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Features and Characteristics of Compiled Languages

A compiled language is a programming language whose implementations are typically compilers (translators which generate machine code from source code), and not interpreters (step-by-step executors of source code, where no translation takes place).

The term is a little vague; in principle any language can be implemented with a compiler or with an interpreter. A combination of both solutions is also increasingly common: a compiler can translate the source code into some intermediate form (often called bytecode, as is the case with the language of JAVA), which is then passed to an interpreter which executes it.

A program translated by a compiler tends to be much faster than an interpreter executing the same program.

The mixed solution's efficiency is typically somewhere in between. The downsides of the "compiler" solution are the inherent complexity of a good implementation and the longer time it takes to create , edit and compile a program from source code.

A closer look at the operations of the back end of a compiled language reveals:

  • intermediate code generation
  • code optimisation
  • machine code generation

This results in a more efficient and faster execution of the code

A pure compiler implementation is the typical solution for low-level languages, such as C. This is preferred with such languages as speed is a major requirement.

Next: Advantages and Disadvantages of Interpreted Languages