"If you haven't even glimpsed at a chunk of source code before,
you may be perplexed by some of the terminology in use here, so
let's clarify the terms and processes. Compiling is the process of
converting human-readable source code - a software recipe that
could be written in any high-level programming language - into the
binary instructions used by a specific computer's processor.
"For the most popular programming languages, C and C++, the GNU
Compiler Collection (GCC) does the hard work of converting the
source code into a binary executable file. It reads the source
files, translating the C or C++ code listing into machine code
instructions for your CPU.
"Different CPU families have different types of instructions;
for instance, if you compile an app's source code to run on an
Intel processor, the resulting program won't run on a PowerPC. You
need to compile it for each type of processor on which it will be
"Note that for interpreted languages, such as Python, Perl and
Ruby, each line of the source code is translated on the fly. With
those languages, there is no compilation process - the language
interpreter steps through the program line by line."