OCR Computer Science GCSE Paper Two – 2.5 Translators and facilities of languages

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High-Level Language – The source code is easy for humans to write, but computers need to translate it into machine code before they can read and run it

High Level Language Low Level Language
One instruction of high level code represents many instructions of machine code One instruction of assembly code usually only represents one instruction of machine code
The same code will work for many different machines and processors Usually written for one type of machine or processor. Won’t work on any others
The programmer can easily store data in lots of different structures, for example arrays The programmers needs to know the internal structure of the CPU and how it manages memory
Code is easy to read, understand and modify Code is very difficult to read, understand and modify
Must be translated into machine code Commands in machine code can be executed directly without the need for a translator
You don’t have much control what the CPU actually does so programs will be less memory efficient and slower You control exactly what the CPU does and how it uses memory so programs will be more memory efficient and faster.


Low-Level Language – Hard for humans to understand to read and write but easier for a computer to run


Compiler Interpreter
Translates all of the source at the same time and creates one executable file Translate and runs the source doe one instruction at a time, but doesn’t create an executable file
Only needed once to create a executable file Needed every time you want to run the program
Returns a list of errors for the entire program once compiling its complete The interpreter will return the first error it finds and then stop – the is useful for debugging
Once compiled, the program runs quickly, but compiling can take a long time Programs will run more slowly because the code is being translated as the program is running

Integrated development environment: a piece of software that provides features to help a programmer to develop their programs


-Code editor: where the code is written

-Run-time environment: allows the code to be run quickly

-Explorer window: to navigate through the program

-Output window: – show the output of the program when ran

-Line number/character number

-Error Diagnostics and debugging tools: helps to find and fix errors


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