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What Is Computer Program?

What Is Computer Program?


Let's discuss what is a computer program? how a computer program works? what is the need to compile the program? And finally what a  different interpreted and compiled program.

A computer program is essentially a set of instructions that instructs a computer system to perform user-specified tasks. The computer program is an essential component of the computer system.


What is a computer program?

We are all aware that the computer system is a digital electronic device that can be used to perform some meaningful work such as data processing, calculations data storage. Another such user-specified work. However, a computer system needs to be programmed to perform any meaningful work. The computer system consists of two essential components which include hardware and software components.

Software components are computer programs that contain a set of instructions that instruct the hardware components of the computer system to perform desired operations. The computer system interprets these program instructions & then performs the desired operation by executing the program instructions one by one.


The types of computer programs

According to computer system architecture, computer programs can be broadly divided into two categories.

1. System programs
2. The application programs

The system software components are designed to operate control and extend the process and capabilities of the computer system and the other hardware devices connected to the computer system. The system's software is also designed and developed by the computer manufacturer to communicate with specific hardware components connected to the computer system such as camera, printer, scanner, and other such devices.

The operating system which manages and controls the computer system needs a special program called system software to communicate with a hardware component. Each hardware component connected to the computer needs a system software that allows the operating system to communicate with that hardware component or device.

And therefore whenever a device is connected to the computer system either internally or externally essentially needs the system software which is commonly referred to as device driver in order to operate that device. The operating system itself is a type of system software.


What is application software?

The application software or program is a term used for the program created for a specific purpose. The application software provides specific functionality to the user. The application software can be a single program or group of programs used by the end-user. The application software also commonly referred to as an application or simply an app. The application programs are designed to provide a user-friendly interface to the computer user and also provide the functionality to perform various tasks on the computer system.

For example, we generally use the Microsoft Word program for creating a Document, PowerPoint program for making presentations, and Excel spreadsheet software for creating spreadsheets. The application program is written in high-level programming languages such as C language, Java, Python, or any other high-level programming language. However, the high-level program needs to be converted to machine code instructions in binary and this conversion is referred to as program compilation.


What is program compilation?

The Computer programs written in a high-level programming language must first be converted into binary machine code. The microprocessor inside the computer can understand and execute only binary code which consists of only 0 and 1 and therefore the higher-level computer programs. Our first converted to binary code by using a special system program calls the compiler and this conversion process is referred to as program compilation.

The program compilation is a process in which a human-readable program code is written any programming language such as C language, C++, Java, Python is converted into a machine-readable code in binary that the CPU can decode and execute. The compiler program only converts the program source code into the object code in binary.

However, this object code cannot be directly sent for execution by the operating system and therefore the object code files further needs to be processed by another program calls the linker. The linker is a type of system software that is built into the compiler itself. The linker links or the object code files and builds an executable file which the computer CPU can directly execute.


What is the difference between compiled program & interpreted program?

The programming languages can be broadly categorized into either interpreted language or compiled language. In the case of compiled language the compiler accepts the entire program source code and converts it into the machine code in binary. For example, the C language compiler converts the entire source code into the machine-readable executable code.

This executable code can be directly executed by the computer system whereas in the case of interpreted language the interpreter converts for source code into the intermediate code the interpret offers converts the program statements into an intermediate code. Another system program then converts this code into the native machine code and therefore the execution process is relatively slower. in case of an interpreted language.

For example, the Java program compiler first converts the Java program source code into an intermediate Bytecode which is platform-independent. And the Java Virtual Machine JVM then converts this intermediate Bytecode into the native machine code.

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