A factor by which compilers for programming languages can be compared is the size of the resulting program generated. Clearly, a smaller code size is desirable since it is more memory-efficient, uses fewer computer resources and allows the computer to support and run more programs at once. For instance, a program required a minimum of 49 bytes of random access memory(RAM) and 580 words of read-only memory(ROM) when compiled by the C compiler CSS-C V3.000, but required an average RAM of 65 bytes and ROM of 722 words when compiled by HI-TECH PICC V7.86, according to tests run by the CSS developers. Clearly, CSS-C V3.000 is a better compiler in this case Studies have also shown that the V.8.0c of the Microsoft compiler produces smaller and faster code than the CAD-UL Compiler and the V.5.0 of the Paradigm C/C++ Compiler . Of the three, the Microsoft compiler also has the best optimiser for ‘186, which may be another factor of comparison for compilers of programming languages.
User friendliness of compiler and case studiesThe user-friendliness of a compiler is another factor by which compilers for programming languages may be compared. User-friendliness is important since compilers which are more user-friendly generally result in greater productivity as the programmer is likely to feel more comfortable, and hence be more efficient, using the compiler. For instance, the above HI-TECH C compiler stresses full ANSI compliance and forces the programmer to develop an intimate knowledge of the hardware. The CSS compiler, on the other hand, insulates the programmer from the hardware and has a generous library of useful routines. Clearly the latter is more user-friendly and thus desirable. Diversity of supported platforms and case studiesAnother factor of comparison would be the diversity of platforms supported by the compiler. Compilers which support a greater variety of platforms may be favoured because they are more versatile. For instance, IAR’s C compiler supports only Windows and DOS, but Imagecraft’s C compiler supports Windows, DOS and Linux, giving the programmer more flexibility in compiling operations. Cost of compiler and case studiesThe cost of the compiler is also an important factor as, naturally, one would prefer his purchases to be as cheap as possible. For instance, the full version of the CCS-C V3.000 compiler costs $425.00 while the full version for the PIC16/17 compiler costs $2395.00. This is a significant difference which can affect choice of the purchase. There are also freeware compilers available for download on the internet. An example would be the CC65 C compiler and the Borland C++ 5.5 compiler.