The Difference between Source and Object Code

The difference between source code and object code. You might have heard of these terms if you have studied computer programming. These two codes, each have their own use and are different from each other. Source is all code that is created by a programmer with the use of a text editor. Whereas object code works by putting the source code and translating it into machine language.

Source code and its use

It is the set of instructions or maybe commands written by a human—here a programmer in a readable programmable language. This code may or may not have comments within them and produces an acceptable output. It is saved in a file after where it is created. The file will be saved according to the extension. For example, a C++ file is saved with an extension of “.cpp”. Once the language translator receives the source code, it will be converted into machine language. When the code is translated into machine language, it is called object code. We shall discuss it later.

Beginners should learn the computer languages before coding. Because the source code is built effectively in assembly language or high-level language. In short, assembly language is the machine-oriented language and it requires the computer’s internal knowledge. Whereas, high-level languages use math and English symbols as instructions. like C++, JavaScript, etc.

As we already know, the source code is written in plain text that can be understood by humans. It is very simple to find the source code for any website.

Object code and its use

Like source code, it can’t be read by the programmers. It’s a computer numeric code made of binary digits, and it is only understood by the machine. We already learnt that source code produces an acceptable output at the end of the code. This object code is the output of the source code after compilation. This object code stays in object files such as COM files, COFF etc. Except for source code; object code, machine code, and binary code can be interchanged.

This object code is generated by a compiler which can read high-level language source instructions. Both codes can be visually represented, but it is very challenging to read the object code, which is only understandable by the machines.

I hope you guys get it clarified with this topic. I wish you the best for your future!