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I strongly suggest you build something esoteric and fun first. This should be a "bare minimum" VM or interpreter. Here's one of mine that I wrote like a 8 years ago[1]: https://github.com/dvx/zeded/

Don't start off with YACC/Bison as they hide a lot of stuff under the hood. It's cool learning things from scratch. The most commonly-suggested book on compilers is known as the Dragon Book[2] and if you want to take this endeavour seriously, you should really get a copy.

[1] https://code.google.com/archive/p/zeded/

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Compilers-Principles-Techniques-Tools...

For the dragon book, the first edition is significantly cheaper. Is there anything in the new version making it worth over 10x as much?

The later chapters on ILP, software pipelining, optimizing for parallelism and locality are completely new. Basically, chapters 8-11 have been either re-written or written from scratch. On the other hand, the 2nd dropped the Want to write a compiler and A look at some compilers chapters.

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