Difference Between Interpreter and Compiler
Interpreter vs Compiler is two ways a program is executed, written in a programming or any scripting language. When a code is submitted, a compiler takes the entire program, and it is the compiler’s job to convert it into object code which is stored in a file. Compilers are faster when the compilation process is taken into consideration. This object code is usually referred to as binary code and, once compiled, can be directly executed by the machine after linking. An interpreter is much faster. It directly executes instructions written in any programming language without converting the code to an object or machine code.
Head To Head Comparison Between Interpreter vs Compiler (Infographics)
Below is the top 5 difference between Interpreter vs Compiler
Key Difference between Interpreter and Compiler
The most important difference between interpreter vs compiler is that interpreter is made to execute the code now, whereas the compiler first prepares the source code and only then execution is done. Following are some other differences that are evident in the case of these two.
- Once a program is compiled, no other installations are required. The compiler simplifies the process of distribution. In addition to this, the code has the ability to perform on one specific platform. Here the operating systems may be different, or the processor may need different compiler versions of the program. The interpreter does not have to worry as the program is already distributed. Also, it can be distributed to different users on different platforms. But this involves the basic requirement where interpreters must run on particular platforms. The code can be distributed when in original form or when it has proceeded and is in the intermediate form.
- When it comes to cross-platform programs, the preferred one has usually interpreted programming language. The reason is when a program is created using an interpreter, the code is translated to a proper form for the real platform where it will be used. On the contrary, when a program is compiled, you can take care of little differences that are present for both interpreters vs compiler platforms. This usually happens in parts, as the compiled language will mostly have lower cases. Also, in addition to this, the libraries that are being used should be supporting different libraries.
- When speed is a factor, it is the compiler that wins the race and loses it as well. Jumbled? Let us explain why it does both. A program, when compiled, is faster to run than an interpreted program. While it takes more time to compile and run when a program is interpreted. A compiler hence produces faster programs. Also, it is easier to optimize the compiler code. It is easier to optimize the code. One has the entire code upfront. Hence to optimize the code and make it faster, there are many ways.
- For debugging, one must use an interpreter than using any compiler. An interpreter has only one version of an executable file. Hence there is no need for debug version for any development. The platform-specific bugs are also less when an interpreter is used. Since no object code is created and the transformation of code is done on the go, all information regarding source code is always available. On the other hand, Compiler has an object code and to top it, it has all the code at one go. Looking for an error in the compiler can be really a headache.
Interpreter vs Compiler Comparison Table
Let’s look at the top Comparison between Interpreter vs Compiler –
|The basis of comparison||Interpreter||Compiler|
|Basic Difference||A compiler is a program that transforms a code written in a high-level programming language into machine code. It is the computers responsibility to process the machine code.||Interpreter, on the other hand, is also a program that includes source code, pre-compiled and scripts. Unlike a compiler, the interpreter does not convert the code to machine code before running a program. They convert code into machine code when the program is run.|
|Steps to create a program||1) Create a program
2) There is no need to link files or machine code.
3) A source can execute the code line by line when a code is getting executed.
|1) Create a program
2) Once this is done, all code will be parsed and analyzed for any corrections needed. If there is no error, then the compiler will convert the source code to machine code.
3) After this, the code is linked to a different code in any program.
4) Run this program.
|Machine code storage||This job is done by the Interpreter by default, and hence it does not store the machine code. Here there is less memory management involved due to no object code.||Machine code that is generated is stored on the disk. Memory management is more in this case, as object code takes space.|
|Errors||The interpreter interprets code line by line. As a result of this, it displays the errors once the line is interpreted. Interpreters are comparatively faster, and hence it is much faster to find out errors. You can easily find the line which is throwing a particular error.||It displays all errors only after the code is completely compiled and all at the same time. As the code is compiled all at a time, it is difficult to find out errors in this code.|
|Code Optimization||The interpreter takes up the process line by line. If there is any error, one must resolve it and then go to the next line. Hence it is difficult to optimize the code in this situation.||As compilers see the entire code at a time, it is easier to optimize the code. One has the entire code upfront. Hence to optimize the code and make it faster, there are many ways.|
We have gone through many changes between the interpreter vs compiler. We can conclude after this above discussion that there are times when certain technical choices need to be relevant to your requirements. If a user wants a combination of speed and ease of development, then you can mostly go for an interpreter driven language. Also, all resources must be taken care of when any project is being started. An interpreter is also more preferred due to its cross-platform functionality. Compilers are faster when the compilation process is taken into consideration. Hence it is upon the user how to use both interpreters vs compilers.
This has been a guide to the top difference between Interpreter vs Compiler. Here we also discuss the key differences with infographics and comparison tables. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more-