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Programming

This dictionary section is related to programming - the process of coding computer programs.

Here you will find definitions of terms describing the work of programmers, which involves writing the source code as well as testing and debugging programs.

Programming is the process of creating computer software using programming languages. It combines elements of art, science, mathematics and engineering. Here we consider programming in its narrow sense - the implementation of one or more interrelated algorithms in a programming language.

Programming languages support different programming styles (so-called programming paradigms).

The computer software creation requires the programmer to have knowledge and understanding of how a task can be solved via the functionality and facilities of concrete language. Every new project begins with the estimation of the task and choosing the appropriate algorithm, which often results in a compromise between simplicity and productivity.

The only language directly executed by the computer is the machine language (also called machine code). Initially, all software was programmed in machine code, and the language now known as the low-level programming language - one of the most popular example of whem is called Assembler - consists of sets of machine code.  Today the programmers write the code in high-level languages which need to be translated into machine code by a special software tool, compilator. The process is called compilation. As a result, the ready program can be executed on a processor with a targeted system (Windows, Mac OS, Linux).


For example, in the process of programming these days, integrated development environments are widely used, which usually include:

  • a code editor for entering and editing program text;
  • a debugger for bug-fixing (searching for and fixing errors);
  • a translator for converting program text to machine representation;
  • a linker for building a program from several modules;
  • Other service modules and tools.

The programming section also includes descriptions of different tools and utilities programmers use during the process. To implement the unify coding approach, universal standards are set for each of the programming languages. The process of standardisation is under control of the international organisation the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

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