A CDE Definition
A programming language compiler that enhances the performance and/or reduces the size of the resulting machine program. Optimizing compilers require multiple passes in order to analyze the entire program and maximize the reuse of code throughout. See compiler.
(1) Software that converts a set of high-level language statements into a lower-level representation. For example, a help compiler converts a text document embedded with appropriate commands into an online help system. A dictionary compiler converts terms and definitions into a dictionary lookup system.
(2) Software that translates a program written in a high-level programming language (C/C++, COBOL, etc.) into machine language. A compiler usually generates assembly language first and then translates the assembly language into machine language. A utility known as a "linker" then combines all required machine language modules into an executable program that can run in the computer. See optimizing compiler.
The following is a conceptual example of source code being converted to assembly language and machine code by the compiler:
Assembly Language Machine Language
Compare A to B Compare 3477 2883
If equal go to C If = go to 23732
Go to D Go to 23119
From C to Assembly Language
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