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[[Category:Encyclopedia]] A compiler reads the source code of a program, and produces either [[wp:Machine code|machine code]] (instructions in a suitable format for the [[wp:Central processing unit|CPU]] to execute), [[bytecode]], or a translation of the source into some other form (often into a different language, i.e. [[:Category:C|C]] to [[:Category:Assembly|assembly]]).

When generating [[wp:Object file|object code]], it is often the case that the resulting code must be then passed to a [[wp:Linker (computing)|linking stage]] for conversion into an executable form. The linking stage is necessary for resolving references to libraries of code and adding any extra executable runtime that is required. Depending on the compiler in use, sometimes the linker is a separate program from the compiler; other times, the compiler handles the linking itself.

==See also==

  • [[:Category:Compilers and Interpreters|List of compilers and interpreters]]
  • [[wp:Compiler|Wikipedia page about compilers]]
  • [http://www.ethoberon.ethz.ch/WirthPubl/CBEAll.pdf Free PDF of Niklaus Wirth's "Compiler Construction"]
  • [[Compiler/lexical_analyzer|Lexical Analyzer task]]
  • [[Compiler/syntax_analyzer|Syntax Analyzer task]]
  • [[Compiler/code_generator|Code Generator task]]
  • [[Compiler/virtual_machine_interpreter|Virtual Machine Interpreter task]]
  • [[Compiler/AST_interpreter|AST Interpreter task]]