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How C++ Compilation Works

Compiling a C++ program involves a number of steps :
  • First, the C++ preprocessor goes over the program text and carries out the
    instructions specified by the proprocessor directives (e.g., #include). The
    result is a modified program text which no longer contains any directives.
  • Then, the C++ compiler translates the program code. The compiler may be a
    true C++ compiler which generates native (assembly or machine) code, or just
    a translator which translates the code into C. In the latter case, the resulting C
    code is then passed through a C compiler to produce native object code. In
    either case, the outcome may be incomplete due to the program referring to
    library routines which are not defined as a part of the program.
  • Finally, the linker completes the object code by linking it with the object code
    of any library modules that the program may have referred to. The final result
    is an executable file.
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