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2.6 The Simple Program

The simple program should now (hopefully) seem simple. The only bit that hasn't been explained is the built-in procedure WriteF. E has many built-in procedures and later we'll meet some of them in detail. The first thing we need to do, though, is manipulate data. This is really what a computer does all the time--it accepts data from some source (possibly the user), manipulates it in some way (possibly storing it somewhere, too) and outputs new data (usually to a screen or printer). The simple example program did all this, except the first two stages were rather trivial. You told the computer to execute the compiled program (this was some user input) and the real data (the message to be printed) was retrieved from the program. This data was manipulated by passing it as a parameter to WriteF, which then did some clever stuff to print it on the screen. To do our own manipulation of data we need to learn about variables and expressions.


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