Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In an old book I have, they say that "build" is either a process of converting source code into executable or the actual result - assembly. Is that correct?

Is a build actually the assembly, I mean from terminological point of view.

share|improve this question

closed as unclear what you're asking by gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Ixrec, GlenH7, MichaelT Jan 19 at 2:32

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The result of a build process can indeed be called a build. If you are talking .net, then the result of a build is one or more assemblies, yes. But the word assembly also has a different meaning: A human-readable representation of machine code. Which is NOT the result of a build, although it may be an intermediate step. So you should be clear what sense of "assembly" you are talking about. – JacquesB Jan 17 at 16:35
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, that statement isn't correct.

When you build a program the following steps happen:

  1. The source files are compiled to object files This takes your source code and turns it into object code. This step turns the source code into machine code.

  2. The object files are linked to produce an executable The linker will come along and link your various object files together, do any static linking it needs to and spit out the completed executable in machine code.

Assembly is a programming language which is not machine readable until it is "assembled" (aka compiled). When assembly is compiled it becomes machine code.

Edit based on Christopher's comment: If this book is specific to .NET then yes, the terminology could be considered correct as .NET executables are referred to as assemblies.

share|improve this answer
Or, assembly could refer to a shared object in .NET. – Christopher Creutzig Mar 10 '13 at 14:38
That is a very true point. I read "in an old book I have" and then I realised that .NET is now over 10 years old. – Sam Mar 10 '13 at 14:39
What about C#, I think there is an assembly=build. Thanks, it is a C# book. – user970696 Mar 10 '13 at 14:42
@user970696 In that case then yes, the second part of my answer says that the terminology is correct. – Sam Mar 10 '13 at 14:48

If the book says so, then within that book, that is the meaning of the word. Obviously, in other contexts, the result of a build may not be anything usually called “assembly”, so the definition cannot apply there.

On a more general note, I don't find it odd to ask if we still have a backup of last Friday's build, so I'd say the usage of the word for the result of the build process is not entirely non-standard. English is full of words you can use as verbs or nouns, with more or less related meanings.

share|improve this answer
Yeah the word "build" can certainly be used both as a verb, and as a noun to refer to what is produced by the act of "building". – Carson63000 Mar 10 '13 at 20:14

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.