Diff Utils - Find Differences in Documents

Utilities that Make it Easy to Compare Assembly Code

Navigation: All Articles About Documents Comparison > General

Assembly language is a computer language used for low-level applications. There are many tools available to compare assembly code and track changes, making programmers' lives easier. Check additional information about compare assembly.

Assembly languages are low-level computer languages that bear great resemblance to actual machine code. In contrast to high-level programming languages such as C or VisualBasic, assembly languages have simpler commands that are usually mapped one-to-one to machine instructions. Assembly is usually used in cases where efficiency and speed is important, or when high-level languages are not feasible. These include applications, such as device drivers, embedded systems, and real-time systems. As with any programming language, often it becomes useful to be able to compare assembly codes.

Comparing different pieces of any program or code is usually done with the intent to track changes or synchronize the different items. For example, a driver for a video card may be written in assembly code. When a newer model of the same series of video card comes out, a new driver would need to be written, also in assembly code. The programmers working on this newer device driver would certainly find it handy to be able to compare their new code with the code for the previous driver.

Another example where comparing assembler code may come in handy would be for the implementation of different pieces of critical, real-time equipment. When updating the programs embedded in such equipment, it would be important to be aware of every change to be made. Comparing the old code with the new code would then provide such a complete list of changes, enabling programmers to thoroughly justify each change.

Obviously, one way of comparing two programs would be to actually visually inspect each piece of code. While this may work for simple programs, as programs increase in size and complexity, this endeavor becomes less and less feasible. With programs potentially stretching to hundreds or thousands of lines of code, the details would simply overwhelm the human reader.

Fortunately, there are a lot of available file comparison or code comparison programs that can help tremendously. These comparison programs usually highlight the changes or differences that can be found between two pieces of code. This makes it easier to visually inspect large stretches of code, as a line-by-line reading is no longer necessary. In the context of assembly code, these programs usually consist of disassemblers and debuggers.

Disassemblers can take machine code and convert it back into assembly code. Debuggers, on the other hand, are tools that make it easier for programmers to analyze and edit code. Hence, using these comparison programs makes it easier not only to compare one piece of code to another, but also to analyze a particular assembly program in depth. This analysis can also facilitate the comparison of different assembly programs in terms of their structure and function.

With the use of the tools, it becomes much easier to compare assembly code. With its various important applications to low-level hardware control, assembly code is very useful, and hence, so is this ability to compare code. Programmers would be well advised to look into the proper and efficient use of these comparison tools, in the interests of better and faster programming and code management.

If you are interested in compare assembly, check this link to find out more about diff assembly. Also, you can check other articles in General category.