Software systems have been using ``just-in-time'' compilation (JIT)
techniques since the 1960s. Broadly, JIT compilation includes any translation
performed dynamically, after a program has started execution. We examine the
motivation behind JIT compilation, constraints imposed on JIT compilation
systems, and present a classification scheme for such systems. This
classification emerges as we survey forty years of JIT work, from 1960-2000.
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