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Turning C from source to a running program

With scripting languages (or near-scripting languages) such as shell, Tcl, Perl, Python and PHP, the developer just edits a file of program code, and tests it - the tools that he uses roll the translation of his source into something that can be run without him having to make further inputs. C is somewhat different .... to here's how to convert a C program from source to executable.

1. Enter your source code (a file extension .c is common).

2. Compile into an object file (extension .o or .obj). This is a binary file that contains machine code for the machine that you'll be running on, but it's not yet a complete program - it's a program component. In effect, your compiling has turned a raw potato into a roasted one, but it's still not a complete meal.

3. Link / Load / Taskbuild your .o or .obj files; that joins them together into a single conglomorate executable file, and brings in standard library files too, so that the file as a whole can be run. You have now added your Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, and brussel sprouts and made up a complete course.

* The COMPILER will initally run the C pre-processor which will act on lines starting with a # character, allowing for other files to be included, constants defined, and selective debug code / system dependent code to be included as appropriate.

* The whole process of one or more compiles followed by a link may be defined in a makefile. The Makefile defines the commands necessary for each step of the process, and also lets you define which file depends on whihch other file - the net effect of this is to enable the compiler to skip over files that haven't been changed since you last did a compile by looking at the timestamp on the .c file in relation to the timestamp on the .o; very clever - I remember back to "pre-make" days and running compiles and loads of a big CAD system I wrote that took nearly an hour to process!
(written 2006-10-06)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
C201 - C and C based languages - C Language Fundamentals
  [4566] C - why is slow to write and debug) but fast to run? - (2015-11-01)
  [4555] Preprocessor directives in C and C++ - what they mean - (2015-10-27)
  [4324] Learning to program - variables and constants - (2014-11-22)
  [3917] BODMAS - the order a computer evaluates arithmetic expressions - (2012-11-09)
  [3591] Integer types, and integer overflows, in C - (2012-01-25)
  [3278] Do I need to initialise variables - programming in C, C++, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby or Java. - (2011-05-05)
  [3234] Your program - you just provide the filling in the sandwich - (2011-04-08)
  [3120] Learning to write good programs in C and C++ - separating out repeated code - (2011-01-04)
  [2842] Staring a C course with Hello World - why? - (2010-06-30)
  [2576] What does const mean? C and C++ - (2010-01-15)
  [2005] Variables and pointers and references - C and C++ - (2009-01-23)
  [1671] Compiling C programs with gcc - an overview - (2008-06-10)

C202 - C and C based languages - A first practical program
  [4632] Remember to ask the question before you listen for the answer - (2016-01-26)
  [4337] Learning to program sample program - past its prime, but still useful - (2014-12-02)
  [3590] Defining, declaring and initialising variables in C - (2012-01-24)
  [3236] C - a first program that does something useful for you - (2011-04-09)
  [3121] New year, new C Course - (2011-01-05)
  [2580] C course inspires new teaching examples - (2010-01-16)


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