Source code

Simple C-language source code example, a procedural programming language. The resulting program prints "hello, world" on the computer screen. This first known "Hello world" snippet from the seminal book The C Programming Language originates from Brian Kernighan in the Bell Laboratories in 1974.[1]

In computing, source code, or simply code, is any collection of text, with or without comments, written using a human-readable programming language, usually as plain text. The source code of a program is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source code.

The source code is often transformed by an assembler or compiler into binary machine code that can be executed by the computer. The machine code is then available for execution at a later time.

Most application software is distributed in a form that includes only executable files. If the source code were included it would be useful to a user, programmer or a system administrator, any of whom might wish to study or modify the program.

Alternatively, depending on the technology being used, source code may be interpreted and executed directly.

  1. ^ "Programming in C: A Tutorial" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2015.

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