Ronald F. Guilmette Archive

Compiling and Linking: Under the Hood
These days, interpretive languages, most notably Perl, JavaScript, and Python, have made the barriers to entry for newly-aspiring programmers a lot lower than they once were. Perl, in particular, makes it easy for a newcomer to get his or her feet wet and leave the deeper mysteries that make for industrial-strength, high-performance software for later on. Languages such as C and C++ that typically get compiled all of the way down to real machine code are a different story, however. These languages, designed by professional software engineers for professional software engineers, generally assume that you, the programmer, are able to get down to the gritty details (and often idiosyncratic quirks) of the underlying hardware and the software development tool set you will be using.