literal

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literal

1. Maths containing or using coefficients and constants represented by letters: ax2 + b is a literal expression
2. Publishing a misprint or misspelling in a text

literal

(programming)
A constant made available to a process, by inclusion in the executable text. Most modern systems do not allow texts to modify themselves during execution, so literals are indeed constant; their value is written at compile-time and is read-only at run time.

In contrast, values placed in variables or files and accessed by the process via a symbolic name, can be changed during execution. This may be an asset. For example, messages can be given in a choice of languages by placing the translation in a file.

Literals are used when such modification is not desired. The name of the file mentioned above (not its content), or a physical constant such as 3.14159, might be coded as a literal. Literals can be accessed quickly, a potential advantage of their use.

literal

In programming, any data written into the program that remains unchanged when translated into machine language. Examples are values used for calculations as well as text messages displayed on screen. In the following lines of code, the literals are 1 and the value is one. See string literal and numeric literal.

if x = 1print "the value is one"endif
References in periodicals archive ?
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes Directed by: Mike Newell Produced by: Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, David Heyman It's a paradox of the Harry Potter films that they're made with such slavish devotion to the books, as if JK Rowling's fans would launch a megaplex riot at any violation of the sacred text, yet for all of that literal-minded fealty the final effect of the films is worlds removed from what's on the page.
He tries to explain his artistic vision to his literal-minded girlfriend, Shelley, who is uncomfortable outside the world of the laundromat she runs:
Perhaps I am too literal-minded, but when I pick up a book titled The One Thing You Need To Know, I assume that there will be a singular recommendation.
So it would be an error to be too strict or literal-minded about application of the science fiction label.
Ironically, in today's world, literal-minded Christians are not together, but divided amongst themselves into innumerable sects.
This is at times a rather literal-minded book, prone to over-simplification and even distortion when it ventures into (for example) Chartism, wages and working conditions, missing out on or under-using one or two important books (particularly Lyn Munqn's Popular leisure in the Lake Counties), and taking a few liberties with English place-names (the worst of which locates the Mendip Hills in Cheshire instead of Somerset, two hundred miles to the south).
To the literal-minded, they're "Those Three Old Guys With Sticks" - a reference to the ski pole-type walking sticks they've all begun using.
It has been the direly literal-minded twentieth century that took these possibilities to heart.
Dissertation examiners are always assumed to be dim-witted, literal-minded readers, unconvinced unless every rhetorical rivet is loudly hammered home.
Bolonik, the literal-minded critic, seemed to have only skimmed the book or otherwise missed its depth.
Nevertheless, the AVCO and Textron groups were separate groups and a literal-minded court might have sided with Textron.
But to scientists and the literal-minded regulators at the Food and Drug Administration, "energy" means calories.