The Definition Of Source Code

1154 Words Dec 1st, 2016 5 Pages
There are several definition of source code, which makes regulating it difficult because different regulators may have varying conceptions of just what it is, and as a result, what kinds of rules should attach to it.
The general definition of source code that most people acknowledge is “the version of software as it is originally written by a human in plain text” (Source Code). According to this definition, code is written by humans in order to create software, which can be any operating system, program or data with a processor. The average person can see that the source code would be the code that the software needs in order to function. This is source code but source code is also much more.
Another definition states holds that source code is “any fully executable description of a software system. It is therefore so construed as to include machine code, very high level languages and executable graphical representations of systems” (Harman). At first glance, it seems just like the other definition. However, it only seems that way because we automatically apply the assumption that the “executable description” is the same as the “version of software” which may not necessarily be the case. The description leads us to believe that the source code does not necessarily have to run the software but can just be a description for said software. The first definition leads us to believe that the code is that specific software. The second definition also mentions “machine code” and…
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