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A code generator is a tool or resource that generates a particular sort of code or computer programming language. This has many specific meanings in the world of IT, many of them related to the sometimes complex processes of converting human programming syntax to the machine language that can be read by a computing system.
One of the most common and conventional uses of the term “code generator” is to describe parts of the compiler systems that process modern computer programming languages. IT professionals may call the part of a compiler that converts a representation of source code into machine code a “code generator.” They may also refer to a code generation phase, where the compiler uses things like instruction selection, instruction scheduling and register allocation to parse and handle code inputs for output.
Another common use of the term “code generator” involves other resources or tools that help to turn out specific kinds of code. For example, some homemade or open source code generators can generate classes and methods for easier or more convenient computer programming. This type of resource might also be called a component generator.
In addition to the above uses, people might use the term “code generator” to talk about a system that generates specific proprietary types of encoded messages. One interesting example is the Geek Code, an alphanumeric system that self-described “geeks” use to communicate with one another about a variety of identifiers. This code, which gets used on various platforms and in various formats, can be generated by a code generation tool that converts text into geek code.