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Programming Language Pragmatics
Programming Language Pragmatics
2009

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  1. How to program: compilers

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Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along


As a textbook suitable for the classroom or self-study, Michael Scott's Programming Language Pragmatics provides a worthy tour of the theory and practice of how programming languages are run on today's computers. Clearly organized and filled with a wide-ranging perspective on over 40 different languages, this book will be appreciated for its depth and breadth of coverage on an essential topic in computer science.
With references to dozens of programming languages, from Ada to Turing and everything in between (including C, C++, Java, and Perl), this book is a truly in-depth guide to how code is compiled (or interpreted) and executed on computer hardware. Early chapters tend to be slightly more theoretical (with coverage of regular expressions and context-free grammars) and will be most valuable to the computer science student, but much of this book is accessible to anyone seeking to widen their knowledge (especially since recent standards surrounding XML make use of some of the same vocabulary presented here).
The book has a comprehensive discussion of compilation and linking, as well as how data types are implemented in memory. Sections on functional and logical programming (illustrated with Scheme and Prolog, which are often used in AI research) can expand your understanding of how programming languages work. Final sections on the advantages--and complexities--of concurrent processing, plus a nice treatment of code optimization techniques, round out the text here. Each chapter provides numerous exercises, so you can try out the ideas on your own.
Students will benefit from the practical examples here, drawn from a wide range of languages. If you are a self-taught developer, the very approachable tutorial can give you perspective on the formal definitions of many computer languages, which can help you master new ones more effectively

     


What is this?

A while back I wrote an article on my blog listing all the books that hackers recommended to each other from the site HackerNews. The purpose was to provide a place to list book recommendations so that people didn't have to type in the same list over and over again. (HN gets several requests for book recommendations a week. I also get at least a couple each month). It was very well received, and many posters and commenters either asked that I make a site or sent me an email asking me to do so.

How is this any different from the list on the blog?

This list has more books. This list is sortable both by what question you have and your skill level. In addition, once you sort the list, you can save the link with your sort and send it to somebody else. So, for instance, when somebody wants a book for noobs learning to program, you can make a link for that and then reuse it

How did you collect these books?

Initially the list came from Googling HackerNews.com "best book" and taking the books from the first few pages returned. Later, I added all the books that were mentioned "You left that out!" when Jacques posted the link. While adding those books, I came across a Stack Overflow link where programmers were asked to list their favorite tech books, so I included those too.

If I ask you to put a book on here, will you?

It depends.

These books were all gathered by finding places where hackers hang out and are suggesting books to other hackers and other hackers agree with them by voting up their suggestion. If I can find an example of this for your book, I'm happy to include it.

How are the books ranked?

I did the best I could with ranking. I am sure there are many things you do not agree with. It would be possible to add voting and personal ranking -- that would make the system much better. Heck, you could rank the books yourself and use it as a customized book list to show to people who want your advice. I'd like to do that, but if I've learned anything is to not let your featureset get ahead of the users. This first version will test the waters to see what kind of interest the community might have.