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(Obligatory XKCD comic)

To start? I negate winter's chill
My heart? Its roots grow deep and sound
In the end? Surely that (if you will)
My code is my self until found.

What am I?

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Possible (partial) answer, though it's a veeeery long shot:

any programming error with an exception ?

To start? I negate winter's chill

So, you don't freeze. Isn't that why we were given those nice exceptions and warnings? Most exception catches will stop your computer from freezing.

My heart? Its roots grow deep and sound

your error might be due to maximum depth recursion, or something like that. Then again, long shot...

In the end? Surely that (if you will)

... you probably want your code to end? Joker on this one...

My code is my self until found.

you edit your code once you've found your error.

Almost certain it's not that, but hey, maybe it will inspire someone :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Evocative indeed... However, the reference to Riley was intended to cement the interpretation that the start/heart/end were in reference to position in the answer when written, rather than development of a situation over time. $\endgroup$ – Zomulgustar Apr 18 '18 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Andy Juell could you give me a link/explanation of what is a Riley? I'm new here, saw that a lot, buy didn't quite catch it and my Googling only leads me to other puzzles. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Jenayah Apr 18 '18 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Jenayah Check this out: Riley Riddle $\endgroup$ – Nikhil Eshvar Apr 18 '18 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ This answer is exceptional indeed! :D $\endgroup$ – Nikhil Eshvar Apr 18 '18 at 6:08
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I believe it is

Mitosis

To start:

A mitt will keep you warm in winter

My heart:

A root is part of an OS. See "Rooting" "rootkit" and "root nodes"

In the end:

Surely that. That therefore "is".

The whole:

Mitosis is the division of a cell. At the end of mitosis the original cell no longer exists. So the cell is itself, until mitosis.

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