program structure

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The overall form of a program, with particular emphasis on the individual components of the program and the interrelationships between these components. Programs are frequently referred to as either well structured or poorly structured. With a well-structured program the division into components follows some recognized principle such as information hiding, and the interfaces between components are explicit and simple. By contrast, with a poorly structured program the division into components is largely arbitrary (or even nonexistent), and interfaces are implicit and complex. At a finer level, a well-structured program employs appropriate data structures and program units with a single entry point and a single exit point (see structured programming, def. 2), while a poorly structured program has arbitrary data structures and flow of control.

Subjects: Computing.

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