I wrote this book on compiling in the late 1970s. It was a success. I still meet
people who learnt about compiling from it. I get three or four requests a year
from people who'd like a copy. I used to tell them to use Abebooks.com, but
now there aren't any copies even there. Since I own the copyright (thanks to
Macmillan), I can publish it again, for free.
For a while I tried to reproduce the original book from the original nroff source,
but Unix version 6 nroff is long dead, and the printer-driver hacks that made
bold and underlining work are even deader. So I hacked it into LATEX, and here
it is. I fixed the errors that I knew about, changed a very few infelicities, and
otherwise tried to change as little as possible.
Why isn't it in C?
When I began to write this book I was heavily into BCPL. By the time it was
finished I was a C programmer. The display editor ded that I developed to write
the book was written in C. C is in many respects a direct descendant of BCPL.
I was pressed, even before the book came out, to rewrite all the examples in C.
I didn't do that for various reasons, some good and some bad. It would be an
enormous effrt to do it now, because C is now so far from its origins.