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Practical Common Lisp by Peter Seibel

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CHAPTER 31Practical: An HTML GenerationLibrary, the Compiler

Now you're ready to look at how the FOO compiler works. The main difference between a compiler and an interpreter is that an interpreter processes a program and directly generates some behavior—generating HTML in the case of a FOO interpreter—but a compiler processes the same program and generates code in some other language that will exhibit the same behavior. In FOO, the compiler is a Common Lisp macro that translates FOO into Common Lisp so it can be embedded in a Common Lisp program. Compilers, in general, have the advantage over interpreters that, because compilation happens in advance, they can spend a bit of time optimizing the code they generate to make it more efficient. The ...

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