When programmers say string or strings, what they mean is a string or strings of characters (or text). Programmatically working with strings of text is a whole lot of fun: You can see instant results, and it’s kind of like working though a puzzle involving words and letters.
Do the same kinds of people like crossword puzzles and creating programs that manipulate strings? I don’t know, but they should: I get the same kind of pleasure out of doing each!
Strings are particularly important to computer programs because—to a great extent—people and computers communicate using strings of text. People input strings of text into the computer, for example, their name, logon, and password.
For the most part, any information that a computer program needs the user to see is also displayed as a string. You can say some things with icons or pictures, but any message of any complexity requires words—meaning, strings of text.
It’s hard to imagine a program that doesn’t use some text in its user interface. (For some programs, text is the only input and output.) Because text is such a significant part of most programs, it follows that learning to manipulate strings of text is important.
So let’s go ahead and get started massaging, er, manipulating, those strings!