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What are the advantages of compiled over interpreted languages?

Compiled languages generally offer faster execution speed, better optimisation, and more efficient memory usage than interpreted languages.

Compiled languages, such as C, C++, and Rust, are translated into machine code by a compiler before they are executed. This means that the code is directly executed by the computer's hardware, which generally results in faster execution speed. This is particularly beneficial in applications where performance is critical, such as video games, operating systems, and high-frequency trading systems.

Another advantage of compiled languages is that they often provide better optimisation opportunities. The compiler can analyse the entire program at once and make global optimisations, such as removing unused code, inlining functions, and unrolling loops. This can result in more efficient code that uses less memory and CPU resources.

Furthermore, compiled languages typically have more efficient memory usage. They allow the programmer to have direct control over how memory is allocated and deallocated. This can lead to more efficient memory usage, as the programmer can tailor the memory management to the specific needs of the application. However, this also places more responsibility on the programmer to manage memory correctly and avoid issues such as memory leaks and buffer overflows.

In contrast, interpreted languages, such as Python and JavaScript, are translated into machine code at runtime by an interpreter. This means that they can be slower to execute, as the translation process adds an extra layer of overhead. They also typically provide less control over memory management, as this is usually handled automatically by the interpreter.

However, it's important to note that the distinction between compiled and interpreted languages is not always clear-cut. Some languages, such as Java and C#, use a combination of compilation and interpretation, and many modern interpreters use techniques such as just-in-time compilation to improve performance. Furthermore, the choice between a compiled and an interpreted language often depends on factors other than performance, such as the specific requirements of the project, the skills of the development team, and the available development tools.

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