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Programmers are quite accustomed to describing data they use: where to find it, what devices are involved, the layout of the data, what to do with it after the job is complete, processing techniques employed, and often a great deal more. The reason data is so described is that, nowadays, programs call upon a great many other programs for assistance. All sorts of common-place functions that the programmer takes for granted are provided by other, already-written programs, that are invoked explicitly or implicitly by what the programmer himself writes. Thus programmers must describe things about their data to be able to use the functions provided.
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