How is Bytecode "parsed"?
It is my understand that Bytecode is a binary, intermediate representation of the syntax of a given programming language. Certain programming languages convert their source text into Bytecode which is then written to a file. How does the Virtual Machines of those languages "parse" their Bytecode?
To narrow down this question, take Python's Bytecode for instance. When the Python Virtual Machine begins reading Bytecode from a
*.pyc file, how does the Virtual Machine translate the stream of bytes it is reading, into specific instructions?
When the Virtual Machine reads bytecode from a file, it is my understanding that the bytecode one long stream of bytes. How then, is the bytecode broken into useful chunks? How is it transformed into an opcode and the opcodes arguments?
For example, say the Virtual Machine was reading in the bytecode to add two numbers. The Virtal Machine sees the instruction
0x05, which would mean "add two numbers".
Each number could be represented by a different number of bytes, so how would the Virtual Machine know how many bytes it would need to read ahead to gather the arguments for the op