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map
Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2003 

(n.) A file showing the structure of a program after it has been compiled. The map file lists every variable in the program along with its memory address. This information is useful for debugging purposes. Normally a compiler will not produce a map file unless you explicitly ask for it by specifying the appropriate compiler option.

(v.) (1) To make logical connections between two entities. Because programs cannot translate directly from human concepts to computer numbers, they translate incrementally through a series of layers. Each layer contains the same amount of information as the layer above but in a form somewhat closer to the form that the computer understands. This activity of translating from one layer to another is called mapping.

The term map is often used to describe programming languages. For example, C is an efficient programming language because it maps well onto the machine language. What this means is that it is relatively easy to translate from the C language to machine languages.

(2) To copy a set of objects from one place to another while preserving the objects' organization. For example, when loaded, programs on a disk are mapped into memory. Graphics images in memory are mapped onto a display screen.

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related categories

Compiling, Binding and Linking

related terms

compile

debug

load

option

programming language


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