This compile pdf pages into single document is about software to translate computer languages. Compile” and “compiling” redirect here. However, there are many different types of compilers.
Compilers implement these operations in phases that promote efficient design and correct transformations of source input to target output. Compilers are not the only translators used to transform source programs. 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.
Theoretical computing concepts developed by scientists, mathematicians, and engineers formed the basis of digital modern computing development during World War II. Primitive binary languages evolved because digital devices only understand ones and zeros and the circuit patterns in the underlying machine architecture. In the late forties, assembly languages were created to offer a more workable abstraction of the computer architectures. Therefore, the compilation process needed to be divided into several small programs. The front end programs produce the analysis products used by the back end programs to generate target code.
As computer technology provided more resources compiler designs could align better with the compilation process. The human mind can design better solutions as the language moves from the machine to a higher level. So the development of high-level languages follows naturally from the capabilities offered by the digital computers. The sentences in a language may be defined by a set rules called a grammar.
BNF and its extensions have become standard tools for describing the syntax of programming notations, and in many cases parts of compilers are generated automatically from a BNF description. Ken Iverson in the late 1950s. APL is a language for mathematical computations. Compiler technology evolved from the need for a strictly defined transformation of the high-level source program into target low-level target program for the digital computer. The compiler could be viewed as a front end to deal with analysis of the source code and a back end to synthesize the analysis into the target code. Optimization between the front end and back end could produce more efficient target code. University of Manchester is considered by some to be the first compiled programming language.