Software

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Credit cards are one of many everyday technologies that are dependent on software.[1]

Software is defined narrowly as unambiguous instructions that can be transformed into a form executable on computer hardware, or more broadly including supporting concepts, tools and methods needed to make the computer system operational.

Building off of previous innovations in

Operating systems manage the hardware resources and mediate between different applications that accomplish tasks for the user. Programming languages are the format in which software is written, and must be both human-readable and capable of being translated into unambiguous instructions for computer hardware. Compilers or interpreters are needed to link a program with other code that it relies on and convert the software into machine code that can be executed
on the hardware. Programs are combined with each other and with external input to be capable of accomplishing a complex task.

GPS
.

Definition

Software can be defined more narrowly as the instructions executed by the

architectural diagrams—some of which are also software—are essential to the design and execution of most computing systems.[3] Although software is intangible,[5][6] software makes instructions for computer hardware to produce visible and tangible effects.[7]

History

07R01, an integrated circuit by Motorola. Integrated circuits were an essential enabling invention allowing the creation of software.[8]

A host of earlier inventions were necessary for the creation of software, including

digital computers, as it was created specifically for these devices and was necessary to realize their usefulness.[11]

The first programmable computers, which appeared at the end of the 1940s,

The first software was tied closely to the underlying hardware and consequently was not

academia have had a strong influence on the development of different aspects of software.[19]

Types

A diagram showing how the user interacts with application software on a typical desktop computer. The application software layer interfaces with the operating system, which in turn communicates with the hardware. The arrows indicate information flow.

There are two main types of software:

  • Operating systems are "the layer of software that manages a computer's resources for its users and their applications".[20] There are three main purposes that an operating system fulfills:[21]
    • Allocating resources between different applications, deciding when they will receive central processing unit (CPU) time or space in memory.[21]
    • Providing an interface that abstracts the details of accessing hardware details (like physical memory) to make things easier for programmers.[21][22]
    • Offering common services, such as an interface for accessing network and disk devices. This enables an application to be run on different hardware without needing to be rewritten.[23]
  • Application software runs on top of the operating system and uses the computer's resources to perform a task.[24] There are many different types of application software because the range of tasks that can be performed with modern computers is so large.[25] Applications account for most software[26] and require the environment provided by an operating system, and often other applications, in order to function.[27]
Comparison of on-premise hardware and software, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS)

Software can also be categorized by how it is

subscription fee.[28] By 2023, SaaS products—which are usually delivered via a web application—had become the primary method that companies deliver applications.[31]

Software development and maintenance

software development life cycle
from 1988. The numbers represent the typical cost of each phase.

Software companies aim to deliver a high-quality product on time and under budget. A challenge is that

software development methodologies, which vary to completing all steps in order to concurrent and iterative models.[41] Software development is driven by requirements taken from prospective users, as opposed to maintenance that is driven by events such as a change request.[42]

Frequently, software is

legacy software and can remain in use for decades, even if there is no one left who knows how to fix it.[5] Over the lifetime of the product, software maintenance is estimated to comprise 75 percent or more of the total development cost.[46][47]

Completing a software project involves various forms of expertise, not just in

software programmers but also testing, documentation writing, project management, graphic design, user experience, user support, marketing, and fundraising.[48][49][34]

Quality and security

Software quality is defined as meeting the stated requirements as well as customer expectations.[50] Quality is an overarching term that can refer to a code's correct and efficient behavior, its reusability and portability, or the ease of modification.[51] It is usually more cost-effective to build quality into the product from the beginning rather than try to add it later in the development process.[52] Higher quality code will reduce lifetime cost to both suppliers and customers as it is more reliable and easier to maintain.[53][54] Software failures in safety-critical systems can be very serious including death.[53] By some estimates, the cost of poor quality software can be as high as 20 to 40 percent of sales.[55] Despite developers' goal of delivering a product that works entirely as intended, virtually all software contains bugs.[56]

The rise of the Internet also greatly increased the need for

denial of service attacks that compromise a system's availability, others allow the attacker to inject and run their own code (called malware), without the user being aware of it.[59] To thwart cyberattacks, all software in the system must be designed to withstand and recover from external attack.[58] Despite efforts to ensure security, a significant fraction of computers are infected with malware.[63]

Encoding and execution

Programming languages

compiled and run, it will give the output "Hello, world!
".

Programming languages are the format in which software is written. Since the 1950s, thousands of different programming languages have been invented; some have been in use for decades, while others have fallen into disuse.

ported to other computer systems, and they are more concise and human-readable than machine code.[66] They must be both human-readable and capable of being translated into unambiguous instructions for computer hardware.[67]

Compilation, interpretation, and execution

The invention of high-level programming languages was simultaneous with the

libraries. Part of the compiler's function is to link these files in such a way that the program can be executed by the hardware. Once compiled, the program can be saved as an object file and the loader (part of the operating system) can take this saved file and execute it as a process on the computer hardware.[69] Some programming languages use an interpreter instead of a compiler. An interpreter converts the program into machine code at run time, which makes them 10 to 100 times slower than compiled programming languages.[70][71]

Legal issues

Liability

Software is often released with the knowledge that it is incomplete or contains bugs. Purchasers knowingly buy it in this state, which has led to a legal regime where liability for software products is significantly curtailed compared to other products.[72]

Licenses

Blender, a free software program

Source code is protected by

Open-source licenses, in contrast, allow free use and redistribution of software with few conditions.[74] Most open-source licenses used for software require that modifications be released under the same license, which can create complications when open-source software is reused in proprietary projects.[76]

Patents

Supreme Court decided that business processes could be patented.[10] Patent applications are complex and costly, and lawsuits involving patents can drive up the cost of products.[79] Unlike copyrights, patents generally only apply in the jurisdiction where they were issued.[80]

Impact

Computer-generated simulations are one of the advances enabled by software.[81]

Engineer

web search.[84] Most creative professionals have switched to software-based tools such as computer-aided design, 3D modeling, digital image editing, and computer animation.[81] Almost every complex device is controlled by software.[84]

References

  1. ^ a b c Kitchin & Dodge 2011, p. 5.
  2. ^ Osterweil 2013, p. 61.
  3. ^ a b c d Tracy 2021, p. 2.
  4. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, pp. 3, 24.
  5. ^ a b Tracy 2021, p. 3.
  6. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, p. 24.
  7. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, pp. 3–4.
  8. ^ Jones 2014, pp. 19, 22.
  9. ^ Jones 2014, pp. 9, 21.
  10. ^ a b Jones 2014, p. 19.
  11. ^ Jones 2014, p. 22.
  12. ^ Gabbrielli & Martini 2023, p. 519.
  13. ^ Gabbrielli & Martini 2023, pp. 520–521.
  14. ^ Gabbrielli & Martini 2023, p. 522.
  15. ^ Gabbrielli & Martini 2023, p. 521.
  16. ^ a b Tracy 2021, p. 1.
  17. ^ Tracy 2021, p. 249.
  18. ^ Tracy 2021, p. 250.
  19. ^ Tracy 2021, pp. 250–251.
  20. ^ Anderson & Dahlin 2014, p. 6.
  21. ^ a b c Anderson & Dahlin 2014, p. 7.
  22. ^ Tanenbaum & Bos 2023, p. 5.
  23. ^ Anderson & Dahlin 2014, pp. 7, 9, 13.
  24. ^ Anderson & Dahlin 2014, pp. 6–7.
  25. ^ Jones 2014, p. 121.
  26. ^ Tracy 2021, p. 66.
  27. ^ Tracy 2021, p. 72.
  28. ^ a b O'Regan 2022, p. 386.
  29. ^ Campbell-Kelly & Garcia-Swartz 2015, pp. 156–157.
  30. ^ Rosati & Lynn 2020, p. 23.
  31. ^ Watt 2023, p. 4.
  32. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 7.
  33. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 5.
  34. ^ a b Dooley 2017, p. 1.
  35. ^ O'Regan 2022, pp. 18, 110–111.
  36. ^ Tracy 2021, pp. 43, 76.
  37. ^ O'Regan 2022, pp. 117–118.
  38. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 54.
  39. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 267.
  40. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 20.
  41. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 9.
  42. ^ Tripathy & Naik 2014, p. 26.
  43. ^ Reifer 2012, p. 22.
  44. ^ Tripathy & Naik 2014, pp. 4, 27.
  45. ^ Tripathy & Naik 2014, p. 89.
  46. ^ Varga 2018, p. 6.
  47. ^ Ulziit et al. 2015, p. 764.
  48. ^ Tucker, Morelli & de Silva 2011, p. 7.
  49. ^ Stull 2018, pp. 24–25.
  50. ^ Galin 2018, p. 3.
  51. ^ Galin 2018, p. 26.
  52. ^ O'Regan 2022, pp. 68, 117.
  53. ^ a b O'Regan 2022, pp. 3, 268.
  54. ^ Varga 2018, p. 12.
  55. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 119.
  56. ^ Ablon & Bogart 2017, p. 1.
  57. ^ Campbell-Kelly & Garcia-Swartz 2015, p. 164.
  58. ^ a b O'Regan 2022, p. 266.
  59. ^ a b c Ablon & Bogart 2017, p. 2.
  60. ^ Daswani & Elbayadi 2021, p. 25.
  61. ^ Daswani & Elbayadi 2021, pp. 26–27.
  62. ^ Haber & Hibbert 2018, pp. 5–6.
  63. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, p. 37.
  64. ^ Tracy 2021, p. 117.
  65. ^ Tracy 2021, pp. 118–120.
  66. ^ Tracy 2021, pp. 118–119.
  67. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, p. 26.
  68. ^ Tracy 2021, p. 121.
  69. ^ Tracy 2021, pp. 122–123.
  70. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 375.
  71. ^ Sebesta 2012, p. 28.
  72. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, pp. 36–37.
  73. ^ O'Regan 2022, pp. 394–396.
  74. ^ a b O'Regan 2022, p. 403.
  75. ^ O'Regan 2022, pp. 394, 404.
  76. ^ Langer 2016, pp. 44–45.
  77. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 395.
  78. ^ Gerardo Con Díaz, "The Text in the Machine: American Copyright Law and the Many Natures of Software, 1974–1978", Technology and Culture 57 (October 2016), 753–79.
  79. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 398.
  80. ^ O'Regan 2022, p. 399.
  81. ^ a b Manovich 2013, p. 333.
  82. ^ Jones 2014, p. 32.
  83. ^ Kitchin & Dodge 2011, p. iv.
  84. ^ a b c Jones 2014, p. xxviii.
  85. ^ Manovich 2013, p. 329.

Sources