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(By analogy with "hard-wired") Said of a data value or behaviour written directly into a program, possibly in multiple places, where it cannot be easily modified. There are several alternatives, depending on how often the value is likely to change. It may be replaced with a compile-time constant, such as a C "#define" macro, in which case a change will still require recompilation; or it may be read at run time from a profile, resource (see de-rezz), or environment variable that a user can easily modify; or it may be read as part of the program's input data.

To change something hard-coded requires recompilation (if using a compiled language of course) but, more seriously, it requires sufficient understanding of the implementation to be sure that the change will not introduce inconsistency and cause the program to fail.

For example, "The line terminator is hard-coded as newline; who in their right mind would use anything else?"

See magic number.
References in periodicals archive ?
The API requires authentication, and some developers hard-code the credentials for the API into the mobile application-a discouraged coding practice that opens up the app to the Eavesdropper vulnerability.
One prominent thing missing from this render is Samsung's branding and Evan Blass claims the company will hard-code top 1/4-inch of the screen to show its logo.
Prior to FLEXnet, software publishers had to hard-code their licensing terms into their products, which meant that terms remained static and unchangeable until the next major release.
The remaining chapters and appendixes provide programmers with the necessary style, examples, and coding philosophy (what to hard-code, what to put in resource files, and how to handle bidirectional input).
Given Google's past conduct, Google should not be able to hard-code Google Finance, Google Shopping, Google Travel and its other products as top search results," he added.