Alfred V. Aho, Jeffrey D. Ullman have written

  • The theory of parsing, translation, and compiling. Volume 1 Parsing 1972 and Volume 2 Compiling 1973

  • Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools 2ed 2006, i.e. the dragon book.

Are the two-volumn books more advanced or complete than the dragon book?

Is the dragon book supposed to replace the two-volumn books?

Are the two-volumn books outdated or still very relevant?



1 Answer 1


A lot has been done since 1973. But for an introduction, the earlier books should be fine.

For a more advanced treatment, choose a modern book, of course.

Another book that I like a lot is On Pascal Compilers by Brinch Hansen from 1985. While it is written in Pascal, it is one of the true pieces of CS Literature. It restricts itself to Recursive Descent parsing which is suitable for LL(1) languages. But my view of languages is that the should be LL(1) for readability, though compilers might use LR techniques for efficiency.

So, it depends on what you need. If you are a novice at this and haven't yet built any compilers an older book might actually be superior.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks for the help @Buffy $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2020 at 15:18

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