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Engineering LibreTexts

1.G: Introduction (Glossary)

bug
An error in a program.
central processing unit
The heart of any computer. It is what runs the software that we write; also called "CPU" or "the processor".
compile
To translate a program written in a high-level language into a low-level language all at once, in preparation for later execution.
high-level language
A programming language like Python that is designed to be easy for humans to read and write.
interactive mode
A way of using the Python interpreter by typing commands and expressions at the prompt.
interpret
To execute a program in a high-level language by translating it one line at a time.
low-level language
A programming language that is designed to be easy for a computer to execute; also called "machine code" or "assembly language".
machine code
The lowest-level language for software, which is the language that is directly executed by the central processing unit (CPU).
main memory
Stores programs and data. Main memory loses its information when the power is turned off.
parse
To examine a program and analyze the syntactic structure.
portability
A property of a program that can run on more than one kind of computer.
print function
An instruction that causes the Python interpreter to display a value on the screen.
problem solving
The process of formulating a problem, finding a solution, and expressing the solution.
program
A set of instructions that specifies a computation.
prompt
When a program displays a message and pauses for the user to type some input to the program.
secondary memory
Stores programs and data and retains its information even when the power is turned off. Generally slower than main memory. Examples of secondary memory include disk drives and flash memory in USB sticks.
semantics
The meaning of a program.
semantic error
An error in a program that makes it do something other than what the programmer intended.
source code
A program in a high-level language.