When a user installs a software suite like Microsoft Office, for example, the source code is proprietary. Microsoft only gives the customer access to the software’s compiled executables and the associated. Library files that various executable files require to call program functions.
By comparison, when a user installs Apache OpenOffice, its open source software code can be download and modify.
Typically, proprietary software vendors like Microsoft don’t share source code with customers for two reasons. To protect intellectual property and to prevent the customer from making changes. To source code in a way that might break the program or make it more vulnerable to attack. Proprietary software licenses often prohibit any attempt to discover or modify the source code. Meanwhile, other developers can use source code to create similar programs for other operating platforms.
A task that would be trickier without the coding instructions.
Access to source code also allows programmers to contribute to their community proprietary software vendors . Either through sharing code for learning purposes or by recycling portions of it for other applications.
Source code management systems can help programmers better collaborate on source code development. For example, preventing one coder from inadvertently overwriting the work of another.
History of source code
Determining the historical start of source code is a subjective — and elusive — exercise. The first software was write in binary code in the 1940s. So depending on one’s viewpoint, such programs may be the initial samples of source code.
One of the early examples of source code as we recognize it today was written by Tom Kilburn. An early pioneer in computer science. Kilburn created the first successful digital program held electronically in a computer’s memory in 1948.