<computer programming, tool> A program that converts another program from some source language (or programming language) to machine language (object code). Some compilers output assembly language which is then converted to machine language by a separate assembler.
A compiler is distinguished from an assembler by the fact that each input statement does not, in general, correspond to a single machine instruction or fixed sequence of instructions. A compiler may support such features as automatic allocation of variables, arbitrary arithmetic expressions, control structures such as FOR and WHILE loops, variable scope, input/ouput operations, higher-order functions and portability of source code.
(01 Mar 1994)
|Bookmark with:||word visualiser||Go and visit our forums|