Minimalist Wiki

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TLDR: Software is a set of computer programs that tell a computer what to do. It includes applications like word processors and games, as well as system software like operating systems. Software is written in programming languages and can be executed by the computer to perform tasks.

Software is the non-tangible part of a computer system. It consists of computer programs, documentation, and data. It is different from hardware, which is the physical components of a computer that actually do the work.

At the lowest level, software consists of machine language instructions that are executed by the computer's processor. These instructions can change the state of the computer and perform operations like displaying text on a screen. Most modern computers have multiple processors or multiple execution units, which allows for concurrent computing.

Software is usually written in high-level programming languages, which are easier for programmers to use because they are closer to natural languages than machine languages. These high-level languages are translated into machine language using compilers or interpreters. Software can also be written in low-level assembly language, which closely corresponds to the computer's machine language.

The history of software dates back to the 19th century, when Ada Lovelace wrote an algorithm for the Analytical Engine, making her the first computer programmer. Alan Turing's work in the 1930s laid the foundation for computer science and software engineering.

Software can be categorized based on its purpose or domain of use. Application software performs specific functions beyond the basic operation of the computer, while system software manages hardware behavior and provides a platform for running application software. There is also malicious software, or malware, which is developed to harm or disrupt computers.

Software can be executed by the computer, which involves loading it into the computer's storage and passing instructions from the application software to the hardware. Software quality and reliability are important, and testing is done to discover and fix bugs. Software licenses give users the right to use the software, and there are different types of licenses, including proprietary and open-source licenses.

The design and implementation of software vary depending on its complexity. Software is usually developed using integrated development environments and relies on APIs provided by underlying software. Programming tools are used to create, debug, and maintain software.

In summary, software is a set of computer programs that tell a computer what to do. It includes applications, system software, and malicious software. Software is written in programming languages and can be executed by the computer. It is important for the functioning of modern computers and is constantly evolving and improving.

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