I was recently notified that a book review of mine has been published in the March, 2012 issue of CHOICE. Since many may not have direct access to my review, I thought I would include a copy in my weblog.
Mogensen, Torben Aegidius. Introduction to compiler design. Springer, 2011. 204p bibl index ISBN 9780857298287 pbk, $39.95
This book provides a solid foundation to those who need to understand a main underpinning of computer science–how to design a compiler for a new language. Readers should have a strong background in computer science fundamentals and math to follow the text. Mogensen (Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark) presents the chapters in a logical sequence (including a preface explaining why it is important to learn about compiler design). The book begins with a review of lexical and syntax analysis. Additional chapters include “Scopes and Symbol Tables,” “Interpretation” (of code), “Type Checking,” “Intermediate-Code Generation,” “Machine-Code Generation,” “Register Allocation,” and “Functions.” Numerous figures throughout the nine chapters help explain concepts. An appendix titled “Set Notation and Concepts” concludes the text. A summary chapter pulling all the topics discussed together would have been helpful. Further, the inclusion of some concrete examples in a specific language to demonstrate concepts along with the theory presented would have been useful. A companion website (last updated on May 30, 2011) provides answers to selected problems, with emphasis on problems from the initial chapters of the book. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.