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Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2002 

compilation process
A program that translates source code into object code. The compiler derives its name from the way it works, looking at the entire piece of source code and collecting and reorganizing the instructions. Thus, a compiler differs from an interpreter, which analyzes and executes each line of source code in succession, without looking at the entire program. The advantage of interpreters is that they can execute a program immediately. Compilers require some time before an executable program emerges. However, programs produced by compilers run much faster than the same programs executed by an interpreter.

Every high-level programming language (except strictly interpretive languages) comes with a compiler. In effect, the compiler is the language, because it defines which instructions are acceptable.

Because compilers translate source code into object code, which is unique for each type of computer, many compilers are available for the same language. For example, there is a FORTRAN compiler for PCs and another for Apple Macintosh computers. In addition, the compiler industry is quite competitive, so there are actually many compilers for each language on each type of computer. More than a dozen companies develop and sell C compilers for the PC.

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For pages about compiler . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Compiler publications 
Presents a collect of compiler publications with abstracts. In addition, the pubilcation titles are links to the entire document.

The Compiler Connection 
Excellent resource with links to compiler topics, companies, research projects, careers, consulting resources, conferences, benchmarks and performance reports, and related newsgroups.

Archives of comp.compilers
An archive of postings to the USENET newsgroup comp.compilers. Includes search capability.

Associated Computer Experts (ACE) home page
Ace provides compiler and (multi-processor) operating system solutions for the HPCN, workstation and embedded system markets. Their home page provides links to their recent press releases, product information, company profile, and research efforts.

Catalog of Compiler Construction Tools
Offers links to freeware and commercial resources for compiler writers.

Catalog of Free Compilers and Interpreters
Categorized list of freely available software for language tools.

Compiler FAQ
Contains a FAQ on compilers from the comp.compilers newsgroup.

HDL compiler family page
Provides information on the HDL compiler family from Synopsys, Inc.

UNICOS FORTRAN compiling systems
Presents information pertaining to the UNICOS FORTRAN compiling systems with syntax for compiling a FORTRAN program, and additional links to related information.

related categories

Programming Languages

related terms

assembly language

break-even point






object code



programming language

source code

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