Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provides the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. Software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer. In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. Program software performs the function of the program it implements, either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece of software. The term was coined to contrast to the old term hardware (meaning physical devices). In contrast to hardware, software "cannot be touched". Software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaning application software only. Sometimes the term includes data that has not traditionally been associated with computers, such as film, tapes, and records.
computer software is so called to distinguish it from computer hardware, which encompasses the physical interconnections and devices required to store and execute (or run) the software. At the lowest level, executable code consists of machine language instructions specific to an individual processor. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions that change the state of the computer from its preceding state. Programs are an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer in a particular sequence. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in an assembly language, essentially, a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via an assembler.
Other articles related to "machine, machines, languages, language":
... The machine consisted of between two and 16 cpus, organized as a fault-tolerant computer cluster packaged in a single rack ... They were both microprogrammed, 16-bit, stack-based machines with segmented, 16-bit virtual addressing ... were intended to be programmed exclusively in high-level languages, with no use of assembler ...
... approaches to the understanding of natural language content by computers ... So, in "The machine answered the question with a low whine" the agent of "answer" does not satisfy that verb's preference for a human answerer—which would cause it to be deemed ill-f ... This approach was used in the first operational machine translation system based principally on meaning structures and built by Wilks at Stanford Artificial Intelligence ...
Famous quotes containing the words machine and/or language:
“A multitude of little superfluous precautions engender here a population of deputies and sub-officials, each of whom acquits himself with an air of importance and a rigorous precision, which seemed to say, though everything is done with much silence, Make way, I am one of the members of the grand machine of state.”
—Marquis De Custine (17901857)
“This is an approach to that universal language which men have sought in vain.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)