Difference Between Object Code And Source Code - NullClass

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Difference Between Object Code And Source Code

Difference Between Object Code And Source Code

  • The terms source code and object code are frequently used by developers in their daily work. Only a few people, however, are aware of the true distinction between the two names. Understanding the distinction between source code and object code is critical if you want to be a successful developer.
  • The primary distinction between source code and object code is that source code is written by a programmer, whereas object code is generated by compiling source code. A text editor or a visual programming tool is used to write source code, which is then saved in a file, and object code is processed by a computer’s CPU.
  • The source code contains programming lines that reflect the program’s logic, whereas the object code file contains a sequence of machine-readable instructions.

  • To comprehend the difference between two things, we must first go over the definitions of each of these terms.
  • As a result, let’s start by reading the source code and object code explanations separately.

What is Source Code?

A human programmer creates source code, which is essentially high-level or assembly code. It is created by a programmer in any High-Level Language or Intermediate Language, with comments for better comprehension of the logic, and it is therefore simple to read and edit.

A set of instructions, commands, and statements created by a computer programmer in a programming language such as C, C++, Java, or Python, among others, is known as source code. In a nutshell, source code is the original source of a developer’s application.

The preceding source code explanation is excellent for a tangible comprehension; nevertheless, there are a few factors to consider to further understand the concept.

  • If you’ve ever seen a text-based document with a code for performing a task written in a programming language and saved in a prescribed format like ‘.java’ for JAVA code, ‘.cpp’ for C++ code, etc., you’ve seen a text-based document with a code for performing a task written in a programming language and saved in a prescribed format like ‘.java’ for JAVA code,’.cpp’ for C++ code.
  • The source code file is written in accordance with the norms, rules, and grammar of the programming language in which it is created. This language can be any high-level language that the programmer prefers or that is appropriate for the project, and it is saved with the appropriate extension.
  • As previously said, source code is written in a human-readable language; yet, machines are unable to comprehend the instructions provided in the source code. As a result, the source code is useless to the machine until it is converted into machine-executable code by a compiler for that particular language (in which the source code is written).
  • The language’s compiler enters the picture when the source code is compiled, because the source code is the language’s input. The language translator translates source code into machine code or object code that the machine can understand. As previously said, computers cannot understand source code directly, so it is necessary to convert it to source code so that the computer can understand and execute it.
  • This conversion is a critical component in the world of computing. We’ll go through object code in greater depth in the next segment.

What is Object Code?

Low-level code that computers can understand is referred to as object code. The Object code is generated from the source code by a compiler or a translator. Object code is written in executable machine code, which is a set of machine-readable instructions that the Central Processing Unit decodes and executes.

  • Object files, such as Common Object File Format (COFF), COM files, and “.exe” files, contain object code. As previously stated, source code is sent into the compiler or translator, and object code is the result of the compiler or translator. The format of source code is understandable to programmers and developers, however this is not the case with object code. Object code is not in binary format and does not have the same readability as source code.
  • Object Code is a file generated by the compiler that contains machine instructions in the form of binary digits. Object code is a binary file containing instructions encoded in binary digits or in a machine executable format that the programmer specified in the Source Code. Object Code is readable by machines, but not by humans unless they are professional binary code programmers.
  • Compilation is the process of a compiler transforming source code into object code or machine executable code. In addition, the compiler’s output (object code) is unique to the system architecture. As a result, the object file generated by the compiler on one machine may not be compatible with other machines with different system architecture.
  • The usage of Intermediated Code and a Just in Time Compiler solves the problem of machine dependency. Many languages, on the other hand, continue to generate object code in the old fashion. When the source code is edited and recompiled, the changes are mirrored in the object code as well.

What Is the Distinction Between Source and Object Code?

We’ll learn the difference between source code and object code in this segment, which will be presented in a clear and concise manner. The next section might be thought of as a wrap-up of all that has gone before:

  • On the one hand, source code is created by a programmer or developer, who is essentially a human, whereas object code is created by a compiler or any other language translator.
  • Source code is high-level code that can be understood by humans and written in a high-level programming language. It’s a document with a lot of text. Object code, on the other hand, is low-level code that is essentially a binary translation of source code that can be understood and executed by machines but is usually not understood by people.
  • The source code is written in a high-level language such as C, C++, Java, Python, and others, or in assembly language, and it includes comments that explain the logic. A compiler, an assembler, or any other translator is used to write object code in machine language. There are no comments in object code.
  • Any developer or programmer can readily modify source code. The object code, on the other hand, is only changed when the revised source code is recompiled.
  • When compared to object code, source code contains fewer statements. In addition, source code is less machine-friendly than object code. Another difference between source code and object code is that source code is not system specific, whereas object code is.
  • Because source code is closer to the machine than object code, its performance is lower.
  • The compiler or any other translator uses source code as an input, whereas object code is the final output of the compiler or any other translator.
  • A developer or programmer can update the source code manually if it is flexible enough. To update the object code, however, the modified source code must be built anew.


  • This was our sincere attempt to explain the distinction between source and object code. This was a fundamental grasp of the differences between object and source code. Understanding the fundamentals is critical if you want to become a successful developer. We believe that this blog will assist you in expanding your knowledge and improving your performance as a developer.

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October 28, 2021

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