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interpreter

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interpreter


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Interpreter  \In*ter"pret*er\,  n.  [Cf.  OF  entrepreteur,  L. 
  interpretator.] 
  One  who  or  that  which  interprets,  explains,  or  expounds;  a 
  translator;  especially,  a  person  who  translates  orally 
  between  two  parties. 
 
  We  think  most  men's  actions  to  be  the  interpreters  of 
  their  thoughts.  --Locke. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  interpreter 
  n  1:  someone  who  mediates  between  speakers  of  different  languages 
  [syn:  {translator}] 
  2:  someone  who  uses  art  to  represent  something  "his  paintings 
  reveal  a  sensitive  interpreter  of  nature";  "she  was  famous 
  as  an  interpreter  of  Shakespearean  roles" 
  3:  an  advocate  who  represents  someone  else's  policy  or  purpose; 
  "the  meeting  was  attended  by  spokespersons  for  all  the 
  major  organs  of  government"  [syn:  {spokesperson},  {representative}, 
  {voice}] 
  4:  (computer  science)  a  program  that  translates  and  executes 
  source  language  statements  one  line  at  a  time  [syn:  {interpretive 
  program}] 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  interpreter 
 
    A  program  which  executes  other  programs.  This 
  is  in  contrast  to  a  {compiler}  which  does  not  execute  its 
  input  program  (the  "{source  code}")  but  translates  it  into 
  executable  "{machine  code}"  (also  called  "{object  code}") 
  which  is  output  to  a  file  for  later  execution.  It  may  be 
  possible  to  execute  the  same  source  code  either  directly  by  an 
  interpreter  or  by  compiling  it  and  then  executing  the  {machine 
  code}  produced. 
 
  It  takes  longer  to  run  a  program  under  an  interpreter  than  to 
  run  the  compiled  code  but  it  can  take  less  time  to  interpret 
  it  than  the  total  required  to  compile  and  run  it  This  is 
  especially  important  when  prototyping  and  testing  code  when  an 
  edit-interpret-debug  cycle  can  often  be  much  shorter  than  an 
  edit-compile-run-debug  cycle. 
 
  Interpreting  code  is  slower  than  running  the  compiled  code 
  because  the  interpreter  must  analyse  each  statement  in  the 
  program  each  time  it  is  executed  and  then  perform  the  desired 
  action  whereas  the  compiled  code  just  performs  the  action 
  This  run-time  analysis  is  known  as  "interpretive  overhead". 
  Access  to  variables  is  also  slower  in  an  interpreter  because 
  the  mapping  of  identifiers  to  storage  locations  must  be  done 
  repeatedly  at  run-time  rather  than  at  compile  time. 
 
  There  are  various  compromises  between  the  development  speed 
  when  using  an  interpreter  and  the  execution  speed  when  using  a 
  compiler.  Some  systems  (e.g.  some  {Lisp}s)  allow  interpreted 
  and  compiled  code  to  call  each  other  and  to  share  variables. 
  This  means  that  once  a  routine  has  been  tested  and  debugged 
  under  the  interpreter  it  can  be  compiled  and  thus  benefit  from 
  faster  execution  while  other  routines  are  being  developed. 
  Many  interpreters  do  not  execute  the  source  code  as  it  stands 
  but  convert  it  into  some  more  compact  internal  form  For 
  example,  some  {BASIC}  interpreters  replace  {keywords}  with 
  single  byte  tokens  which  can  be  used  to  {index}  into  a  {jump 
  table}.  An  interpreter  might  well  use  the  same  {lexical 
  analyser}  and  {parser}  as  the  compiler  and  then  interpret  the 
  resulting  {abstract  syntax  tree}. 
 
  There  is  thus  a  spectrum  of  possibilities  between  interpreting 
  and  compiling,  depending  on  the  amount  of  analysis  performed 
  before  the  program  is  executed.  For  example  {Emacs  Lisp}  is 
  compiled  to  "{byte-code}"  which  is  a  highly  compressed  and 
  optimised  representation  of  the  Lisp  source  but  is  not  machine 
  code  (and  therefore  not  tied  to  any  particular  hardware). 
  This  compiled"  code  is  then  executed  (interpreted)  by  a  {byte 
  code  interpreter}  (itself  written  in  {C}).  The  compiled  code 
  in  this  case  is  {machine  code}  for  a  {virtual  machine}  which 
  is  implemented  not  in  hardware  but  in  the  byte-code 
  interpreter. 
 
  See  also  {partial  evaluation}. 
 
  (1995-01-30) 
 
 
 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
 
  INTERPRETER,  n.  One  who  enables  two  persons  of  different  languages  to 
  understand  each  other  by  repeating  to  each  what  it  would  have  been  to 
  the  interpreter's  advantage  for  the  other  to  have  said 
 
 




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