Why is a compiler called a compiler?(With thanks to Kjell Post for the quote.)
The original meaning of "to compile" is "to select representative material and add it to a collection"; present-day makers of compilation compact discs use the term in its proper meaning. In its early days programming language translation was viewed in the same way: when the input contained for example "a + b", a prefabricated code fragment "load a in register; add b to register" was selected and added to the output. A compiler compiled a list of code fragments to be added to the translated program. Today's compilers, especially those for the non-imperative programming paradigms, often perform much more radical transformations on the input program.