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5.2.1 First Editions

The single most important tool for implementing the Tiger Project is the original book, Modern Compiler Implementation in C/Java/ML, by Andrew W. Appel, published by Cambridge University Press (New York, Cambridge). ISBN 0-521-58388-8/.

It is not possible to finish this project without having at least one copy per group. We provide a convenient mini Tiger Compiler Reference Manual that contains some information about the language but it does not cover all the details, and sometimes digging into the original book is required. This is on purpose, by virtue of due respect to the author of this valuable book.

Several copies are available at the EPITA library.

There are three flavors of this book:


The code samples are written in C. Avoid this edition, as C is not appropriate to describe the elaborate algorithms involved: most of the time, the simple ideas are destroyed with longuish unpleasant lines of code.

Java, First edition

The samples are written in Java. This book is the closest to the EPITA Tiger Project, since it is written in an object oriented language. Nevertheless, the modelisation is very poor, and therefore, don’t be surprised if the EPITA project is significantly different. For a start, there is no Visitors at all. Of course the main purpose of the book is compilers, but it is not a reason for such a poor modelisation.


This book, which is the “original”, provides code samples in ML, which is a very adequate language to write compilers. Therefore it is very readable, even if you are not fluent in ML. We recommend this edition, unless you have severe problems with functional programming.

This book addresses many more issues than the sole Tiger Project as we implement it. In other words, it is an extremely interesting book whose provides insights on garbage collection, object oriented and functional languages etc.

There is a dozen copies at the EPITA library, but buying it is a good idea.

Pay extra attention: there are several errors in the books, some of which are reported on Andrew Appel’s pages (C Java, and ML), and others are not.

Because these pages no longer seem to be maintained, additional errors are reported below. “p. C.245” means page 245 in the C book. Please send us additions.

11.3. Example with Precolored Nodes (p. C.245)

The first interference graph presented for this example lacks the interference between r1 and c.

11.4 Graph Coloring Implementation (p. C.248)

In the first sentence, s/inteference/interference/.

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