Compilers, Interpreters and Assemblers
When a computer performs a task it obeys a set of machine code instructions that are fed in sequence to the central processing unit. Each instruction represents a minuscule operation of the computer hardware. When a programmer describes the tasks to be performed by the machine he finds it more convenient to express the actions in terms of the desired results rather than the detailed machine operations (see Chapter 7). Thus the programmer states what overall operations are required whilst the computer demands extremely detailed step-by-step instructions. Fortunately computer programs have been written that accepts the programmer’s statements as input and produces the corresponding detailed machine code as output. These programs are known as translators and they come in three varieties: compilers, interpreters and assemblers.
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