This week I’ve decided to write some code in PureScript that resembles a compiler. As for the last few posts, I’ve limited the scope to the smallest possible unit.
That means, I haven’t had much time to learn about compilers myself. Hopefully, this will prove useful foundation when I’ll decide to dive deeper.
As long as I understand, a compiler consists of a series of steps that take some input code and transforms it into the target language.
As an input we will use a language that supports two operations (i.e.
sub) on integers. In particular, we will use as an input the following code:
add 1 sub 6 add 3 2.
The first thing we want to do is to parse the code into an Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). In other words, a structure that enables us to work easily with the code. The AST for the example code provided above would look like
add / \ 1 sub / \ 6 add / \ 3 2
The code to do that is the following
data Ast = Node Op Ast Ast | Value Int instance showAst :: Show Ast where show (Node op ast1 ast2) = "(" <> show op <> " " <> show ast1 <> " " <> show ast2 <> ")" show (Value i) = show i data Op = Add | Sub instance showOp :: Show Op where show Add = "Add" show Sub = "Sub" astParser :: Parser Ast astParser = do skipSpaces op <- opParser skipSpaces ast1 <- valueParser <|> astParser skipSpaces ast2 <- valueParser <|> astParser pure $ Node op ast1 ast2 opParser :: Parser Op opParser = addParser <|> subParser addParser :: Parser Op addParser = do _ <- string "add" pure Add subParser :: Parser Op subParser = do _ <- string "sub" pure Sub intParser :: Parser Int intParser = do ds <- many1 anyDigit case fromString $ fromChars ds of Just i -> pure i Nothing -> fail "I was expecting an int!" valueParser :: Parser Ast valueParser = do i <- intParser pure $ Value i
Generation / Evaluation
With the AST at our disposal we can either compile to some other language or evaluate the code:
generate :: Ast -> String generate (Value i) = show i generate (Node Add ast1 ast2) = "(" <> generate ast1 <> " + " <> generate ast2 <> ")" generate (Node Sub ast1 ast2) = "(" <> generate ast1 <> " - " <> generate ast2 <> ")" evaluate :: Ast -> Int evaluate (Value i) = i evaluate (Node Add ast1 ast2) = evaluate ast1 + evaluate ast2 evaluate (Node Sub ast1 ast2) = evaluate ast1 - evaluate ast2
If you want to read more, this is what inspired me to take a few steps into the compilers world:
- The Super Tiny Compiler
- Tiny Interepter and Compiler
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