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The IUP Journal of Information Technology
Object-Oriented Compilers: A Review
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Compilers are large and complex programs. Object-oriented programming can be useful in implementing compilers. This paper reviews the work done so far on object-oriented compilers and object-oriented compiler construction tools. It was observed that object-oriented programming can be effectively used in all phases and modules of compilers. It was also observed that object-oriented programming improves modularity, maintainability, extensibility, portability and performance of compilers while decreasing source code size and development time.

 
 

A compiler is a program that translates a program written in a high-level programming language to its equivalent in a low-level assembly or machine language. Thus, compilers make it possible to use high-level languages for software development. The first compilers were developed in the late 1950s. At that time, developing a compiler was considered to be a daunting task. Since then, numerous theoretical and experimental studies have been carried out, and today the process of compilation is well understood. However, this period has also seen continuous developments in programming languages and computer hardware. Since compilers translate programming languages to a form suitable for execution by the computer hardware, they have been forced to evolve too. This has made the compilers more complex than ever before. Consequently, developing a compiler is still considered a difficult yet unavoidable task.

Object-oriented programming is known to be able to efficiently implement various types of software. In particular, object-oriented programming benefits most when implementing a large and intricate piece of software. Although compilers have been and still continue to be large and complex programs, only a few isolated attempts have been made to employ object-oriented programming techniques in compiler construction. This paper reviews the work done so far on object-oriented compiler construction and calls for more research on the same.

 
 

Information Technology Journal, Compiler, Compiler compiler, Object-oriented programming