Difference Between Interpreter and Compiler

Main difference

The interpreter performs the function of translating the program one statement at a time. Compile moves to scan the entire program and then translate it as a whole into machine code. The parsing job is covered by the interpreter with a relatively smaller amount of time and slow execution time. The compiler, on the other hand, takes much more time to test and evaluate the source code; however, it runs faster. The interpreter is memory efficient and does not need any intermediate object code generation. The compiler generates intermediate object code that needs more linking, thus requiring memory to be moved. The interpreter continues to translate the program until the first error is fixed, so debugging is easier here. The compiler, on the other hand, it generates the error message only after scanning the whole program and here debugging is difficult. The interpreter takes input from a single instruction while the compiler takes the entire program as input. The compilers are associated with the Python Ruby programming languages, while the interpreters take C and C++. In the compiler it is easier to protect intellectual property, since machine code is not easily understood. The interpreter has weak intellectual property because the source code must be available at function time. while the interpreters take C and C++. In the compiler it is easier to protect intellectual property, since machine code is not easily understood. The interpreter has weak intellectual property because the source code must be available at function time. while the interpreters take C and C++. In the compiler it is easier to protect intellectual property, since machine code is not easily understood. The interpreter has weak intellectual property because the source code must be available at function time.

Comparison chart

Interpreter Compiler
The interpreter takes a single instruction as input. The compiler takes the entire program as input.
object code
No intermediate object code is generated in the interpreter. Intermediate object code is produced in the compiler
Control Statements
A slow execution of the Conditional Control Statement in Interpreter. Conditional control statements run quickly in the compiler
Conversion
The higher level program becomes a lower level program each time. It is not necessary that the program is always compiled in Compiler.

What is Interper?

An interpreter is a computer program, which runs directly, carries out instructions written in a programming language without first compiling them into a machine language program. It makes use of one of a few certain techniques to run a program. It will translate the source code into an efficient intermediate representation and execute it immediately. The interpreter receives a single instruction to receive input, and no intermediate object code is produced. The interpreter experiences slower execution of conditional control statements and the memory requirement is minimal. In interpreter, the higher level program becomes a lower level program each time. Here, errors are displayed for each statement.

What is the compiler?

A compiler is a computer program used to transform source code written in one programming language into another computer language. Initially, the very title ‘Compiler’ is used for programs that translate source code from a high level programming language to a lower level language. A compiler also performs operations such as lexical analysis, preprocessing, parsing, semantic analysis, code generation, and code optimization. The compiler takes the entire program as input and here the Intermediate Object Code is surely produced. Execution of the conditional control statement is faster in the compiler, and the program does not need to be compiled each time. When the entire program is evaluated, errors are manifested.

Key differences

  1. The interpreter takes a single instruction as input; The compiler takes the entire program as input.
  2. Intermediate object code is produced by the compiler; No intermediate object code is generated in the interpreter.
  3. Conditional control statements run quickly in the compiler; there is a slow execution of the conditional control statement in the interpreter.
  4. The higher level program becomes a lower level program each time in Interpreter; The program does not need to be compiled each time in Compiler.
  5. Debugging is easy in Interpreter; The language becomes critical to be debugged in the compiler

Final Thought

Computer architecture and understanding terms associated with it can be a troublesome task and these two terms above are similar that they have several differences between them but they always seem similar to each other. This article therefore seeks to explain the differences between them to help people create a clear understanding.

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