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GLOSSARY: Source code

Source code is the name given to text instructions written in a computer programming language by computer programmers. They write 'source code routines' to make the computer perform certain tasks. This is then either

  • automatically translated to binary machine code by an interpreter so that the computer can directly read and execute the program OR
  • a compiler translates the source code to machine code that it stores as a executable file (one that can be 'run' on the computer - one the computer understands!). That file can then be 'run' by the programmer (executed) as a separate step.