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On the Maintenance of Classic Modula-2 Compilers

by   Benjamin Kowarsch, et al.

The classic Modula-2 language was specified in [Wir78] by N.Wirth at ETH Zürich in 1978. The last revision [Wir88] was published in 1988. Many computer science books of that era used Modula-2 in programming examples. Many of these are still valuable resources in computer science education today. To compile and run the examples therein, it is essential to have compilers available that follow the classic Modula-2 language definition and run on modern computer hardware and operating systems. Although most Modula-2 compilers of that era have disappeared, a few have since been re-released under open source licenses. Whilst the original authors have long ceased work on these compilers, new maintainers have stepped in. This paper gives recommendations for maintenance on classic Modula-2 compilers while balancing the aim to modernise with the need to maintain the capability to compile programming examples in the literature with minimal effort. Nevertheless, the principles, methods and conclusions presented are adaptable to maintenance on other languages.


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