Python Interpreter question.

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Wed Sep 8 06:46:18 CEST 2004

> "Python is also a compiled language, and it doesn't use an interpreter, 
> it
> uses the Python VM"
> Well I was shocked at first lol, and indignant, telling him that Python 
> does
> indeed have an interpreter and python was an interpreted language, while
> also reminding him that I also prefer python to to other languages as 
> well.

Would you be shocked to also learn that humanly programmed languages are 
generally not compiled to actual machine code, but, as I understand it, to 
multibyte code which invokes subroutines written in actual machine code, 
which is usually called microcode.  One can, I believe, think of Pentiums 
and Athlons, for instance, as hardware interpreters or emulators of what is 
now mostly the virtual 386 machine (plus extensions).  Intel and AMD can 
change the real machine code as they please as long as they properly 
emulate the 386, as seen from the programmer view.  Whether the 386 machine 
was ever a real machine or whether it was also microcoded, I do not know.

Terry J. Reedy

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