Source code | purposes

Purposes

Source code is primarily used as input to the process that produces an executable program (i.e., it is compiled or interpreted). It is also used as a method of communicating algorithms between people (e.g., code snippets in books).[8]

Computer programmers often find it helpful to review existing source code to learn about programming techniques.[8] The sharing of source code between developers is frequently cited as a contributing factor to the maturation of their programming skills.[8] Some people consider source code an expressive artistic medium.[9]

Porting software to other computer platforms is usually prohibitively difficult without source code. Without the source code for a particular piece of software, portability is generally computationally expensive.[citation needed] Possible porting options include binary translation and emulation of the original platform.

Decompilation of an executable program can be used to generate source code, either in assembly code or in a high-level language.

Programmers frequently adapt source code from one piece of software to use in other projects, a concept known as software reusability.