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software


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  software 
  n  :  (computer  science)  written  programs  or  procedures  or  rules 
  and  associated  documentation  pertaining  to  the  operation 
  of  a  computer  system  and  that  are  stored  in  read/write 
  memory  [syn:  {software  system}]  [ant:  {hardware}] 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  software 
 
    (Or  "computer  program",  "program")  The 
  instructions  executed  by  a  computer,  as  opposed  to  the 
  physical  device  on  which  they  run  (the  "{hardware}"). 
  "{Code}"  is  closely  related  but  not  exactly  the  same 
 
  Programs  stored  on  {non-volatile  storage}  built  from 
  {integrated  circuits}  (e.g.  {ROM}  or  {PROM})  are  usually 
  called  {firmware}. 
 
  Software  can  be  split  into  two  main  types  -  {system  software} 
  and  application  software  or  {application  programs}.  System 
  software  is  any  software  required  to  support  the  production  or 
  execution  of  application  programs  but  which  is  not  specific  to 
  any  particular  application.  Examples  of  system  software  would 
  include  the  {operating  system},  {compilers},  editors  and 
  sorting  programs. 
 
  Examples  of  application  programs  would  include  an  accounts 
  package  or  a  {CAD}  program.  Other  broad  classes  of 
  application  software  include  {real-time}  software,  {business 
  software},  scientific  and  engineering  software,  {embedded 
  software},  personal  computer  software  and  {artificial 
  intelligence}  software. 
 
  Software  includes  both  {source  code}  written  by  humans  and 
  executable  {machine  code}  produced  by  {assemblers}  or 
  {compilers}.  It  does  not  usually  include  the  data  processed 
  by  programs  unless  this  is  in  a  format  such  as  {multimedia} 
  which  depends  on  the  use  of  computers  for  its  presentation. 
  This  distinction  becomes  unclear  in  cases  such  as  {spread 
  sheets}  which  can  contain  both  instructions  (formulae  and 
  {macros})  and  data.  There  are  also  various  intermediate 
  compiled  or  {semi-compiled},  forms  of  software  such  as 
  {library}  files  and  {byte-code}. 
 
  Some  claim  that  {documentation}  (both  paper  and  electronic)  is 
  also  software.  Others  go  further  and  define  software  to  be 
  programs  plus  documentation  though  this  does  not  correspond 
  with  common  usage. 
 
  The  noun  program"  describes  a  single,  complete  and 
  more-or-less  self-contained  list  of  instructions,  often  stored 
  in  a  single  {file},  whereas  code"  and  software"  are 
  uncountable  nouns  describing  some  number  of  instructions  which 
  may  constitute  one  or  more  programs  or  part  thereof.  Most 
  programs,  however,  rely  heavily  on  various  kinds  of  {operating 
  system}  software  for  their  execution. 
 
  (1998-06-04) 
 
 




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