Computer program

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A computer program (also a software program, or just a program) is a sequence of instructions written to perform a specified task for a computer.[1] A computer requires programs to function, typically executing the program's instructions in a central processor.[2] The program has an executable form that the computer can use directly to execute the instructions. The same program in its human-readable source code form, from which executable programs are derived (e.g., compiled), enables a programmer to study and develop its algorithms.

Computer source code is often written by computer programmers. Source code is written in a programming language that usually follows one of two main paradigms: imperative or declarative programming. Source code may be converted into an executable file (sometimes called an executable program or a binary) by a compiler and later executed by a central processing unit. Alternatively, computer programs may be executed with the aid of an interpreter, or may be embedded directly into hardware.

Computer programs may be categorized along functional lines: system software and application software. Two or more computer programs may run simultaneously on one computer, a process known as multitasking.

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