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Compiler

A compiler is computer software that transforms computer code written in one programming language (the source language) into another programming language (the target language). Compilers are a type of translator that support digital devices, primarily computers.

The name compiler is primarily used for programs that translate source code from a high-level programming language to a lower level languages (e.g., assembly language, object code, or machine code) to create an executable program.

Hello world source code

A compiler is likely to perform many or all of the following operations: preprocessing, lexical analysis, parsing, semantic analysis (syntax-directed translation), conversion of input programs to an intermediate representation, code optimization and code generation. Compilers implement these operations in phases that promote efficient design and correct transformations of source input to target output. Program faults caused by incorrect compiler behavior can be very difficult to track down and work around; therefore, compiler implementers invest significant effort to ensure compiler correctness.
Compilers are not the only translators used to transform source programs. An interpreter is computer software that transforms and then executes the indicated operations. The translation process influences the design of computer languages which leads to a preference of compilation or interpretation. In practice, an interpreter can be implemented for compiled languages and compilers can be implemented for interpreted languages.

Some early milestones in the development of compiler technology:

  • 1952 – An Autocode compiler developed by Alick Glennie for the Manchester Mark I computer at the University of Manchester is considered by some to be the first compiled programming language.
  • 1952 – Grace Hopper wrote the compiler for the A-0 programming language, though the A-0 compiler functioned more as a loader or linker than the modern notion of a full compiler.
  • 1954-1957 – A team led by John Backus at IBM developed FORTRAN which is usually considered the first high-level language. In 1957, they completed a FORTRAN compiler that is generally credited as having introduced the first unambiguously complete compiler.
  • 1959 – The Conference on Data Systems Language (CODASYL) initiated development of COBOL. The COBOL design drew on A-0 and FLOW-MATIC. By the early 1960s COBOL was compiled on multiple architectures.
  • 1958-1962 – John McCarthy at MIT designed LISP. The symbol processing capabilities provided useful features for artificial intelligence research. In 1962, LISP 1.5 release noted some tools: an interpreter written by Stephen Russell and Daniel J. Edwards, a compiler and assembler written by Tim Hart and Mike Levin
Reference By:wikipedia
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