To most of us interpreters feel quite magical in that they can take a string and execute that as meaningful code. Thorsten Ball, author of the fantastic book: Writing An Interpreter In Go lifts the bonnet on what happens inside the interpreter on the .tech podcast hosted by Form3’s Kevin Holditch.
Thorsten goes through the stages of interpreting and adds concrete examples of how each stage fits into the next.
Both compilers and intrepreters give you more expressiveness: write less code to do more! Most of us are used to writing in high level languages such as Go, C# etc. More expresiveness and abstraction give you more building blocks to build bigger programs.
The stages of an interpreter are:
By comparison, compilation results in an artifact that is executed later. An interpreter looks at your source code and then executes it as quickly as possible. The compiler is interested in making the code runtime as optimal as possible, without caring about the time between code writing and code execution.
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Adelina is a polyglot engineer and developer relations professional, with a decade of technical experience at multiple startups in London. She started her career as a Java backend engineer, converted later to Go, and then transitioned to a full-time developer relations role. She has published multiple online courses about Go on the LinkedIn Learning platform, helping thousands of developers up-skill with Go. She has a passion for public speaking, having presented on cloud architectures at major European conferences. Adelina holds an MSc. Mathematical Modelling and Computing degree.
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