In lots of textbooks and papers, authors often state: compiler emits ...

I want to know why they prefer to use emit? (not return, not produce)

Does this have anything to do with the emitter of a compiler?


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Could you provide a few examples with the corresponding context? $\endgroup$
    – Ran G.
    Sep 1, 2015 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds purely related to historical usage of the term emit in papers about compilers. $\endgroup$
    – Ankur
    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ Emit is often used with machine or assembly code. $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2015 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


It is mostly used in the sense of "writing instructions to the program being built". Note that what is being "emitted" might still be massaged before ending up in the compiler output.


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