writing compiler in haskell

Doaitse Swierstra doaitse@cs.uu.nl
Fri, 11 Apr 2003 15:58:27 +0200

Last year a student in Bolivia (Alexey Rodriguez) wrote a front end for 
C using our tools (cvs.cs.uu.nl) in about three months. I must say this 
Alexey a talented student, and few students would be able to do so in 
the same time. If you are interested you may contact him at 
alrodrig@cs.uu.nl. If you want we can also check the compiler in into 
our cvs,

  Doaitse Swierstra

On vrijdag, apr 11, 2003, at 15:29 Europe/Amsterdam, Mark Carroll wrote:

> On Fri, 11 Apr 2003, Debanjan Chatterjee wrote:
>> I am doing my Masters in Computing. The master's course is a 
>> conversion
>> course for non-computing graduates. And, the only language taught in 
>> the
>> course is Java. My undergraduate degree is in accounting. I would like
>> to ask whether with my background I can learn Haskell and as well 
>> write
>> a compiler for C-- in Haskell in three months for my dissertation. Is
>> this a feasible project within the time frame? I would also like to
>> mention that I have never written a compiler before. I would grateful 
>> if
>> anyone can advise me on this matter.
> Although a C-- compiler in Haskell would probably be great, with your
> background I fear that it would take longer than three months unless 
> you
> work really hard on it over that time: just getting properly into the
> "functional" way of thinking can take a few weeks even with a strong
> conventional programming background, and a good understanding of monads
> would be very helpful for compiler-writing. Programs always take much
> longer to write than you first thought in any language, especially in 
> this
> case where a C-- compiler is a non-trivial project that will also have 
> you
> trying out your still-young software design skills.
> Mind you, if your Java skills are not yet expert, it may be tough in 
> that
> too, and I am sure that the people on this list will be happy to help 
> you
> rapidly get to grips with Haskell and point you toward the tools that 
> will
> most benefit this particular project. And, Java+Haskell probably does a
> lot more for your longer-term computing skills than just Java, so 
> partly
> it depends what you're hoping to get out of your conversion course.
> I wonder if it is easier to show the correctness of Haskell code, and 
> if
> that lends itself to the creation of mission-critical financial 
> software.
> Even if so, persuading someone else of that may be hard.
> Good luck!
> -- Mark
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