dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information


2 definitions found
 for software
From WordNet (r) 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]

From 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)
  

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org