<jargon> (By analogy with "hard-wired") Said of a data value or behaviour
written directly into a program, possibly in multiple places, where it cannot be
easily modified. There are several alternatives, depending on how often the
value is likely to change. It may be replaced with a compile-time constant, such
as a C "#define" macro, in which case a change will still require recompilation;
or it may be read at run time from a profile, resource (see de-rezz), or
environment variable that a user can easily modify; or it may be read as part of
the program's input data.
To change something hard-coded requires recompilation (if using a compiled
language of course) but, more seriously, it requires sufficient understanding of
the implementation to be sure that the change will not introduce inconsistency
and cause the program to fail.
For example, "The line terminator is hard-coded as newline; who in their right
mind would use anything else?"
See magic number.
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