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In computer science, cloning is the process of creating an exact copy of another application program or object. The term can be used to refer an object, programming or an application that has similar functions and behaviour to another object or application program but does not contain the original source code from the concerned object or program. Cloning is also used to describe the act of making the exact copy of a directory file or disk inclusive of any subdirectories or files within the disk or directory.
Cloned applications and programs are often customized applications. In many cases, they are technically superior to the original, as in the case of Linux. Cloning in programming, in all cases copies the values from the concerned object to the other object. Cloning allows programmers to copy the values of an object or source code of an application program to another without the need for writing the explicit code. Certain programming languages, for example Java, have keywords and functionalities to support cloning. Clone() is one such function.
There are certain benefits associated with cloning. Cloning can help a new program or application be more compatible with existing applications or environments. If there is no violation of copyright of original source code or software, cloning can help in improving the software.