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Compilers is a huge topic. Think a topic the size of databases, with way less visibility.

The Dragon book is probably the best introductory text. The new version that came out a few years ago actually did improve the original text a fair bit. Although there is a lack of discussion about SSA in the text.

While most compiler books spend most of the text talking about the front-end of the compiler the crazy interesting stuff is in the backend. The new Dragon book greatly improves here over the old one, but I'd also recommend two other texts:

1) Morgan, Building an Optimizing Compiler -- some people love the writing style. Others hate it, but the material is solid. 2) Muchnick, Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation -- Great book. Must read if you're serious about optimizations.

I enjoyed Muchnick as well, That said, even good Computer Architecture books cover a quite a bit about the basic optimizations of a modern compiler.

Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 4th Edition by Hennessy and Patterson. the Patterson and Hennessy is a good book to start with, too.

My knowledge is way out of date, but I think even back in 2000 those books were a bit behind the times in terms of optimizations production compilers do. For instance, there was little in-depth treatment of hot-cold optimizations in the 2nd edition.

The tension between processor architects and compiler writers is a constant theme.

Hey, no fair citing a "must read" book which is $100+ on Amazon.com. :(

Citeseer is free. :)

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