Building an Interpreter from Scratch

person icon Packt Publishing

Building an Interpreter from Scratch

Build and understand a full programming language semantics.

updated on icon Updated on Sep, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Packt Publishing

architecture icon Development,Programming Languages


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Course Description

How do programming languages work under the hood? What’s the difference between compiler and interpreter? What is a virtual machine and JIT-compiler? And what about the difference between functional and imperative programming?

There are so many questions when it comes to implementing a programming language!

In this course, we will learn about compilers and AST interpreters and virtual machines. We will further explore basic expressions and variables in interpreters and learn about variables and environments. We will also explore built-in and native functions, user-defined functions, and call stack and recursive calls. Lastly, we will learn about OOP, class inheritance, and code isolation.

By the end of the course, we will implement a full AST interpreter for our programming language.


What will you learn in this course:

  • Build a programing language from scratch
  • Learn about AOT and JIT-compilers and Transpilers
  • Learn about Bytecode, LLVM, stack-machines
  • Learn about call-stack and activation records
  • Learn about interpreters and compilers
  • Learn about AST-interpreters and virtual machines


What are the prerequisites for this course?

  • The only prerequisite for this class is basic data structures and algorithms: trees, lists, traversal.
Building an Interpreter from Scratch


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

Compilers Crash Course
3 Lectures
  • play icon Parsers, ASTs, Interpreters, and Compilers 12:06 12:06
  • play icon AST Interpreters and Virtual Machines 12:01 12:01
  • play icon Compilers: AOT, JIT, Transpiler 12:27 12:27
Interpreters: Basic Expressions and Variables
6 Lectures
Functions and Functional Programming
5 Lectures
Object-Oriented Programming
4 Lectures

Instructor Details

Packt Publishing

Packt Publishing

Founded in 2004 in Birmingham, UK, Packt's mission is to help the world put software to work in new ways, through the delivery of effective learning and information services to IT professionals.

Working towards that vision, we have published over 6,500 books and videos so far, providing IT professionals with the actionable knowledge they need to get the job done - whether that's specific learning on an emerging technology or optimizing key skills in more established tools.

As part of our mission, we have also awarded over $1,000,000 through our Open Source Project Royalty scheme, helping numerous projects become household names along the way.

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Mathias Hassmann

Good, understandable step by step explanations and construction, but unfortunately no example code is available.

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