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                  Main » TERM » P »

                  program

                  (n) An organized list of instructions that, when executed, causes the computerto 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 languageused 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 compiledand assembled and is ready to execute.

                  (v) To write programs.










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