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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Programming Language Concepts

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9783319607887
Publication Date September 2017
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Springer

This book uses a functional programming language (F#) as a metalanguage to present all concepts and examples, and thus has an operational flavour, enabling practical experiments and exercises. It includes basic concepts such as abstract syntax, interpretation, stack machines, compilation, type checking, garbage collection, and real machine code. Also included are more advanced topics on polymorphic types, type inference using unification, co- and contravariant types, continuations, and backwards code generation with on-the-fly peephole optimization. 

This second edition includes two new chapters. One describes compilation and type checking of a full functional language, tying together the previous chapters. The other describes how to compile a C subset to real (x86) hardware, as a smooth extension of the previously presented compilers.The examples present several interpreters and compilers for toy languages, including compilers for a small but usable subset of C, abstract machines, a garbage collector, and ML-style polymorphic type inference.  Each chapter has exercises.  

Programming Language Concepts covers practical construction of lexers and parsers, but not regular expressions, automata and grammars, which are well covered already.  It discusses the design and technology of Java and C# to strengthen students’ understanding of these widely used languages.

Peter Sestoft is professor and head of department at the IT University of Copenhagen. He has 25 years teaching experience and his research interests include functional and object-oriented programming languages, the implementation of such languages, and parallel programming on multicore machines. He is the author or co-author of six books published by MIT Press, Morgan Kaufmann, Prentice-Hall and Springer.

Interpreters and Compilers
From Concrete Syntax to Abstract Syntax
A First-Order Functional Language
Higher-Order Functions
Polymorphic Types
Imperative Languages
Compiling Micro-C
Real-World Abstract Machines
Garbage Collection
A Locally Optimizing Compiler
Compiling Micro-SML
Real Machine Code
A Crash Course in F#.


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