Last updated: May 20, 2002
A compiler driver is a script that controls the different steps in a compilation process for an Objective-C program. Ultimately, an Objective-C program is compiled into machine instructions for some specific microprocessor, such as instructions from a Sparc, MIPS or PA-RISC processor instruction set. However, there are several compilation phases, and the compiler driver is the top-level control program that keeps track of the various compilation phases.
At first, the compiler driver will execute the C preprocessor so that macro definitions and file inclusion directives are expanded, and so that comments are removed from the source files. Next, the compiler driver will tell the stage 1 compiler to translate the output of the previous step into plain C. Finally, the compiler driver will ask a C compiler to compile the generated C code into machine instructions.
The file extension for Objective-C source code files is .m.