Source code is any collection of computer instructions (possibly with comments) written using some human-readable computer language, usually as text.

The Source code of a program is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source code.

Source code is often transformed by a compiler program into low-level machine code understood by the computer. The machine code might then be stored for execution at a later time. Alternatively, an interpreter can be used to analyze and perform the outcomes of the source code program directly on the fly.

Most application softwares are distributed in a form that includes executable files, but not their Source code. If the Source code were included, it would be useful to a user, programmer, or system administrator, who may wish to modify the program or to understand how it works.

Aside from its machine-readable forms, Source code also appears in books and other media; often in the form of small code snippets, but occasionally complete code bases; a well-known case is the Source code of PGP.

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