How to Breed Compiler/Interpreters

A. Gordon

Abstract: Hybrid compiler/interpreters flexibly combine the compact code size and ease of debugging of interpreters, with the execution speed of compilers. It is essential in languages like ML, or LISP (where function calls account for up to 25%of execution time [Gabriel 85]), that the presence of both compiled and interpreted functions does not impair call/return performance. A generalisation of a hybrid compiler/interpreter known as a multi-modal machine is used to classify mechanisms for hybrid call/return. A survey of existing hybrid systems illustrates the taxonomy and suggests techniques for future implementations. Hybrid systems are related to the multiple representation of abstract data types.

LFCS report ECS-LFCS-88-50

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