The Book

The Architecture of Symbolic Computers (Peter M. Kogge) is quite possibly the most useful resource I have come across in my quest thus far. If you are interested in Lisp Machine revival, non-von Neumann computation, or the dark arts of the low-level implementation of functional programming systems, you will not be disappointed.

More generally, I consider this text to be required reading for anyone who acknowledges that machine architecture should reflect the realities of high-level programming. The book begins with some theoretical foundations (SECD formalism, and others) and proceeds to summarize the designs of several historic Lisp machines. Automated memory management and other concerns are covered in depth. The back half delves into some delightful exotica: graph reduction in silico, Prolog machines, and other curiosities.

Be as it may that my flow of code is but a miserable trickle, and my bite-to-bark ratio continues to plummet to record depths, I cannot resist the temptation to devote several weeks to study of this masterpiece. So far, after only a few hours of browsing, it has given me a wealth of ideas to play with.

This entry was written by Stanislav , posted on Friday January 04 2008 , filed under Books, LoperOS, SoftwareArchaeology . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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