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A compiler-compiler is a utility for generating the source code of a parser, interpreter or compiler from an annotated language description (usually in BNF). Most so called compiler-compilers are really just parser generators.

The first compiler-compiler to be called a Compiler Compiler was written by Tony Booker[?] in 1960 and used to create compilers for the Ferranti Atlas[?] computer at the University of Manchester. However it was rather different from modern compiler compilers, and today would probably be described as a highly customisable generic compiler rather than as a compiler generator. Other examples of compiler compilers are GNU bison, Eli[?], FSL[?], META 5[?], MUG2[?], Parsley[?], Pre-cc[?], Yacc and SableCC.

This article (or an earlier version of it) contains material from FOLDOC, used with permission.

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