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  ANSI Common Lisp   24 System Construction   24.1 System Construction Concepts

24.1.1 Loading

To load a file is to treat its contents as code and execute that code. The file may contain source code or compiled code.

A file containing source code is called a source file. Loading a source file is accomplished essentially by sequentially reading2 the forms in the file, evaluating each immediately after it is read.

A file containing compiled code is called a compiled file. Loading a compiled file is similar to loading a source file, except that the file does not contain text but rather an implementation-dependent representation of pre-digested expressions created by the compiler. Often, a compiled file can be loaded more quickly than a source file. See Section 3.2 Compilation.

The way in which a source file is distinguished from a compiled file is implementation-dependent.

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