[racket] Fundamentals

From: John Clements (clements at brinckerhoff.org)
Date: Thu Oct 14 03:21:52 EDT 2010

On Oct 13, 2010, at 8:15 PM, Mathew Kurian wrote:

> In response to synx and Professor Bloch:
> As long as the processor can only read only numbers (binary), Racket cannot be interpreted by the machine before being translated into another language such as Assembly. Assembly is then translated to numbers or binary/machine code If that is the case, Racket has to be an interpreted language since it is layered on Assembly. Or I may just be completely wrong in my perception of that part.

There is a historical distinction between "compiled" and "interpreted" languages.  This distinction is fuzzy and getting fuzzier.  For instance, it turns out in most modern processors that the assembly language is actually "compiled" on the fly by the microprocessor, which determines how to allocate its internal resources. The more traditional complicating factor are JITs (PLT Racket has one), that generate assembly language instructions from internal representations as the program is running. 

Short version: don't try to distinguish "compiled" from "interpreted" systems. Unless you're just *trying* to start a flame war... :)


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