Source Code

What Does Source Code Mean?

Source code is the set of instructions and statements written by a programmer using a computer programming language. This code is later translated into machine language by a compiler. The translated code is referred to as object code.

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Techopedia Explains Source Code

Source code is the source of a computer program. It contains declarations, instructions, functions, loops and other statements, which act as instructions for the program on how to function. Programs may contain one or more source code text files, which can be stored on a computer’s hard disk, in a database, or be printed in books of code snippets.

Programmers can add comments to their source code to help other developers understand it. Short scripts can also be run from source code using a scripting engine such as VBScript or the PHP engine.

While large programs frequently reference hundreds or thousands of files, it is not uncommon for small programs to use just one source code. If there are many source files, the program may be organized into different sections. If a single file contains all the program’s variables and functions, it can be hard to locate specific sections of the code.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.