Can anyone here help a newbie on language interpretation, want book reference and possible sample code.

Hi Folks,

I've been following LtU for some time and although I do not understand much of what is on topic here, I've always find some insights I could use on my own projects.

The field of CS that I've always liked best is programming language implementation, but not being in a CS course anymore makes hard for me to get directions on what books to read and stuff like that.

I have the dragon book but the portuguese transaltion is simply horrible to the point that it actually confuses you instead of teaching you.

I'd like if possible that the fine folks here could point me to some good book and maybe point me to some simple interpreter/compiler available on the net, some that can be understood by someone that is starting.

I can undestand C, Scheme, Lisp, Python, much of my work today is done in Runtime Revolution which is a xTalk language inspired by Apple HyperCard, so I'd like some day to be able to implement my own little xTalk interpreter for scripting unix-like systems and for fun. I am very fond of YellowTABs Zeta and of Haiku operating system, I think a little easy to use scripting language would be a nice addition... xTalks are very easy to use, but since, no one is going to implement it, I decided to learn the steps so that I could do it myself.

Any help, clue, ISBN and advise is greatly appreciated.

Andre Garzia

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Have you checked the

Have you checked the references in the getting started thread yet? They should help.


Thanks Ehud Lamm, I am reading that thread now.


I wrote up some of the details of a simple interpreter I wrote in Java:

The source code is hopefully not that hard to follow, and if you have questions, you're more than welcome to ask on the mailing list.

I started with "A little

I started with "A little smalltalk".[1][2] This helped me gain a lot of insights into implementing compiler/interpreter without having to read the dragon book.

Warning: This will help you write compiler/interpreter. But they will *not* teach you concepts formally.

[3] Unix Programming Environment . Kernighan and Pike


The source code of the NekoVM is available. It's a bytecode-based VM and the compiler is a separate component. The VM core source code is only 144 K (excluding GC).