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1. WordNet® 3.0 (2006)
software
    n 1: (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;
         "the market for software is expected to expand" [syn:
         software, software program, computer software,
         software system, software package, package] [ant:
         computer hardware, hardware]

2. The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015)
software
computer program
program

    (Or "computer program", "program", "code") The
   instructions executed by a computer, as opposed to the
   physical device on which they run (the "hardware").

   The term was coined by the eminent statistician, John Tukey.

   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.  The nounds "code" and
   "software" both refer to the same thing but "code" tends to
   suggest an interest in the implementation details whereas
   "software" is more of a user's term.

   (2002-07-21)


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