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The other comment has the examples. I don’t think an assembler is a compiler, and I think transpiler is a fine term - we’ve been using it since the late 60s so it’s nothing new.



So I asked the other guy, but I'm really curious to hear you response too.

Isn't the AST there, but just hidden? It looks like the AST is the compiler's stack, it's just building the tree while doing a DFS and then cleaning up after itself as it goes. Like the tree would be extremely visible if you looked at it across time.

And I'm curious what makes you say that an assembler doesn't count but source to source compilers do.

And finally, yeah I've seen references going back to the sixties, but they're almost always marketing literature. I strongly hope that in a half century, CS theory isn't based off of any of the marketing literature from the companies I've worked at. : )


> Isn't the AST there, but just hidden?

I can see what you're arguing, but I think this is so abstract as to not really be meaningful. At no point is there a tree data structure. I suppose there is one if you extend it into the fourth dimension :)

> And I'm curious what makes you say that an assembler doesn't count but source to source compilers do.

I think for me it's because an assembler doesn't have any choice about how to translate the program. A compiler has more freedom for how to translate the program.

I'd then say a transpiler is a form of compiler, but an assembler is not.

> And finally, yeah I've seen references going back to the sixties, but they're almost always marketing literature.

See for example The Communication of Algorithms by A F Parker-Rhodes, 1964. This is a peer-reviewed academic paper, not marketing material.

Anyone who tells you that transpiler is some kind of neologism invited by JavaScript developers who didn't know any better is the ignorant one themselves.




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