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hand coding

Writing in a programming language. Hand coding in assembly language or in a third-generation language, such as C or Java, is the traditional way programs have been developed. In contrast, visual programming tools allow full applications or parts of an application to be developed without writing lines of programming code. Many high-level development systems offer a combination of visual tools, while allowing the programmer to "hand code" the parts that are not predefined. See hard coded.

hard coded

Programming code that solves a problem, but offers little flexibility for future modifications. Hard coding could be thought of as "brute force" programming: it gets the job done. However, the degree to which a program is hard coded determines how difficult it is to change with each new type of data that is introduced or each new function that is added.

Because It Is Easier
Very often, the processing is hard coded in the first release of an application and generalized later. The reason is simple. It is always easier to hard code a solution than to write a generalized routine that handles a variety of possibilities.

Hard Coding Vs. Hand Coding
While hard coding and "hand coding" sound somewhat similar, they are not. Hard coding refers to writing a fixed solution rather than a generalized one. Hand coding refers to writing the program in a programming language rather than a high-level GUI-based tool. See hardwired, hand coding, generalized program and data independence.

Fixed Vs. Variable Example
In the following very simple pseudocode example, it takes half as many lines of code to write a program that bounces a ball 10 times (fixed task) rather than a variable number of times:

   Hard Coded (10 times)

  1    ballCount = 0
  2    bounce ball
  3    add 1 to ballCount
  4    if ballCount = 10
  5       stop
  6    goto loop

   Flexible Code (variable number)

  1    display "Enter Bounce Count"
  2    input to maxCount
  3    if maxCount not an integer
  4       display "Not a valid number."
  5       goto start
  6       ballCount = 0
  7    if ballCount not = maxCount
  8       bounce ball
  9       add 1 to ballCount
 10       goto loop
 11    else
 12       stop

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