1.11. Glossary

activecode

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

algorithm

A step by step list of instructions that if followed exactly will solve the problem under consideration.

bug

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.

codelens

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

comment

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.

compile

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

debugging

The process of finding and removing any of the three kinds of programming errors: *syntax error*, *semantic error*, and *runtime error*.

exception

Another name for a runtime error.

executable

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.

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 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.

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

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.

program

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

programming language

A vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer or computing device to perform specific tasks.

Python shell

An interactive user interface to the Python interpreter, and 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. To initiate the Python Shell, the user should open theterminal and type “python”. Once the user presses enter, the Python Shell appears and the user can interact with it.

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.

semantics

The meaning of a program.

shell mode

A mode of using Python where expressions can be typed and executed in the command prompt, and the results are shown immediately in the command terminal window. Shell mode is initiated by opening the terminal of your operating system and typing “python”. Press enter and the Python Shell will appear. This is in contrast to source code. Also see the entry under Python shell.

source code

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

syntax

The structure of a program.

syntax error

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

token

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

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