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Why Python is Interpreted Language?

Updated on 22/05/20244,554 Views

Introduction

One of the most well-liked programming languages, Python, is recognised for its ease of use and adaptability. What does it mean when it's called an "interpreted language"? This detailed guide will examine the nuances of interpreted languages with a particular emphasis on Python. By delving into the nuances of interpreted languages and comparing them with compiled languages, we aim to shed light on why Python follows the interpreted paradigm. Let's unravel the mysteries behind Python's interpretative nature. Python is an interpreted language, which means the source code of a Python program is converted into bytecode that is then executed by the Python virtual machine. Python is different from major compiled languages, such as C and C , as Python code is not required to be built and linked like code for these languages.

Overview

Understanding the essence of Python as an interpreted language is pivotal for developers and enthusiasts alike. In this comprehensive exploration, we dissect the core concepts of interpreted programming languages, demystifying their runtime execution and interactive development process. Python, standing at the forefront of interpreted languages, offers a unique blend of compilation and interpretation, allowing programmers to experience the benefits of both paradigms. By delving into the intricacies of compiled versus interpreted languages, we unravel the efficiency and flexibility that interpreting code line by line brings to the table.

This overview sets the stage for a detailed examination of Python's compiled-interpreted duality, shedding light on why it stands as a beacon in the world of programming. Through visual aids, illustrative examples, and a comprehensive breakdown of its high-level nature, this guide navigates the reader through the fascinating realm of Python, offering profound insights into its interpreted architecture and the reasons behind its immense popularity in the programming community. Before we plunge into the specifics, let's understand the fundamental concepts.

What is Interpreted Language?

An interpreted language is a programming language whose implementations execute instructions directly and freely, without previously compiling a program into machine-language instructions. In this language, once the program is compiled it is expressed in the instructions of the target machine. Interpreted languages, unlike compiled languages, are executed line by line by an interpreter at runtime. This means that the code is not translated into machine language all at once. Instead, each instruction is converted and executed individually. Examples of interpreted languages include Python, JavaScript, and Ruby.

Python: Both Compiled and Interpreted

Between compiled and interpreted languages, Python blurs the distinction. Because it can be compiled and interpreted, developers have a unique degree of flexibility. Let's look at Python's dual nature implementation. Python can be both compiled and interpreted, therefore when we run a Python program, it is first compiled and then line-by-line interpreted.

When we say Python is both compiled and interpreted, it means that Python code is first compiled into an intermediate bytecode, which is then executed by the Python interpreter. This compilation step transforms human-readable code into a form that can be executed by the interpreter. This bytecode is platform-independent, allowing Python programs to run on any system with a compatible interpreter. Python is an interpreted language, which means the source code of a Python program is converted into bytecode that is then executed by the Python virtual machine. Python is different from major compiled languages, such as C and C , as Python code is not required to be built and linked like code for these languages.

Example:

print("Hello, World!")

In this example, the Python interpreter converts the print statement into bytecode and executes it, displaying "Hello, World!" on the screen.

Difference between Compiled and Interpreted Language

A compiled language is converted into machine code so that the processor can execute it. An interpreted language is a language in which the implementations execute instructions directly without earlier compiling a program into machine language. The compiled programs run faster than interpreted programs. To grasp why Python leans towards interpretation, let's compare it with compiled languages.

Compiled Languages:

  • Code is translated entirely into machine code before execution.
  • Faster execution as the entire program is precompiled.
  • Examples include C, C , and Rust.

Interpreted Languages:

  • Code is executed line by line, translating and executing each instruction at runtime.
  • Allows for easier debugging and more interactive development.
  • Examples include Python, JavaScript, and Ruby.

What Type of Language is Python?

Guido van Rossum created Python, an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. It was first made available in 1991. Programming language Python is high-level, interpreted, and dynamically typed. What does this signify, though?

  • High-level Language: Python abstracts low-level details, making it easier for developers to write code without concerning themselves with hardware-specific operations.
  • Interpreted Language: As explained earlier, Python code is executed line by line, and interpreted by the Python interpreter.
  • Dynamically Typed Language: Python performs type checking at runtime, allowing variables to change types as the program runs.

Why Python is a High-Level Language?

Python is an interpreted high-level language. What does it mean to you? Let’s understand with expert’s knowledge. According to Abel, Python is a programming language that is easy to understand and read by humans. “So, it is called high-level programming because it is easy for humans to understand and the coding is also quite easy,” Abel said. Python is a particularly well-liked programming language as a result. The high-level nature of Python has many benefits, including readable code, simple maintenance, and quick development. Let's look at some of the main factors that make Python a high-level language.

Clear and Readable Syntax:

Python's syntax emphasizes readability and reduces the cost of program maintenance. Its clean and easy-to-understand code structure allows developers to express concepts in fewer lines of code, enhancing clarity and reducing the chances of errors.

Syntax for Clear in Python

Python List clear()

  1. Syntax of List clear() The syntax of the clear() method is list.clear()
  2. clear() Parameters. The clear() method doesn't take any parameters.
  3. Return Value from clear() The clear() method only empties the given list.

Example of Clear and Readable Syntax:

Consider a common programming task: finding the sum of all even numbers in a list. In Python, the code to achieve this is exceptionally clear and concise, thanks to its readable syntax. Here's how you can accomplish this task in Python:

# List of numbers
numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

# Using list comprehension to find the sum of even numbers
even_sum = sum(num for num in numbers if num % 2 == 0)

# Output the result
print("Sum of even numbers:", even_sum)

In this example, Python's readability shines through. The list comprehension [num for num in numbers if num % 2 == 0] succinctly captures the logic of selecting even numbers from the list. The use of meaningful variable names and the straightforward if statement contributes to the code's clarity. This readability not only makes the code easier to understand for the programmer but also enhances collaboration and maintainability, showcasing Python's clear and readable syntax.

Rich Standard Library:

Rich is a Python library for writing rich text (with colour and style) to the terminal. It lets you display advanced content such as tables, markdown, and syntax-highlighted code. Python boasts a comprehensive standard library that simplifies complex tasks. This extensive library provides modules and packages for various functionalities, enabling developers to accomplish tasks without reinventing the wheel. From web development to data analysis, Python's standard library has it all.

Dynamic Typing:

Python's dynamic typing feature allows developers to change variable types during runtime. This flexibility enhances code adaptability and simplifies complex operations, making Python an ideal choice for rapid application development. Dynamic typing defers the determination of the class that an object belongs to until the program is executed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Python's standing as an interpreted language is evidence of both its versatility and usability. Python strikes a compromise between performance and developer friendliness by being both compiled and interpreted. Its high-level character adds to its appeal and makes it a preferred choice among programmers for a variety of applications. Python is an interpreted language, therefore programs written in it are translated from their source code into bytecode before being run by the Python virtual machine. Because Python code does not need to be created and linked like code for other popular compiled languages, such as C and C , it differs from these languages.

FAQs

1. What is the primary difference between compiled and interpreted languages?

Compiled languages are translated entirely into machine code before execution, while interpreted languages are executed line by line at runtime. A compiled language is converted into machine code so that the processor can execute it. An interpreted language is a language in which the implementations execute instructions directly without earlier compiling a program into machine language. The compiled programs run faster than interpreted programs.

2. Why is Python considered a high-level language?

Python is a high-level language due to its clear and readable syntax, rich standard library, and dynamic typing, which enhance code readability, ease of maintenance, and rapid development.

3. Python is interpreted language or compiled?

Python is both interpreted and compiled. The Python interpreter first compiles the code into intermediate bytecode, which gives developers flexibility and makes debugging easier. Because Python is both a compiled and an interpreted language, when we run a Python program, it is first compiled and then line-by-line interpreted. In Python, the compile portion is removed as soon as the code is run, saving the programmer from needless complications.

4. Is Python the only programming language that follows the interpreted paradigm?

No, there are several alternative interpreted languages, such as JavaScript, Ruby, and PHP. Each of these programming languages uses an interpreted programming model, allowing programmers to write code that is executed line by line, allowing for flexibility and debugging simplicity.

5. How does Python's interpreted nature impact its performance compared to compiled languages?

Python's interpreted nature can cause performance to be a little bit slower than that of fully compiled languages like C or C . However, for the majority of applications, this speed difference is frequently insignificant. Python is a well-liked choice for development due to its simplicity and ease of use, and its capabilities are further enhanced by the large standard library and third-party packages. Developers can utilize strategies like code optimisation, relying on built modules, or using low-level languages to achieve the needed speed without sacrificing Python's high-level benefits in instances where performance is critical.

Pavan

PAVAN VADAPALLI

Director of Engineering

Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working … Read More

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