- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Computer program

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer.

The term computer program may refer to source code, written in a programming language, or to the executable form of this code. Computer programs are also known as software, applications programs, system software or simply programs.

The source code of most computer programs consists of a list of instructions that explicitly implement an algorithm (known as an imperative programming style); in another form (known as declarative programming) the characteristics of the required information are specified and the method used to obtain the results, if any, is left to the platform.

Computer programs are often written by people known as computer programmers, but may also be generated by other programs.


Commercial computer programs aimed at end-users are commonly referred to as application software by the computer industry, as these programs are focused on the functionality of what the computer is being used for (its application), as opposed to being focused on system-level functinality (for example, as the Windows operating system software is). In practice, colloquially, both application software and system software may correctly be referred to as programs, as may be the more esoteric firmware—software firmly built into an embedded system. Programs that execute on the hardware are a set of instructions in a format understandable by the instruction set of the computer's main processor, which cause specific other instructions to execute or perform a simple computation like addition. But computers process millions of such per second and that is the program, the sequence of instructions strung together such that when executed, they do something useful, and usually repeatable and reliable.

For differences in the usage of the spellings program and programme, see American and British English spelling differences.

Program execution

A computer program is loaded into memory (usually by the operating system) and then executed ("run"), instruction by instruction, until termination, either with success or through software or hardware error.

Before a computer can execute any sort of program (including the operating system, itself a program) the computer hardware must be initialized. This initialization is done in modern PCs by a piece of software stored on programmable memory chips installed by the manufacturer, called the BIOS. The BIOS will attempt to initialize the boot sequence, making the computer ready for higher-level program execution.

Programs vs. data

The executable form of a program (that is, usually object code) is often treated as being different from the data the program operates on. In some cases this distinction is blurred with programs creating, or modifying, data, which is subsequently executed as part of the same program (this is a common occurrence for programs written in Lisp), see self-modifying code.


Main article: Computer programming

A program is likely to contain a variety of data structures and a variety of different algorithms to operate on them.

Creating a computer program is the iterative process of writing new source code or modifying existing source code, followed by testing, analyzing and refining this code. A person who practices this skill is referred to as a computer programmer or software developer. The sometimes lengthy process of computer programming is now referred to as "software development" or software engineering. The latter becoming more popular due to the increasing maturity of the discipline. (see Debate over who is a software engineer)

Two other forms of modern day approaches are team programming where each member of the group has equal say in the development process except for one person who guides the group through discrepancies. These groups tend to be around 10 people to keep the group manageable. The second form is referred to as "peer programming" or pair programming.

See Process and methodology for the different aspects of modern day computer programming.


The world's shortest useful program is usually agreed upon to be the utility cont/rerun used on the old operating system CP/M. It was 2 bytes long (JMP 100), jumping to the start position of the program that had previously been run and so restarting the program, in memory, without loading it from the much slower disks of the 1980's.

According to the International Obfuscated C Code Contest, the world's smallest "program" consisted of a file containing zero bytes, which when run output zero bytes to the screen (also making it the world's smallest self-replicating program). This "program" was qualified as such only due to a flaw in the language of the contest rules, which were soon after modified to require the program to be greater than zero bytes.

Ada Lovelace wrote a set of notes specifying in complete detail a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the Analytical Engine described by Charles Babbage. This is recognized as the world's first computer program and she is recognised as the world's first computer programmer by historians.


External links

  • Definition of Program @ Webopedia
  • Definition of Computer program @ Agtivity
  • Definition of Software @ FOLDOC
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