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In computing, source code is any collection of computer instructions (possibly with comments) written using some human-readable computer language, usually as 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 machine code might then be stored for execution at a later time.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. Written in object oriented programming style, it demonstrates boilerplate code.With prologue comments indicated in red, inline comments indicated in green, and program statements indicated in blue.Source code (also referred to as source or code) is the version of software as it is originally written (i.e., typed into a computer) by a human in plain text (i.e., human readable alphanumeric characters).
The notion of source code may also be taken more broadly, to include machine code and notations in graphical languages, neither of which are textual in nature.
An example from an article presented on the annual IEEE conference and on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation: For the purpose of clarity ‘source code’ is taken to mean any fully executable description of a software system.
Alternatively, an interpreter can be used to analyze and perform the outcomes of the source code program directly on the fly.
Most application softwares are distributed in a form that includes executable files, but not their source code.
If the source code were included, it would be useful to a user, programmer, or system administrator, who may wish to modify the program or to understand how it works.
Aside from its machine-readable forms, source code also appears in books and other media; often in the form of small code snippets, but occasionally complete code bases; a well-known case is the source code of PGP.