A component a partial glider synthesis that can be used in the same way in multiple glider recipes. A component transforms part of an object under construction in a well-defined way, without affecting the rest of the object. For example, this well-known component can be used to add a hook to any object that includes a protruding table end, converting it to a long bookend.
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"Component" is also used to specify any piece of an object - spaceship, oscillator, etc. - that can be combined with other components in specific ways according to a grammar to produce a variety of objects. The components can either be independent objects that only occasionally react with each other, or else they can be fused together to support each other. For example, any branching spaceship is made up of several components, and there is a single repeating component in any wicktrailer.