Compiler optimization involves adapting a compiler to reduce run-time or object size or both. This can be accomplished using compiler arguments (i.e. CFLAGS, LDFLAGS), compiler plugins (DEHYDRA for instance) or direct modifications to the compiler (such as modifying source code).

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High-level programming languages offer many abstract programming constructs such as functions, conditional statements and loops that make us amazingly productive. However, one disadvantage of writing code in a high-level programming language is the potentially significant decrease in performance. Ideally, you should write understandable, maintainable code—without compromising performance. For this reason, compilers attempt to automatically optimize the code to improve its performance, and they’ve become quite sophisticated in doing so nowadays.