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Definition Links Links rule
Last modified: September 1, 1996

(n) An organized list of instructions that, when executed, causes the computer to behave in a predetermined manner. Without programs, computers are useless.

A program is like a recipe. It contains a list of ingredients (called variables) and a list of directions (called statements) that tell the computer what to do with the variables. The variables can represent numeric data, text, or graphical images.

There are many programming languages -- C, C++, Pascal, BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and LISP are just a few. These are all high-level languages. One can also write programs in low-level languages called assembly languages, although this is more difficult. Low-level languages are closer to the language used by a computer, while high-level languages are closer to human languages.

Eventually, every program must be translated into a machine language that the computer can understand. This translation is performed by compilers, interpreters, and assemblers.

When you buy software, you normally buy an executable version of a program. This means that the program is already in machine language -- it has already been compiled and assembled and is ready to execute.

(v) To write programs.

See Also
assembly language
executable file
flow control
high-level language
low-level language
machine language
programming language

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Engineering Software Online Award Winning Page
A comprehensive site containing links to news articles, resources, product information and forums for CAD/CAM, FEA, project, modeling, and programming tools. Updated on Aug 5, 1998 Award Winning Page
This site hosts a collection of information on current software products, technologies, and vendors. Here, you can search IT journals for product information, browse vendor literature, find answers to technical questions, take part in a forum, and view a complete list of VARs. Updated on Oct 4, 1997

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