Difference between Compilers and Interpreter

One of the age-old questions which were asked frequently by beginners who just stepped into the world of coding was ‘ What is the difference between Compilers

 and Interpreter?’

Now, let’s dive into it without further ado. 

What is a compiler? 

A compiler can be defined as a translator that takes a high-level language as an input and gives an output in a low-level language, also known as assembly language. 

  • A compiler is definitely helpful as it keeps a check on ranges, errors, and even the limits. 
  • Some of the cons of a compiler are that its program run time is very lengthy, and it occupies a lot of memory. Compilers usually have slow speed as it goes through the entire program once and then translates it entirely into machine codes. 

Now, let’s see what exactly interpreters are. 

What Is An Interpreter? 

An interpreter is a type of program, which converts every high-level statement into a low-level or assembly language individually. This includes everything from source code, pre-compiler, and even scripts. The final work of both the Interpreter and compiler is the same, which is to convert a high-level language to a low-level language. But, interpreters usually convert the code into machine code by reading individual statements line-by-line when the program is run. 

  • The interpreter only converts one statement at a time. 
  • Usually, Interpreters are smaller than Compilers in terms of memory taken. 

Now, let’s see the exact differences between an interpreter and a compiler.

Compilers generally scans the whole program at onceTranslates the program line-by-line.

As compilers scans the code in one go, the errors are shown at the end
As interpreters scans line-by-line, it shows the error as soon as it’s found.

Main advantage of compilers is it’s execution time.
Interpreters are very slow, and hence, not widely popular.
It converts the source code into object code.It does not convert source code into object code instead it scans it line by line

It does not require source code for later execution.
It requires source code for later execution.

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