In computer science, the source code is any collection of statements or declarations written in some human-readable computer programming language. Source code is the means most often used by programmers to specify the actions to be performed by a computer.

The source code which constitutes a program is usually held in one or more text files, sometimes stored in databases as stored procedures and may also appear as code snippets printed in books or other media. A large collection of source code files may be organized into a directory tree, in which case it may also be known as a source tree. A computer program's source code is the collection of files needed to convert from human-readable form to some kind of computer-executable form. The source code may be converted into an executable file by a compiler, or executed on the fly from the human readable form with the aid of an interpreter.

The annual working conference Source Code Analysis and Manipulation defines source code as:

"For the purpose of clarity ‘source code’ is taken to mean any fully executable description of a software system. It is therefore so construed as to include machine code, very high level languages and executable graphical representations of systems.[1] "

The code base of a programming project is the larger collection of all the source code of all the computer programs which make up the project.

To view the source code of any website you visit, simply press Ctrl+U.

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  1. Why Source Code Analysis and Manipulation Will Always Be Important by Mark Harman, 10th IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM 2010). Timişoara, Romania, 12–13 September 2010.

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