A language that is generated from programming source code, but that cannot be directly executed by the CPU. Also called "bytecode," "p-code," "pseudocode" or "pseudo language," the intermediate language (IL) is platform independent. It can be run in any computer environment that has a runtime engine for the language.
In order to execute the intermediate language program, it must be interpreted a line at a time into machine language when it is run or compiled entirely into machine language just before it is run or compiled entirely ahead of time and run when required.
A Popular Architecture
Visual Basic and Java are notable examples of programming languages that generate an intermediate language. Microsoft's .NET and Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), the ECMA standard version of .NET, also generate an intermediate language (see CLR
). See Java Virtual Machine
, managed code
and runtime environment