|The Unix and Internet Fundamentals HOWTO, by Eric Raymond|
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Assembly Language and Unix
by by G. Adam Stanislav. What is assembly language? To answer this question, we need to understand that computers do not actually “speak” the various languages (such as the C language). These languages were designed to make the programmer’s job easier: They follow the rules of human languages, having a grammar and a syntax. The code written in these languages, known as HLL (high-level languages) must either be compiled, i.e., translated to the machine language—the language of the computer, or they must be interpreted by another program. The assembly language is quite different. Its instructions, or op codes, have a more-or-less one-on-one correspondence to the machine language. They, too, must be translated to the machine language, but instead of compiling, they are assembled. The HLL code, too, is first translated into assembly language and then assembled.
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