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3. Libraries and compiling

When software is compiled, you have two choices. You can either integrate the libraries used by the software into the final program, or you can keep the libraries as separate files.

Integrating the libraries results in a standalone executable file that can be run without having to access external libraries all the time. However, it means that in order to run the program, the libraries will all have to be loaded into main memory alongside the rest of the code. This slows down the process and uses more memory.

The alternative is called 'run-time' loading. The libraries remain as separate files and the core part of the software is in its own executable file. When the application is opened, it loads into memory, but the library procedures are only loaded when they are called. This allows code to be loaded quicker and use less memory.

The downside of a library remaining separate is that if it is missing, the code will not run.

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Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: What is a code library