Last updated at 5:27 am UTC on 17 March 2017
The compiler accepts Smalltalk source code and compiles it with respect to a given class. The user of the compiler supplies a context so that temporary variables are accessible during compilation.
If there is an error, a requestor (usually a kind of StringHolderController) is sent the message notify:at:in: so that the error message can be displayed.
If there is no error, then the result of compilation is a MethodNode, which is the root of a parse tree whose nodes are kinds of ParseNodes.
The parse tree can be sent messages to
(1) generate code for a CompiledMethod (this is done for compiling methods or evaluating expressions);
(2) pretty-print the code (for formatting); or
(3) produce a map from object code back to source code (used by debugger program-counter selection).
See also Parser, Encoder, ParseNode.