Program Development | Qualities, Guidelines & Program Development Steps

A program is a systematically arranged set of instructions that, when executed, directs the computer to operate in a predetermined manner. Numerous programming languages exist, including C, C++, Pascal, BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and LISP, all falling under the category of high-level programming languages. Additionally, there are low-level languages like assembly languages and machine language.   […]

A program is a systematically arranged set of instructions that, when executed, directs the computer to operate in a predetermined manner. Numerous programming languages exist, including C, C++, Pascal, BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and LISP, all falling under the category of high-level programming languages. Additionally, there are low-level languages like assembly languages and machine language.

 

Ultimately, all programs must undergo translation into machine language for computer understanding. This translation process is facilitated by compilers, interpreters, and assemblers. When purchasing software, one typically acquires an executable version of the program, indicating that it has already been compiled, assembled, and is ready for execution.

 

Qualities of A Well-Crafted Program

  1. Accuracy: The program should be accurate enough to produce the intended results.
  2. Simplicity: Program logic should strive for simplicity and avoid unnecessary complexity.
  3. Testability: Incorporate test points within the program for effective evaluation.
  4. Efficiency: Design the program to utilize minimal primary storage and the fewest devices possible.
  5. Flexibility: Account for diverse data input and processing conditions to enhance adaptability.
  6. Generality: Develop the program with a generalized and flexible structure.

 

Guidelines For Program Development

During the development of a program, certain precautions should be observed:

  1. Patience: Exercise patience during the programming process, avoiding hasty decisions.
  2. Step Following: Adhere to all program steps diligently without skipping any.
  3. Execution Order: Maintain the prescribed order of instruction execution.
  4. Fresh Mind: Ensure a sufficiently refreshed state of mind when working on the program.

 

Program Development Steps

Step 1: Specification of the Program

The development of a program involves several stages, as illustrated in the diagram below:

Step 2: Designing the Program

Step 6: Maintaining the Program

Step 4: Testing the Program

Step 3: Writing the Program Code

Step 5: Documenting the Program

 

  1. Definition of the Problem

This phase formalizes the task, outlining inputs and outputs, processing requirements, system constraints (execution time, accuracy, response time), and error handling methods.

 

  1. Analyzing the Problem

This step involves understanding the problem to be solved with a computer program, resolving programmer queries, and comprehending program requirements.

 

  1. Creating Flowcharts

Once the overall problem is identified, the next software development stage is program design. The programmer envisions a step-by-step procedure, resulting in a flowchart diagram.

 

  1. Desk Checking

To test the logic of a program, desk checking involves executing algorithm statements manually on sample data.

 

  1. Coding the Program

This step transforms the program logic design into a computer language format, translating the design into computer instructions.

 

  1. Compiling the Program

The compilation process involves lexical analysis, syntactic analysis, code generation (often assembly language), and code optimization.

 

  1. Testing and Debugging the Program

This stage discovers and corrects programming errors. Debugging is crucial, as few programs run correctly on the first attempt. Testing validates the program’s performance.

 

  1. Documenting the Program

This stage involves creating documentation to ensure that users and maintainers can understand and extend the program for further applications.

 

Compiler

A compiler translates text from a high-level language (source language) into another computer language (target language). The process includes lexical analysis, syntactic analysis, code generation, and code optimization.

 

Interpreter

An interpreter executes other programs and differs from a compiler, which does not execute its input program. The process involves a syntax analyzer, semantic analyzer, code generator, lexical analyzer, intermediate language code, interpreter, external libraries, and source code.

 

Flow Diagrams

Compiler Flow Diagram:

Source Language → Lexical Analysis → Syntactic Analysis → Code Generation → Code Optimization → Target Language

Interpreter Flow Diagram:

Source Code → Lexical Analyzer → Syntax Analyzer → Semantic Analyzer → Code Generator → Intermediate Language Code → Interpreter → Execution Result

Examples of Interpreted Languages: BASIC, COBOL

Examples of Compiled Languages: C, ALGOL, Visual Foxpro, etc.

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