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Imagine you’re standing in your dusty garage. It’s completely empty aside from you and ten cardboard boxes lined up in a row on the concrete floor in front of you. In each of these boxes are your personal documents, organized in chronological order. The boxes are closed, so how do you know what is in each box?
You look closer at the sides of the boxes and notice that each one is numbered: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on. “Okay,” you think aloud, “but where is the TPS report I’m supposed to have? Lumberg needs it by this afternoon.”
When someone first starts programming, the whole concept of “interpreted” languages and “compiled” languages might seem a bit confusing. Luckily, you have someone super smart like me to explain them to you in a manner that even your great grandpa could understand — even if he’s dead!
All decent programming languages are either compiled or interpreted. What language you’re programming in determines whether you need to download an interpreter or a compiler to run the programs you create. There are a few differences between the two types of languages.