1.14. Glossary


A unique interpreter environment that allows Python to be executed from within a web browser.


A general step by step process for solving a problem.


An error in a program.

byte code

An intermediate language between source code and object code. Many modern languages first compile source code into byte code and then interpret the byte code with a program called a virtual machine.


An interactive environment that allows the user to control the step by step execution of a Python program


Information in a program that is meant for other programmers (or anyone reading the source code) and has no effect on the execution of the program.


To translate a program written in a high-level language into a low-level language all at once, in preparation for later execution.


The process of finding and removing any of the three kinds of programming errors.


Another name for a runtime error.


Another name for object code that is ready to be executed.

formal language

Any one of the languages that people have designed for specific purposes, such as representing mathematical ideas or computer programs; all programming languages are formal languages.

high-level language

A programming language like Python that is designed to be easy for humans to read and write.


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 language or assembly language.

natural language

Any one of the languages that people speak that evolved naturally.

object code

The output of the compiler after it translates the program.


To examine a program and analyze the syntactic structure.


A property of a program that can run on more than one kind of computer.

print function

A function used in a program or script that causes the Python interpreter to display a value on its output device.

problem solving

The process of formulating a problem, finding a solution, and expressing the solution.


A sequence of instructions that specifies to a computer actions and computations to be performed.

programming language

A formal notation for representing solutions.

Python shell

An interactive user interface to the Python interpreter. The user of a Python shell types commands at the prompt (>>>), and presses the return key to send these commands immediately to the interpreter for processing.

runtime error

An error that does not occur until the program has started to execute but that prevents the program from continuing.

semantic error

An error in a program that makes it do something other than what the programmer intended.


The meaning of a program.

shell mode

A style of using Python where we type expressions at the command prompt, and the results are shown immediately. Contrast with source code, and see the entry under Python shell.

source code

A program, stored in a file, in a high-level language before being compiled or interpreted.


The structure of a program.

syntax error

An error in a program that makes it impossible to parse — and therefore impossible to interpret.


One of the basic elements of the syntactic structure of a program, analogous to a word in a natural language.

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