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Compile source code - and solve problems

Mar 15, 2009, 04:02 (1 Talkback[s])

"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 used.

"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."

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