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Internal working of Python

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 27 May, 2021

Python is an object-oriented programming language like Java. Python is called an interpreted language. Python uses code modules that are interchangeable instead of a single long list of instructions that was standard for functional programming languages. The standard implementation of python is called “cpython”. It is the default and widely used implementation of Python. 
Python doesn’t convert its code into machine code, something that hardware can understand. It actually converts it into something called byte code. So within python, compilation happens, but it’s just not into a machine language. It is into byte code (.pyc or .pyo) and this byte code can’t be understood by the CPU. So we need an interpreter called the python virtual machine to execute the byte codes. 

The Python source code goes through the following to generate an executable code : 

  • Step 1: The python compiler reads a python source code or instruction. Then it verifies that the instruction is well-formatted, i.e. it checks the syntax of each line. If it encounters an error, it immediately halts the translation and shows an error message.
  • Step 2: If there is no error, i.e. if the python instruction or source code is well-formatted then the compiler translates it into its equivalent form in an intermediate language called “Byte code”.
  • Step 3: Byte code is then sent to the Python Virtual Machine(PVM) which is the python interpreter. PVM converts the python byte code into machine-executable code. If an error occurs during this interpretation then the conversion is halted with an error message.

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