Program Coding , Computer Programming , Coding

What Is Computer Program ?

Computer Program | Program Coding | Computer Programming

The computer program is essentially a set of instructions which directs the computer system to perform user specified tasks . The computer program is an essential component of the computer system .

The computer program is also alternately referred to as software application .The computer programs are generally written using any human readable high level programming language .

The high level programming language offers a human friendly interface to write the program code . This high level code cannot be directly executed by the computer system .

However , the high level program code first needs to be converted into machine code instruction in binary that computer can execute and perform user specified operations.

What Is Computer Program ?

Table Of Contents

What Is Computer Program ?

The computer system is an digital electronic device that can be used to perform some meaningful work such data processing , calculations , data storage and other such user specified work .

However , the computer system needs to be programmed to perform any meaningful work .  The computer system consist of two essential components which includes hardware and software components .

How computer works , Computer Coding, Computer Program Compilation

The software components are computer programs which consist of set of instructions that directs the computer system hardware components to perform the desired operations. This set of instructions which directs the computer system is called computer program.

The computer system interprets these program instructions and then performs the desired operations by executing the program instructions one by one.

Types Of Computer Programs

As per the computer system architecture , the computer programs can be broadly grouped into two categories .

  • System Programs
  • Application Programs

System Programming

What Is A System Program ?

In computer system architecture , the System Software  is a program used by the operating system to communicate with the hardware component.

Each hardware component needs a system software that allows the operating system to communicate with that hardware component or device and perform the desired operation.

Computer System Architecture

The system software functions as an interface between the operating system and the hardware components part of the computer system . The OS communicates and drives the hardware components through system software components.

And therefore , whenever a device is connected to the computer system either internally or externally essentially needs a system software ( Commonly referred as Device Driver ) to perform various user specified operations.

The system software components are designed to operate , control and extend  the processing capabilities  of  the computer system and the other hardware devices connected to the computer system.

The system  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 .  

System Software , How computer system works
Application Software , How computer System Works

What Is Application Program ?

The application programs ( Software )  are designed to provide the user friendly interface to the computer user to perform various tasks on the computer system.

For example , we generally use Microsoft word program for creating document , Power point for making presentation and Excel Spreadsheet program for creating the spreadsheets .

The application program is written in high level programming language such as C language , Java , C++ , 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 as program compilation.

The compiled programs in the form of executable file ( Exe file ) can be directly executed by the computer system .

Programming Languages , Computer science Fields of Study
Program Compilation , CS Fields Of Study

The Application software is a term used for the program created for a specific purpose  that provides specific functionality to the user. The application software can be a single program or group of programs used by end users.

The application software also commonly referred as application or simply an app.  All the programs used  in a computer  other than system software are referred to as application software.

What Is Program Compilation ?

The computer programs written in high level programming language  must  be first converted  to machine code  in binary . The microprocessor can decode and execute only program instructions in binary .

And therefore , the high level computer program is converted to binary code by using a special system program called compiler. This conversion process is referred as program compilation.

The  program compilation is a process in which  a human readable program code written in a any programming  language  (  C , C ++ , Java , Python )  is converted  to a  machine readable code  in  binary  (  using  only 0’s  and 1’s  ) .

The  compiler  only  converts  the  program source code  in  to  the  Object code ( Binary Code )  . The   object code  cannot  be directly  executed  by the  operating system .

The  Object code  file  further needs to be  processed  by  another  program  called   “Linker”. The linker ( type of system software )   which   is  built  into  the  compiler itself .

Program Compilation

Computer Program Compilation And Linking

The  compiler  may produce  number  of  object code files for a single program source  code  file . The object code   consist  of  machine code  instructions  in  binary  which  is  equivalent  of  corresponding  high level  program  instructions  in  program  source  file .

And therefore ,  the linking  is  required  to link  all  object code files  and  other  files  together  to  create  an  “Executable”  file .  The executable code can be directly executed by the CPU ( microprocessor ).    

Why Computer Understands Binary Machine Code ?

Compiled Vs Interpreted Programs

The programming languages can be broadly categorized into either interpreted or compiled language . In case of compiled language ,  the compiler accepts the program code and converts into machine code in binary .

For example , the C language compiler converts the entire source code into machine readable executable code . This executable code can be directly executed by the computer .

Program Compilation Interpreter
Program Compilation

Whereas , in the case of interpreted language , the interpreter converts  the source code into intermediate code line by line .

The interpreter first converts the program statement into an intermediate code . Another system program then converts this code into native machine code . And therefore , the execution process is relatively slower in case of interpreted language .

For example , the Java program compiler converts the program source code into an intermediate byte code which is platform independent . And the Java virtual machine ( JVM ) then converts this intermediate byte code into native machine code.

How Computer System Executes the Program ?

The computer user initiates the program execution by instructing the operating system to start the program execution . The operating system then loads the executable program into the main system memory RAM.

The microprocessor ( CPU – Central Processing Unit )  is the brain of the computer system and performs all the arithmetic calculations and logical operations.

Central Processing Unit CPU
How CPU Executes Program Instructions

The CPU provides the processing power to the computer system and executes the program . The processor ( CPU ) initiates the program execution by fetching the program instructions from main memory one by one.

The CPU makes use of its internal high speed memory registers and cache memory to optimize the processor execution speed .

The CPU decodes the program instructions and performs then operates on the program data as per the program instructions.

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