Compilers, the forgotten subject?
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The teaching of compiler construction and language theory is absent from many current computing degrees, the rationale being that they are now irrelevant to modern software engineering practice. In this paper a case is made for the inclusion of at least certain aspects of compiler construction and language theory in computing degrees to support and reinforce the acquisition of software development and software engineering knowledge and skills in an object-oriented context. An outline curriculum based around the recursive-descent methodology is proposed and a component toolkit is described that supports the delivery of this curriculum. Small languages, formal methods and object-orientation consolidation are identified as evidence of the applicability of compiler teaching to the wider software engineering context.
Milne, A.C. and McAdam, E.V. 2011. Compilers, the forgotten subject? ITALICS. 10(2). Available from http://www.ics.heacademy.ac.uk/italics/vol10iss2.htm