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GNU Emacs Lisp has a "compiler" that translates functions written in
Lisp into a special representation called "byte-code" that can be
executed more efficiently. The compiler replaces Lisp function
definitions with byte-code. When a byte-code function is called, its
definition is evaluated by the "byte-code interpreter".
Because the byte-compiled code is evaluated by the byte-code
interpreter, instead of being executed directly by the machine's
hardware (as true compiled code is), byte-code is completely
transportable from machine to machine without recompilation. It is not,
however, as fast as true compiled code.
In general, any version of Emacs can run byte-compiled code produced
by recent earlier versions of Emacs, but the reverse is not true. In
particular, if you compile a program with Emacs 18, you can run the
compiled code in Emacs 19, but not vice versa.
Note: Compilation Errors, for how to investigate errors occurring
in byte compilation.
- Compilation Functions
- Byte compilation functions.
- Eval During Compile
- Code to be evaluated when you compile.
- Byte-Code Objects
- The data type used for byte-compiled functions.
- Disassembling byte-code; how to read byte-code.
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