The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. The dispute is about anyone ever having proposed scalar programming. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page before making changes.(March 2008)
The fundamental idea behind scalar programming is that operations apply to a single value at a time. This makes it a low-level programming model as it restricts the programmer to think and operate on the elemental constituents of data aggregates, and resorting to explicit loops of individual scalar operations to process the whole aggregates.