A computer program is a general structured collection of instruction sequences that perform a specific task when executed by a computer. A computer requires programs to function. A computer program is usually written by a computer programmer in a programming language. From the program in its human-readable form of source code, a compiler can derive machine code—a form consisting of instructions that the computer can directly execute. Alternatively, a computer program may be executed with the aid of an interpreter. The evolution of a process is directed by a pattern of rules called a program. People create programs to direct processes. A formal model of some part of a computer program that performs a general and well-defined task is called an algorithm. A collection of computer programs, libraries, and related data are referred to as software. Computer programs may be categorized along functional lines, such as application software and system software.
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