Indiana University, Fall 2023
High-level programming languages like Racket and Python make it easier to program compared to low-level languages such as x86 assembly code. But how do high-level languages work? There’s a big gap between them and machine instructions for modern computers. In this class you learn how to translate Racket or Python programs (your choice!) all the way to x86 assembly language.
Traditionally, compiler courses teach one phase of the compiler at a time, such as parsing, semantic analysis, and register allocation. The problem with that approach is it is difficult to understand how the whole compiler fits together and why each phase is designed the way it is. Instead, each week we implement a progressively larger subset of the input language. The very first subset is a tiny language of integer arithmetic, and by the time we are done the language includes first-class functions.
Prerequisites: Fluency in Racket or Python is highly recommended as students will do a lot of programming in one of those languages. Prior knowledge of an assembly language helps, but is not required.
Textbook: Essentials of Compilation: An Incremental Approach in Racket/Python
If you have suggestions for improvement, please either send an email to Jeremy or, even better, make edits to a branch of the book and perform a pull request. The book is at the following location on github:
Lecture: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:15pm, Informatics Building (Myles Brand Hall), Room I 107.
Static type checking
Conditional control flow
Procedures and calling conventions
First-class functions and closure conversion
High-level optimization (inlining, constant folding, copy propagation, etc.)
Course grades are based on the following items. For the weighting, see the Canvas panel on the right-hand side of this web page. Grading will take into account any technology problems that arrise, i.e., you won’t fail the class because your internet went out.
Organize into teams of 2-4 students. Assignments will be due bi-weekly on Mondays at 11:59pm. Teams that include one or more graduate students are required to complete one challenge exercise per assignment.
Assignment descriptions are posted on Canvas. Turn in your
assignments by submitting your code to the autograder. There is a
Racket and Python version of each assignment. Submit your
compiler.py depending on the language
you are using.
Assignments will be graded based on how many test cases they succeed on. Partial credit will be given for each “pass” of the compiler. Some of the tests are in the public support code (see Resources below). The testing will be done on a linux (ubuntu) machine. The testing will include both new tests and all of the tests from prior assignments.
You may request feedback on your assignments prior to the due date. Just submit your work to the autograder and send us email.
Students are responsible for understanding the entire assignment and all of the code that their team produces. The midterm and final exam are designed to test a student’s understanding of the assignments.
Students are free to discuss and get help on the assignments from anyone or anywhere. When posting questions on Slack, it is OK to post your code.
In contrast, for quizzes and exams, students are asked to work alone. The quizzes and exams are closed book.
The Final Project is due Dec. 9 and may be turned in late up to Dec. 13.
Late assignment policy: Assignments may be turned in up to one week late with a penalty of 10%.
|Day||Lecture Topic||Assignment Due|
|Aug. 24||From Lvar to x86|
|Aug. 29||Uniquify, Remove Complex Operands, Explicate Control, video|
|Aug. 31||Explicate Control through Prelude & Conclusion, video|
|Sep. 5||Register Allocation, Introduction and Liveness||Integers and Variables, submit in Racket or Python|
|Sep. 7||Code Review: Integers and Variables|
|Sep. 12||Register Allocation: graph coloring||Integers and Variables, late deadline|
|Sep. 14||L_If language, type checking, and x86_If|
|Sep. 18||Register Allocation, submit in Racket or Python|
|Sep. 19||Conditionals and Explicate Control|
|Sep. 21||Conditionals: Select Instr., Reg. Alloc., Opt. Jumps|
|Sep. 25||Register Allocation, late deadline|
|Sep. 26||Loops and Dataflow Analysis|
|Sep. 28||Loops: RCO, Explicate, Challenge|
|Oct. 2||Booleans and Conditionals, submit in Racket or Python|
|Oct. 3||Code Review: Conditionals|
|Oct. 5||Tuples and Garbage Collection|
|Oct. 9||Booleans and Conditionals, late deadline|
|Oct. 10||Tuples and GC, cont’d|
|Oct. 12||Arrays, Structs, Generational GC|
|Oct. 16||Loops, submit in Racket or Python|
|Oct. 17||Review for Midterm Exam|
|Oct. 19||Midterm Exam|
|Oct. 23||Loops, late deadline|
|Oct. 24||Compiling Functions to x86|
|Oct. 26||Compiling Functions, cont’d|
|Oct. 30||Tuples, submit in Racket or Python|
|Oct. 31||Code Review: Loops|
|Nov. 2||Lexically Scoped Functions|
|Nov. 6||Tuples, late deadline|
|Nov. 7||Code Review: Tuples|
|Nov. 9||Dynamic Typing|
|Nov. 13||Functions, submit in Racket or Python|
|Nov. 14||Gradual Typing|
|Nov. 17||Due: Proposal for Final Project|
|Nov. 27||Functions, late deadline|
|Nov. 28||Code Review: Functions|
|Dec. 7||Review for Final Exam|
|Dec. 8||Final Project, see canvas assignment description (no late deadline)|
|Dec. 12||Final Exam 3-5pm|
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