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Program (machine)

A program (or 'programme' in most Commonwealth countries and Éire) is list of instructions written in a programming language that is used to control the behavior of a machine, often a computer (in this case it is known as a computer program).

Examples of programs include:

  • The sequence of cards used by a Jacquard loom to produce a given pattern within weaved cloth.
  • A file containing a list of instructions to be executed by a computer.

The execution of a program is a series of actions following the instructions it contains. Each instruction produces effects that alter the state of the machine according to its predefined meaning.

While some machines are called programmable, eg Programmable thermostat, they are essentially devices that allow their users to select among a fixed set of a variety of options, rather than being controlled by programs written in a language (be it textual, visual or otherwise).

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