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Definition - What does Boilerplate mean?

A boilerplate is any form of writing that can be or is reused multiple times with minimal changes to the original content. This term is currently used in many fields, often to refer to standard written media such as warnings, product manuals, disclaimers, copyright statements and even end-user license agreements. In IT, this term refers to boilerplate code, which is code that has proved to efficient and can be extended to many applications. Code to produce standard mathematical operations, template programs, and most notably, open-source codes may all be considered boilerplate code.

Techopedia explains Boilerplate

The term was derived in the 1900s, when thick steel was rolled in large quantities to make plates used in steam boilers. This term may also trace some of its roots to the 1890s to refer to the printing plates used for widespread reproduction, which were stamped on steel plates and distributed to newspapers and advertising printing presses.

The idea behind a boilerplate is that these templates or standards are already too reliable, time tested and even physically durable to change them much anymore.

Boilerplate code is often open-source code that programmers wrote for mass use. Once they function as they are designed to, few changes are required. These codes are often modules that people just add to their work, such as face recognition algorithms, styled buttons for C language, and even common Web applications like Google maps and embedded YouTube videos.

Program headers are also very good examples of boilerplate codes, especially on websites.

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