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interpreted (script)

An interpreted program, sometimes called a script , is a program whose instructions are actually a logically sequenced series of operating system commands, handled one at a time by a command interpreter . In turn, the command interpreter requests services from the operating system. The writer of the interpreted program need not be concerned by low-level storage management considerations. On the other hand, an interpreted program can not be as efficient as a compiled program, which has been processed by a language compiler. A language compiler converts source statements into something close to the strings of 0's and 1's that a processor ultimately is given to work on. Because this work is already done before a compiled program is run, it runs much more quickly.

An interpreted program in a language such as PERL is much easier to write than a program written for a compiler. Interpreted programs are ideal for small tasks and for "gluing together" a succession of compiled programs that are run from the interpreted program.

This was last updated in March 2011

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