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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

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
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References in periodicals archive ?
Cathy Roberts, of Literally, said: "Anyone interested in the Mersey will love to hear John, who will also answer audience questions." Entrance by ticket only (PS3), from Literally A Book Shop, 6 Atherton St, New Brighton, CH45 2NY; email:literally books@gmail.
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Obviously, the word literally means something that happened exactly, and something true.
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Don't take Corbyn literally AS a backbench MP, Jeremy Corbyn made many campaign speeches criticising every aspect of the EU, even questioning its legitimacy (YouTube - 'Corbyn on the EU and Euro in 1996' and 'Corbyn makes the case for leaving the EU two years ago' are examples).
Paul, we wonder whether a flash of light literally blinded Paul or, as depicted in paintings, caused him to fall off his horse.
Asked if Diaz, Blair and Christina Applegate, 46, would reunite for a sequel to the raunchy film, the three joked that they were"literally doing nothing" and would be up for it.
Asked if Diaz, Blair and Christina Applegate, 46, would reunite for a sequel to the film, the three joked that they were "literally doing nothing" and would be up for it.