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compile time

compile time in Technology
The period of time during which a program's source code is being translated into executable code, as opposed to run time when the program is being executed. As well as the work done by the compiler, this may include macro preprocessing as done by cpp for example. The final stage of program construction, performed by the linker, would generally also be classed as compile time but might be distinguished as link time.
For example, static data in a C program is allocated at compile time whereas non-static data is allocated at run time, probably on the stack.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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