Source code (source code)

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What is a source code

What is a source code (or source code)?

Every computer program is written in a programming language such as Java, C/C++, Perl or similar. These programs comprise a few lines up to millions of lines of text, the so-called source code.

The source code, often referred to as the "source" of a program, contains variable declarations, statements, functions, loops and other instructions. These explain how the program works. Programmers can also add comments to their source code that explain sections of the code. These comments help other programmers better figure out what the source code does without having to spend hours deciphering it. The comments can also be helpful to the original programmer. This is especially beneficial if many months or years have passed since the code was written.


Source code and scripts

Short programs called scripts can be executed directly from source code using a scripting engine, such as a VBScript or PHP engine. However, most large programs require that the source code be compiled first, which translates the code into a language that the computer can understand. When changes are made to the source code of these programs, they must be redone for the changes to take effect in the program.

Small programs may use only one source code file, while larger programs may reference hundreds or even thousands of files. Having multiple source files helps organize the program into different sections. Having one file that contains all the variables and functions can make it difficult to find specific sections of code. Regardless of how many source code files are used to create a program, you will most likely not see any of the original files on your computer. This is because they are all combined into one program file or application during compilation.


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What is a source code? arrow icon in accordion
A source code is the original text of a software written by a developer in a programming language. It contains the instructions that make the software do what it is supposed to do. Source code is often illegible and incomprehensible to humans, but it is the basis of all software.
Why is source code needed? arrow icon in accordion
The source code is needed so that software can be produced. It contains the instructions to which the software should respond and the programs that execute the instructions. Without source code it is not possible to create software and it is a necessary element of any software project.
How is source code created? arrow icon in accordion
Source code is written by a programmer or developer in a programming language. The programming language specifies how the source code should look and how it should be processed. The developer must write the source code before it can be translated into another language and the software can be created.
Is source code ever changed? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, it is common to change the source code when the program is to be changed. If new functions are to be added or old functions are to be removed, instructions must be added or changed in the source code. This is a necessary requirement when developing a program further.
How is source code different from compilat? arrow icon in accordion
Compilat is the machine-readable version of the source code. The source code is written in a programming language, while compilat is written in a machine language. Compilat can be executed directly on the computer, while the source code must first be translated.
Can the source code be read by anyone? arrow icon in accordion
No, as a rule the source code can be read only by people who understand the corresponding programming language. For people who do not have the corresponding technical knowledge, it is usually very difficult to read and understand the source code.
Is it possible to change the source code? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, it is possible to change the source code. However, this is only possible for people who understand the respective programming language and the program. If the source code is changed, it usually has to be recompiled before the software works again.
What are the different types of source code? arrow icon in accordion
There are different types of source code depending on which programming language is used. Some of the most common programming languages are JavaScript, Python, Java and C++.
Is it difficult to read source code? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, it can be difficult to read and understand source code if you do not have the appropriate technical knowledge. However, in some cases it is possible to read source code even if you do not have a deep understanding of the programming language in question.
Is it possible to understand source code without reading it? arrow icon in accordion
No, it is not possible to understand the source code without reading it. You have to read it to understand and interpret it correctly. Even if you do not have the appropriate technical knowledge, you may be able to see through the source code, but you have to read it to understand it.

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