Chapter 2. Lexical Structure

2.1 Programs

An M program consists of one or more source files, known formally as compilation units. A compilation unit file is an ordered sequence of Unicode characters. Compilation units typically have a one-to-one correspondence with files in a file system, but this correspondence is not required. For maximal portability, it is recommended that files in a file system be encoded with the UTF-8 encoding.

Conceptually speaking, a program is compiled using four steps:

1. Lexical analysis, which translates a stream of Unicode input characters into a stream of tokens. Lexical analysis evaluates and executes pre-processing directives.

2. Syntactic analysis, which translates the stream of tokens into an abstract syntax ...

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