Tombstone diagram

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Tombstone diagram representing an Ada compiler written in C that produces machine code.
Representation of the process of bootstrapping a C compiler written in C, by compiling it using another compiler written in machine code.

Tombstone diagrams (or T-diagrams) consist of a set of “puzzle pieces” representing languages of language processors and programs. They are used to illustrate and reason about transformations from a source language A to a target language B realised in an implementation language I. They are most commonly found[where?] describing complicated processes for bootstrapping, porting, and self-compiling of compilers, interpreters, and macro-processors.[1]

T diagrams were first introduced for describing bootstrapping and cross-compiling compilers by McKeeman et al. in 1971.[2] Conway described the broader concept before that with his UNCOL in 1958, to which Bratman added in 1961.[3] Later on, others, including P.D. Terry, gave an explanation and usage of T-diagrams in their textbooks on the topic of compiler construction.[1] T-diagrams are also now used to describe client-server interconnectivity on the World Wide Web.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Terry, 1997, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3
  2. ^ McKeeman et al., A Compiler Generator (1971)
  3. ^ H. Bratman, “An alternate form of the ´UNCOL diagram´“, Comm. ACM 4 (March 1961) 3, p. 142
  4. ^ Patrick Closhen, et al. 1997: T-Diagrams as Visual Language to Illustrate WWW Technology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany