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What is Tombstone Diagram?

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 19 Oct, 2021

Tombstone Diagrams or generally referred to as T- Diagrams are basically fragments used to denote compilers and language processing like some puzzle pieces. They demonstrate the transformation of Source Language (S) to Target Language (T) realized in an Implementation Language (L). Geek, you must be wondering why we use the Tombstone diagram? It helps in describing the complicated functionality of porting, bootstrapping, and self-compiling of interpreters, compilers, and macro-processors. It provides a visual explanation of interaction.

Transformation of source language (s) to target language (T) through an implementation language (l)

Different kinds of puzzle pieces used for representing T-Diagrams are shown below as follows:

Tombstone representing a program P expressed in language L

Tombstone representing a machine

Running Program P on machine M

Rules for Tombstone Diagram Combination are as shown in below media as follows:

Correct Combination

Correct Combination

Incorrect Combination

Incorrect Combination



Application of Tombstone Diagram is as follows:

  1. Tombstone Diagrams are nowadays used to understand the client-server interconnectivity on World Wide Web. The conceptual characteristics of T-Diagrams have been deployed in many fields.
  2. A teaching tool TDiag has been developed at Leizpig University, Germany to illustrate both theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Tombstone Diagram.

Example 1: Use a “Java Development Kit” to run a Java program P.

Here in the left side there is a program P which is written in Java and is transforming into JVM in the right side program P realized in an Implementation on machine M .

Example 2: C program is compiled in a x86 Machine

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