Data type

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In computer programming, a data type (or datatype) is a classification identifying one of various types of data, such as floating-point, integer, or Boolean, that determines the possible values for that type; the operations that can be done on that type; and the way the values of that type are stored.[1]

Contents

Overview

Almost all programming languages explicitly include the notion of data type, though different languages may use different terminology. Common data types may include:

For example, in the Java programming language, the "int" type represents the set of 32-bit integers ranging in value from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647, as well as the operations that can be performed on integers, such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Colors, on the other hand, are represented by three bytes denoting the amounts each of red, green, and blue, and one string representing that color's name; allowable operations include addition and subtraction, but not multiplication.

Most programming languages also allow the programmer to define additional data types, usually by combining multiple elements of other types and defining the valid operations of the new data type. For example, a programmer might create a new data type named "complex number" that would include real and imaginary parts. A data type also represents a constraint placed upon the interpretation of data in a type system, describing representation, interpretation and structure of values or objects stored in computer memory. The type system uses data type information to check correctness of computer programs that access or manipulate the data.

Classes of data types

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