Primitive Data Type

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A Primitive Data Type is a Data Type that is directly supported in some Programming Language.



  • (Wikipedia, 2014) ⇒ Retrieved:2014-9-21.
    • In computer science, primitive data type is either of the following:* a basic type is a data type provided by a programming language as a basic building block. Most languages allow more complicated composite types to be recursively constructed starting from basic types.
      • a built-in type is a data type for which the programming language provides built-in support.
    • In most programming languages, all basic data types are built-in. In addition, many languages also provide a set of composite data types. Opinions vary as to whether a built-in type that is not basic should be considered "primitive".Depending on the language and its implementation, primitive data types may or may not have a one-to-one correspondence with objects in the computer's memory. However, one usually expects operations on basic primitive data types to be the fastest language constructs there are.Integer addition, for example, can be performed as a single machine instruction, and some processors offer specific instructions to process sequences of characters with a single instruction. In particular, the C standard mentions that "a 'plain' int object has the natural size suggested by the architecture of the execution environment". This means that int is likely to be 32 bits long on a 32-bit architecture. Basic primitive types are almost always value types.

      Most languages do not allow the behavior or capabilities of primitive (either built-in or basic) data types to be modified by programs. Exceptions include Smalltalk, which permits all data types to be extended within a program, adding to the operations that can be performed on them or even redefining the built-in operations.


    • A data type is a classification of data, which can store a specific type of information. Data types are primarily used in computer programming, in which variables are created to store data. Each variable is assigned a data type that determines what type of data the variable may contain.
    • The term "data type" and "primitive data type" are often used interchangeably. Primitive data types are predefined types of data, which are supported by the programming language. For example, integer, character, and string are all primitive data types. Programmers can use these data types when creating variables in their programs. For example, a programmer may create a variable called "lastname" and define it as a string data type. The variable will then store data as a string of characters.

      Non-primitive data types are not defined by the programming language, but are instead created by the programmer. They are sometimes called "reference variables," or "object references," since they reference a memory location, which stores the data. In the Java programming language, non-primitive data types are simply called "objects" because they are created, rather than predefined. While an object may contain any type of data, the information referenced by the object may still be stored as a primitive data type.