An abbreviation for Intermediate Language, which is the compiled representation of an application targeted to a specific machine.

The Microsoft .NET CLR has co-opted this term to signify its standard intermediate language (which has a syntax). Microsoft's IL is commonly compared to Java VM bytecode, but there are significant differences, mainly in that it is designed to be compiled by a JIT into a machine-executable format, whereas bytecode is intended to be executed directly by a Virtual Machine. It should be noted that Java bytecode is usually compiled by a JIT anyway for performance reasons, and it would be possible to run IL as an interpreted language, but it is difficult to imagine why anyone would want to do this.

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