Datatypes & variables

strings, integers and floats


In certain technical fields (especially computer programming and statistics), a data type is a classification identifying one of various types of data, such as real-valued, integer or Boolean, that determines the possible values for that type; the operations that can be done on values of that type; the meaning of the data; and the way values of that type can be stored.


String are a datatype made up of words. They are an useful and important datatype that are used in every programming language. It is usually a sequence of characters or variables.


An integer is often a primitive datatype in computer languages. However, integer data types can only represent a subset of all integers, since practical computers are of finite capacity. Also, in the common two's complement representation, the inherent definition of sign distinguishes between "negative" and "non-negative" rather than "negative, positive, and 0". (It is, however, certainly possible for a computer to determine whether an integer value is truly positive.) Fixed length integer approximation data types (or subsets) are denoted int or Integer in several programming languages (such as Algol68 C, Java, Delphi, etc.).

Variable-length representations of integers, such as bignums, can store any integer that fits in the computer's memory. Other integer data types are implemented with a fixed size, usually a number of bits which is a power of 2 (4, 8, 16, etc.) or a memorable number of decimal digits (e.g., 9 or 10).


In computing, floating point describes a method of representing real numbers in a way that can support a wide range of values. Numbers are, in general, represented approximately to a fixed number of significant digits and scaled using an exponent. The base for the scaling is normally 2, 10 or 16. The typical number that can be represented exactly is of the form:

Significant digits × base exponent