is a printed list
of lines of computer code
or digital data
(in human-readable form). In the early days of programming, it was used to hand-check a program
and as permanent storage. Today, it is seldom used because display screens can present more lines than formerly, programs tend to be modular, storage in soft copy
is considered preferable to hard copy
, and digital material is easily transmitted via networks, or on disks or tapes. Furthermore, data sets tend to be too large to be conveniently put on paper, and they are more easily searched in soft-copy form. In selected environments, such as classified or other highly secure documentation, listings may still be used for secure transmission or storage.