compile time

<programming>

The period of time during which a program's source code is being translated into machine code, as opposed to run time when the program is being executed. As well as the work done by the compiler, this may include macro preprocessing as done by cpp for example. The final stage of program construction, performed by the linker, would generally also be classed as compile time but might be distinguished as link time.

For example, static data in a C program is allocated at compile time whereas non-static data is allocated at run time, typically on the stack.

Last updated: 2004-09-28

Nearby terms:

Compiler Language for Information ProcessingCompiler Target Languagecompile timeCOMPLcomplement

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