such as just-in-time compiling and hotspot compiling, and present an overview of leading commercial compilers. Each chapter includes a mix of written exercises and programming projects.

By working with and extending a real, functional compiler, students develop a hands-on appreciation of how compilers work, how to write compilers, and how the Java language behaves. They also get invaluable practice working with a non-trivial Java program of more than 30,000 lines of code. Fully documented Java code for the compiler is accessible at http://www.cs.umb.edu/j--/

Table of Contents

Compilation
Compilers
Why Should We Study Compilers?
How Does a Compiler Work? The Phases of Compilation
An Overview of the j-- to JVM Compiler
The j-- Compiler Source Tree
The Organization of This Book

Lexical Analysis
Introduction
Scanning Tokens
Regular Expressions
Finite State Automata
Nondeterministic Finite-State Automata (NFA) vs. Deterministic Finite-State Automata (DFA)
Regular Expressions to NFA
NFA to DFA
A Minimal DFA
JavaCC: A Tool for Generating Scanners

Parsing
Introduction
Context-Free Grammars and Languages
Top-down Deterministic Parsing
Bottom-up Deterministic Parsing
Parser Generation Using JavaCC

Type Checking
Introduction
The j--Types
j-- Symbol Tables
Pre-Analysis of j-- Programs
Analysis of j-- Programs
The Visitor Pattern and the AST Traversal Mechanism
Programming Language Design and Symbol Table Structure
Attribute Grammars

JVM Code Generation
Introduction
Generating Code for Classes and Their Members
Generating Code for Control and Logical Expressions
Generating Code for Message Expressions, Field Selection and Array Expressions
Generating Code for Assignment and Similar Operations
Generating Code for String Concatenation
Generating Code for Casts

Translating JVM Code to MIPS Code
Introduction
SPIM and the MIPS Architecture
Our Translator

Register Allocation
Introduction
Naïve Register Allocation
Local Register Allocation
Global Register Allocation

Celebrity Compilers
Introduction
The Java HotSpot Compiler
The Eclipse Compiler for Java (ECJ)
The GNU Java Compiler (GCJ)
Microsoft C# Compiler for .NET Framework

Appendix A: Setting Up and Running j--
Appendix B: The j-- Language
Appendix C: Java Syntax
Appendix D: The JVM, Class Files and the
CLEmitter
Appendix E: MIPS and the SPIM Simulator

Bibliography

Index

Further Readings and Exercises appear at the end of each chapter.

Author Bio(s)

Bill Campbell is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Dr. Campbell has been teaching compilers for more than twenty years and has commercial experience working with AT&T, Intermetrics Inc., Apple Computer, and Entitlenet. His areas of expertise include software engineering, object-oriented analysis, design and programming, and programming language implementation.

Swami Iyer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he has taught classes on introductory programming and data structures. His research interests are in the fields of dynamical systems, complex networks, and evolutionary game theory.

Bahar Akbal-Delibas is a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she is the teaching assistant for the compilers course. Her research interests include structural bioinformatics and software modeling.

Editorial Reviews

"… a strong contribution to the … covers most standard compiler construction techniques well, and does a good job of exposing students to actual implementation environments. … Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
—C. Vickery, Queens College of CUNY in CHOICE Magazine

"… an excellent book to use for individual study or in an upper-level undergraduate or first-year graduate course. No previous background in the theory of computation is needed, but a solid Java background is essential and some previous experience with programming languages (scope, stack allocation, types, and so on) would be useful. Knowledge of assembly language programming will be helpful if the course will include the chapters on register allocation and translating to MIPS."
—Computing Reviews, March 2014