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What is Interpreted Language?

Computer science is built on programming languages. There are several types of programming languages, such as procedural, object-oriented, and functional, however, there is another method for classifying programming languages. That is whether the language is a compiled language or an interpreted language. Let us learn about the Interpreted Languages and How they differ from Compiled Languages.

What is Interpreted Language?

An Interpreted Language is a Programming language in which the code is executed line by line by the interpreter. They differ from Compiled Languages in which the code is compiled into the machine language.

An Interpreter is defined as a program that reads and executes the code of a high-level language by interpreting each statement one by one.

Let us learn about the differences between Interpreted Languages and Compiled Languages.

Interpreted Languages vs Compiled Languages

The primary difference between interpreted Language and compiled language is how they are executed. In compiled languages, the source code is converted into machine language before execution whereas in Interpreted Languages the source code is run directly by an interpreter without being converted into machine language.

In comparison to Interpreted Languages, Compiled Languages are generally faster and more efficient because of the hardware-optimized “machine language” code generated by the compiler. However, the interpreted are more versatile and easier to debug because they allow for interactive testing and modification of code at the runtime.

The table given below shows the differences between Interpreted Language and Compiled Languages.

Interpreted Languages Compiled Languages
Code is executed directly from the source code Code is transformed into machine code before execution
Slower performance compared to compiled languages Faster performance compared to interpreted languages
Interpreters are required to execute the code Compilers are required to transform the code
Code can be edited and executed immediately without the need for recompilation Code must be recompiled every time it is edited
Dynamic typing is common Static typing is common
Easier to learn and use Requires more technical knowledge and experience
Portability is generally better Portability can be limited due to platform-specific optimizations
Debugging is often easier Debugging can be more challenging
Memory management is typically handled automatically Memory management may require manual intervention
Examples include Python, JavaScript, and Ruby Examples include C, C++, and Java

Examples of Interpreted Languages

Some common examples of Interpreted Languages include:

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Javascript, etc.

Because of their high degree of abstraction and ease of use, these languages are frequently used for scripting, web development, and automation activities.

Advantages of Interpreted Languages

Several advantages of the Interpreted Languages are given below.

  • Portable: Interpreted Languages are extremely portable because the interpreter is platform-specific, the same code may be run on any platform that has the appropriate interpreter installed.
  • Easy to Learn: The interpreted languages are easier to learn than the compiled languages because they have simpler syntax and a higher level of abstraction.
  • Faster Pace of Development: Interpreted Languages allow a faster pace of development because these languages do not require the compilation step, which means that changes in code can be done faster and the testing can be done in real-time.
  • Dynamic Typing: Interpreted languages often use dynamic typing, which allows for greater flexibility and ease of use. This means that developers don’t have to worry about type declarations, which can save time and reduce errors.

Disadvantages of Interpreted Languages

The Interpreted Languages also have some disadvantages as mentioned below:

  • Performance: Since the interpreter has to execute the code line by line rather than executing machine code, the interpreted languages are slower than the compiled languages.
  • Security: Since the code is performed directly by the interpreter, interpreted languages are more exposed to security concerns than compiled languages. This implies that a malicious attacker might possibly exploit vulnerabilities in the interpreter to execute arbitrary code on the machine.
  • Memory usage: Interpreted languages use more memory than compiled languages because the interpreter has to keep track of the entire program and its variables in memory space.
  • Lack of optimization: Interpreted languages may not be as optimized as compiled languages because the interpreter does not have the same level of control over the hardware as a compiler have on the machine.

Interpreted languages play an essential role in the field of programming. They are great for scripting, web development, and automation activities because of their high degree of abstraction and ease of use. While they have significant drawbacks, such as poorer performance and higher exposure to security risks, they are a crucial tool for many developers.

FAQs related to Interpreted Languages:

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions on the Interpreted Languages.

Ques 1. Can interpreted languages be used for large-scale projects?
Ans. Yes, interpreted languages can be used for large-scale projects. However, the choice of language may depend on the specific project requirements.

Ques 2. Can interpreted languages be used for web development?
Ans. Yes, interpreted languages are commonly used for web development. For example, Python and Ruby are popular choices for web development frameworks like Django and Ruby on Rails.

Ques 3. Can interpreted languages be used for machine learning and data analysis?
Ans. Yes, interpreted languages like Python are commonly used for machine learning and data analysis, thanks to the availability of powerful libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Scikit-learn.

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