Wednesday, October 3

Introduction: Let's Attempt Jack Crenshaw's "Let's Build a Compiler"

Let's Attempt Jack Crenshaw's "Let's Build a Compiler"

The awesome Jack Crenshaw started a 15 or 16 part series on building a compiler in 1988. Using the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) he proceeded to write a how to from a less technical point of view. You can find a link to that series above.

I am going to go through the series and attempt to make my own series of simple interpreters or compilers. I will be documenting my progress in a series of posts which, with any luck, may show others how to avoid the pitfalls I end up in.


I have been interested in interpreters and compilers for many years. I have purchased several books over the years on the topic. Those books tend to be as interested in the theory behind the designs as much or more then the actual code. What makes Jack Crenshaw's tutorial series so interesting is he developed it more with a "learn-by-doing" (His description). I will be using Javascript, since it is available on practically every computer now. I will probably diverge from the tutorial to try my own ideas or different approaches.

All example code should be found on Google Drive.

cradle.v00.js & cradle.v01.js