I am relatively new to computer science. There,s been something that i have been thinking now that i am studying how to make actual compilers. We are past the days of programming with binary and assembly language( granted its still around and in use. correct me if i am wrong ). We are told that high level languages made programming easy and so on. I agree, my question is.. is it all thanks to creation of compilers/interpreters? Would there be no high level languages without Compilers, or in other words, suppose if we were to completely discard the use of compilers, will that result in , us going back to assembly , binary days?


I could answer "You could still use an interpreter" but I suspect you'd consider that to be cheating. So, for the rest of this answer, I'll assume that "compiler" means "compiler or interpreter". (And the question has since been edited to say that. 😁)

Even assembly language requires a compiler but, for historical reasons, we call that an "assembler" instead. Anything that isn't directly writing out the machine instructions in binary needs to be converted into machine instructions. That process is compilation and, without a compiler, any textual format is just a way of describing algorithms, not something that can be used to control an actual computer.

  • $\begingroup$ And even binary machine instructions aren't the end of the road in modern CPUs, who interpret them and execute micro-operations. $\endgroup$
    – orlp
    Oct 11 '18 at 22:36

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