Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.

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154 views

Who are the 1st and 2nd parties?

So, this is pure curiosity. I've heard the term 3rd party, as in, "3rd party library" for quite a while. I wonder why we say 3rd and not 2nd (or 4th)? Who are the first and second parties and where ...
3
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1answer
136 views

Etymology of “throw an exception“ [closed]

Why do we use the expression “throw an exception“ and not something like “generate“? Where was that term born and in which language?
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2answers
217 views

Etymology of 'virtual' (method/method table/inheritance)

As far as I know, it generally refers to late or dynamic bindng. So why a word like late or dynamic wasn't used?
4
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0answers
212 views

Who coined the term “performant?” [closed]

We all know that it's not a real word. But it is commonly used among programmers, and could probably be thought of as a "technical term." It might pass into common usage and make its way into the ...
2
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1answer
419 views

Where did the T in wchar_t come from?

In many native types, a common suffix (and sometimes prefix) of t or _t is used to denote platform-independent types (such as wchar_t, int32_t, etc.) What was the logic behind the letter t as opposed ...
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3answers
1k views

Why is the output of a compiler called object code?

From the essay Programming Languages Explained by Paul Graham, published in Hackers & Painters: The high-level language that you feed the compiler is also known as source code, and the ...
6
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1answer
636 views

Origin of the programming language term “boxing”? [closed]

What was the first programming environment (probably language) to use the words "boxing" and "unboxing" to indicate encapsulating a primitive type in some kind of wrapper to allow it to be used in ...
34
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1answer
2k views

Where does the term “Red/Black Tree” come from?

A Red/Black Tree is one way to implement a balanced binary search tree. The principles behind how it works make sense to me, but the chosen colors don't. Why red and black, as opposed to any other ...
16
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7answers
3k views

What is O in Big O?

What is Big and O in Big O notation? I've read the definitions and it doesn't tell what is O pronounced as 'oh'. For example - I understand that O(n) is complexity of a linear algorithm where n could ...
9
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4answers
408 views

In pair programming, what is each role named, and why?

I've heard the person at the keyboard named the "driver", and the other person named the "navigator". I've imagined rally car racers, where the person at the wheel just cannot keep up with everything ...
17
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7answers
1k views

Why is XML not called EML?

From Wikipedia Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification[4] produced by the W3C, and several ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What does “proxy to” mean?

I keep coming across the word "proxy" used as a verb in tutorials, etc. Usually something will "proxy to" something else. What does this mean? Having spent some time googling for what it means in a ...
2
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3answers
260 views

Use of the word “glitch”

I find myself talking about computers with a lot of non-tech people, who often use the word "glitch" to describe an undesirable outcome of a program or operating system(of course, never Linux!). I ...
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1answer
67 views

What am I supposed to take away from the term Routed Events?

I use events all the time, I cheat and use autocomplete in Visual Studio. Object.closing += [tab] button. Put something in the autogenerated function. Some people like to emphasize the "routed" ...
18
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6answers
2k views

Why do we call it “production”?

A coworker was wondering this today: "Why is it that in our industry 'production' means 'final, deliverable product'? You know, like if a movie is 'in production', it means they're currently filming ...
23
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8answers
1k views

What is the etymology of the phrase “Source Code”? [closed]

With the movie "Source Code" just coming out today, I have had to explain the meaning of the phrase to non-techies. Then I was asked why source code is called source code and couldn't really answer. ...
32
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4answers
1k views

Etymology of “String”

So it's obvious that a string of things is a sequence of things, and so a sequence of characters/bytes/etc. might as well be called a string. But who first called them strings? And when? And in what ...
9
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4answers
5k views

What is language-agnosticism and why is it called that way?

When is something language agnostic? Why is it called that way?
18
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2answers
4k views

What's the history of the non-official pronunciation of SQL?

SQL is officially pronounced as /ˌɛskjuːˈɛl/ like "S-Q-L", as stated in Beaulieu, Alan (April 2009). Mary E. Treseler. ed. Learning SQL (2nd ed.). Sebastapol, CA, USA: O'Reilly. ISBN ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Where does the word “Programming” come from? [closed]

Where does the word "Programming" come from? I'm referring to the word "program" as referring to "to instruct a computer". Programming, programmer etc...
16
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3answers
2k views

What's the origin of foo and bar? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “Foo” and “Bar” in examples I know AT&T labs used them in their Unix days, but do they have even deeper histories?