Compiler vs Interpreter: Complete Difference Between Compiler and Interpreter

compiler vs interpreter

compilers and interpreters convert a high-level language into a machine language. Thus, we study compiler vs interpreter in detail.

  • What is compiler?

A compiler is a computer is a high-level programming language that is converted into machine code. Here, a program translates the human-readable code into a language that a computer understands, which is binary 1 and 0 bits. So, compiler meaning is known as a program written in the high-level language and converting the high-level language into the machine or low-level language.

Compiler definition can be stated as a program designed to convert a high-level programming language into a machine or low-level language.

  • Example of compiler:

C, C++, C#, Scala, typescript

  • Role of a Compiler

The Role of a Compiler can be understood as:

  1. The changes in the program’s syntax are made if any mistake arises.
  2. All laid down rules about the syntax needed to be obeyed.
  3. A compiler is simply a computer program, used to convert a high-level programming language is converted into machine code.

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  • What is interpreter?

Interpreter meaning can be understood as a program that translates a programming language into a comprehensible language, and that too once at a time. And usually, the interpreter is smaller in size as compared to a compiler. So, the meaning of interpreter is known as a program that is used for implementing a programming language and also having the same use as of compiler.

An interpreter in computer tells us that each high-level program is converted into the machine code and therefore includes source code, pre-compiled code, and scripts.

  • Examples of interpreter:

PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, and Matlab

  • Role of an Interpreter

The Role of an Interpreter can be understood as:

  1. A device used to translate high-level language programs into machine-level language.
  2. It is also used for analyzing and processing programs.
  3. It is also used for testing a program quickly.
  4. The compiler takes an entire program once at a time.
  5. It can convert the source code during runtime.

Thus, we can define a compiler as a computer program that basically functions to transform a high-level programming language into machine code.

Although, compiler and interpreter both perform the same work which is to convert higher-level programming language to machine code. 

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  • Types of compilers

Let us see types of compilers as:

  1. Cross-compiler
  2. Native compiler
  3. Bootstrap compiler
  4. Decompiler
  5. Source-to-source compiler (Transpiler)
  6. A language rewriter
  7. Bytecode compiler
  8. Just-in-time compiler (JIT Compiler)
  9. AOT Compilation
  10. Assembler

Now, let us study these types of compilers in detail.

1. Cross-compiler

A Cross-compiler runs on a computer whose CPU or operating system is different from the one which produces the code.

2.  Native compiler

A Native compiler produces an output that will run on the same type of computer and operating system as the compiler.

3. Bootstrap compiler

A Bootstrap compiler is written in the language of the compiler itself.

4. Decompiler

A Decompiler lets you translate code from a low-level language to a higher level language.

5. Source-to-source compiler (Transpiler)

A Source-to-source compiler is usually used for high-level languages and is therefore also known as a transcompiler or transpiler.

6. A language rewriter

A language rewriter lets the user translate the form of expressions without any change of language.

7. Bytecode compiler

Bytecode compiler translates a high-level language into an intermediate simple language.

8. Just-in-time compiler (JIT Compiler)

Just-in-time compiler defers compilation until runtime and functions inside the interpreter.

9. AOT Compilation

AOT Compilation compiles a higher-level programming language before the runtime.

10. Assembler

Assembler lets the user translate the human-readable assembly language into machine code. 

  • What has interpreted language?

An interpreted language is generally one language that is primarily executed or used as source code or bytecode through a dedicated virtual machine. Python, Ruby, and Java are some of the common examples of this interpreted language.

  • What is use of an interpreter?

An interpreter helps to translate a programming language into a comprehensible language, and that too once at a time. And usually, the interpreter is smaller in size as compared to a compiler. So, source code line-by-line during RUN Time is converted by the interpreter.

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  • Difference between compiler and interpreter:

So, here we have mentioned down the difference between compiler and interpreter as:

BASIS FOR COMPARISON COMPILER INTERPRETER
Input The complier takes an entire program once at a time. The interpreter takes a single line of code once at a time.
Output An intermediate object code is generated. An intermediate object code is not generated.
Working mechanism Working mechanism of the complier is done before execution is done. Working mechanism of interpreter execution and compilation take place simultaneously.
Speed

 

It is comparatively faster It is comparatively Slower
Error detection Error detection is difficult Error detection is comparatively Easier
Pertaining Programming languages Programming languages used in this are C, C++, C#, Scala, typescript uses compiler. Programming languages used in this are PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby uses an interpreter.
Errors All errors are displayed after compilation, and all the errors are displayed at the same time. All errors are displayed which are of each line one by one.
Memory

 

Memory condition is more or the memory is more due to the creation of object code. The interpreter requires less of memory as it does not create intermediate object code.
Usage The usage of the compiler is best suited for the Production Environment The usage of the interpreter is best suited for the program and development environment.
Model The model is based on language translation linking-loading model. The model is based on Interpretation Method.

 As we see in the above table:

  • The compiler takes an entire program once at a time.
  • An intermediate object code is generated.
  • The working mechanism of the complier is done before execution is done.
  • It is comparatively faster
  • Error detection is difficult
  • Programming languages used in this are C, C++, C#, Scala, typescript uses a compiler.
  • All errors are displayed after compilation, and all the errors are displayed at the same time.
  • Memory condition is more or the memory is more due to the creation of object code.
  • The usage of the compiler is best suited for the Production Environment
  • The model is based on the language translation linking-loading model.

Whereas, we see for an interpreter as well, as:

  • The interpreter takes a single line of code once at a time.
  • An intermediate object code is not generated.
  • The working mechanism of interpreter execution and compilation takes place simultaneously.
  • It is comparatively Slower
  • Error detection is comparatively Easier
  • Programming languages used in this are PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby uses an interpreter.
  • All errors are displayed which are of each line one by one.
  • The interpreter requires less memory as it does not create intermediate object code.
  • The usage of the interpreter is best suited for the program and development environment.
  • The model is based on Interpretation Method.

So, we can easily understand compiler vs interpreter based on the above table that depicts interpreter and compiler differences.

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Conclusion

Both the interpreter and compiler are used and designed to perform the same work, but the difference lies in the operating procedure of them both. A source code in an aggregated is used by the Compiler, while constituent parts of the source code are used by the interpreter.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What has interpreted language?

An interpreted language is generally one language that is primarily executed or used as source code or bytecode through a dedicated virtual machine. Python, Ruby, and Java are some of the common examples of this interpreted language.

  • What is use of interpreter?

An interpreter helps to translate a programming language into a comprehensible language, and that too once at a time. And usually, the interpreter is smaller in size as compared to a compiler. So, source code line-by-line during RUN Time is converted by the interpreter.

  • What is interpreter for example?

An interpreter is a program that covers each high-level program into the machine code and therefore includes source code, pre-compiled code, and scripts.

Examples of interpreter: PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, and Matlab

 

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