Stephen A. Edwards Columbia University Crown
  COMS W4115
Programming Languages and Translators
Spring 2006 (CVN)
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  The goal of PLT is to teach you both about the structure of computer programming languages and the basics of implementing compilers for such languages.

The course will focus mostly on traditional imperative and object-oriented languages, but will also cover functional and logic programming, concurrency issues, and some aspects of scripting languages. Homework and tests will cover language issues. You will design and implement a language of your own design in a semester-long group project.

While few of you will ever implement a full commercial compiler professionally, the concepts, techniques, and tools you will learn have broad application.

  Java fluency: You will be writing a large Java program and must know the language well.
  COMS W3157 Advanced Programming: You will be dividing into teams to build a compiler, so you need to have some idea how to keep this under control. Quick test: you need to know about Makefiles and source code control systems.
  COMS W3261 Computability and Models of Computation: You will need an understanding of formal languages and grammar to build the parser and lexical analyzer. Quick test: you must know about regular expressions, context-free grammars, and NFAs.
Date  Lecture  Notes  Reading  Due 
January 17   Intro. to Languages   pdf   Ch. 1, 2      
January 19   Language Design   pdf        
January 24   Language Processors   pdf        
January 26   Scripting Languages   pdf        
January 31   Syntax and Parsing   pdf   Ch 3, 4      
February 2   "          
February 7   GL: Security   pdf     White Paper    
February 9   GL: Parsing          
February 14   Getting it right (taped)   pdf        
February 16   ANTLR   pdf     HW1 pdf    
February 21   ASTs   pdf   Ch. 4      
February 23   Small Examples   pdf   Ch. 11, 12      
February 28   Names, Scope, and Bindings   pdf        
March 2   "       LRM    
March 7   Control-flow   pdf        
March 9   "          
March 13-17   Spring Break  
March 21   Midterm review   pdf        
March 23   Midterm          
March 28   Types   pdf   Ch. 6      
March 30   "          
April 4   Code Generation   pdf   Ch. 8, 9      
April 6   Logic Programming   pdf        
April 11   Functional Programming   pdf        
April 13   "       HW2 pdf    
April 25   Review for final   pdf        
April 27   Final Exam          
May 9   Project reports due          
 Required Text
  Cover of the Dragon Book Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, and Jeffrey D. Ullman.
Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools.
Addison-Wesley, 1985.

Long the standard text on compilers, the ``dragon book'' is now a little dated. It remains one of the more readable books on the topic, and is written by our own Prof. Al Aho.
 Optional Texts
  Cover of Programming Language Pragmatics Michael L. Scott.
Programming Language Pragmatics
Morgan Kaufmann, 2000

A broad-minded book about languages in general, but has less on practical details of compiler construction.
  Cover of Appel Andrew W. Appel.
Modern Compiler Implementation in Java.
Cambridge University Press, 1998.

The opposite of Scott: focuses on compiler construction, not language design issues.
  Cover of Muchnick Steven S. Muchnick
Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation.
Morgan Kaufmann, 1997.

A very extensive book on many aspects of compiler design. Starts about halfway through Appel and goes much farther. Recommended for serious compiler hackers only.
 Class Policies
  Grading 40 % Project
20 % Midterm
30 % Final
10 % Homework
  Collaboration You may not collaborate with others on homeworks. Any two students found submitting similar code will receive zero credit for the whole assignment, and repeat offenses will be referred to the dean. See Columbia academic policies for more details.
  Late Policy Zero credit for anything handed in after it is due without explicit approval of the instructor.

Copyright © 2006 Stephen A. Edwards Updated Sun Feb 12 20:57:59 EST 2006 All Rights reserved