<file format, software> A binary file containing an executable program,
consisting of a sequence of (op code, data) pairs.
Byte-code op codes are most often fixed size binary patterns, but can be
variable size. The data portion consists of zero or more bits whose format
typically depends on the op code.
A byte-code program is interpreted by a byte-code interpreter. The advantage of
this technique compared with outputing machine code for some particular
processor is that the same byte-code can be executed on any processor on which
the byte-code interpreter runs. The byte-code may be compiled to machine code
("native code") for speed of execution but this usually requires significantly
greater effort for each new taraget architecture than simply porting the
For example, Java is compiled to byte-code which runs on the Java Virtual
by hand « Byte « byte « byte-code » byte-code
compiler » byte-code interpreter » byte compiler