Questions about the objective meaning or common understanding of words and concepts that programmers encounter

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2answers
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What does it mean to say an algorithm is Sound and Complete?

I heard different interpretations of sound and complete. I understand that completeness means finding a solution if there is one. What does it mean to say an algorithm is sound. What does it mean ...
9
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2answers
608 views

What does a “bodyshop” (in context of a programming job /environment) mean

I've kept on coming across the term "bodyshop" in terms of a programming job/environment but despite googling I can't find out what exactly this is referring to? Can someone please enlighten me?
9
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4answers
7k views

What are binaries?

I see very often people using term binaries in different context. What are binaries? Collection on binary files, installation files, .dll files or what? Or is it just an general term for some ...
9
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5answers
717 views

Diminishing Returns on Additional Developers

Is there a term to describe the point at which adding more developers to a software project will provide diminishing returns? I realize that at a high level, it is more complicated that just a number ...
9
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3answers
881 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 ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Is the term 'Front-End' synonymous with 'Client-Side'? If so, is this always the case?

As a relatively new (self-taught) web developer, I've heard the terms front-end, client-side, back-end, and server-side quite often. To me, front-end and back-end were always synonymous with ...
9
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1answer
885 views

Is there a difference between arguments and parameters?

It might be like this: Parameter means from the callers POV and arguments mean inside the procedure, or other way round. Or is there no difference? Update In Swedish we say "anropsparametrar" i.e. ...
9
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3answers
384 views

Question about the use of the word 'porting' in programming

I'm currently in the process of modifying a C++ code that was written for UNIX system so that it works by compiling from Visual Studio. I had to change some built-in functions' names and I had to ...
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15answers
697 views

What is the common definition of a Hacker?

I'm wondering if the term Hacker means different things to different people. When most people hear the word hacker what are the first things that come to mind?
8
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1answer
620 views

Is there an explicit word for non-abstract class?

I got mainly abstract classes in my project and there are a few other class which are using/inheriting them. When I'm writing the documentation I would like to specify that a part of it is just about ...
8
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4answers
13k views

What does 'Nightly Builds' mean?

I have been using open source projects for a while and been developing upon the open source applications and every so often I come across the words 'Nightly Build' and I have always been curious as to ...
8
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7answers
2k views

Difference between Pattern and Principle

What is the difference between Object Oriented Design Patterns and Principles? Are they different things? As far as I understood both of them try to achieve some common goal (e,g. flexibility). So can ...
8
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2answers
480 views

How do you call the process of taking a part of a function and making an individual function of it?

I know there was a technical term for this. I'm just can't remember what it was. If the title needs clarification, here is what I mean; If this is the old code: Result foobar(Param1,Param2,Param3) { ...
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3answers
502 views

What is the difference between a stock-hardware and a micro-coded machine in “A Critique of Common Lisp”?

I was reading this article: A Critique of Common Lisp and finding it hard to make out the precise definition of "stock-hardware machine" and its difference with "micro-coded" machines. I tried to ...
8
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7answers
344 views

Is reusability roughly synonymous with good design?

Reusability is a feature of good software design. Is reusability an acceptable gloss ("brief notation of the meaning") for good software design? Why?
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6answers
1k views

What is a good non-technical example of a cumulative error?

I'm working on a report which needs to explain in non-technical terms the effects of a cumulative error, and why it is of importance to use absolute calculations. Definition of 'cumulative error' ...
8
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5answers
1k views

What does the term day-one-bug mean? [closed]

I came across this term recently in a mail chain. Google tells me there is a term zero-day bug and that Microsoft and Adobe are the frontrunners :) Is there such a term as day one bug? What might ...
8
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4answers
4k views

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

When is something language agnostic? Why is it called that way?
8
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3answers
338 views

What does it mean to “promote” a file?

I hear this term around the office, and know it's relevant to software development lifecycle. What does "promote" mean? Context: e.g. to promote a file.
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2answers
3k views

What does the term “Payload” mean in programming

I was going through the source code of an open source framework, where I saw a variable "payload" mentioned many times. Any ideas what "payload" stands for?
8
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5answers
526 views

What's the proper term for a function inverse to a constructor - to unwrap a value from a data type?

Edit: I'm rephrasing the question a bit. Apparently I caused some confusion because I didn't realize that the term destructor is used in OOP for something quite different - it's a function invoked ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the difference between a Program Manager and a Project Manager?

Is a Program Manager a person who manages mutiple projects (under a single program) which are in turn managed by Project Managers? Or is a Program Manager a person as defined by Joel Spolsky here. ...
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6answers
2k views

Is the term “web portal” obsolete?

My boss uses the term "portal" for the project I work on all the time. To me, the word makes me think of Yahoo in the late 90s. Does the word "portal" have old-school connotations, or is it just me? ...
8
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3answers
157 views

How to document experimental or incomplete APIs like @deprecated?

Is there a good term that is similar but different than "deprecate" to mean that a method or API is in the code base but should not be used because its implementation is not complete or will likely ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Difference between DevOps and Software Configuration Management

What is the difference between Development Operations and Software Configuration Management? For me it seems to be the same as long as both DevOps and Software Configuration Management are focused ...
8
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2answers
460 views

Suitable vocabulary when helping novice programmers

I find myself aiding novice programmers relatively often; explaining why their code won't work when they ask, suggesting solutions and the like. The people I'm helping do have a formal education in ...
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6answers
603 views

what is “graceful degradation”?

I hear a lot about this term "Graceful degradation". For example , "An application server should gracefully degrage when it is under heavy load " "Graceful degradation of user interfaces.... " ...
8
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2answers
523 views

Deprecated vs. Denigrated in JavaDoc?

In the JavaDoc for X509Certificate getSubjectDN() it states: Denigrated, replaced by getSubjectX500Principal(). I am used to seeing Deprecated in the for methods that should not be used any ...
8
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2answers
272 views

What Are The Specific Meanings Of The Terms: Functions, Methods, Procedures, and Subroutines?

I'm wondering what are the specific differences in the terminology we use for grouping related parts of code. I've sometimes seen the terms used interchangeably: many OO languages even use the keyword ...
8
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2answers
651 views

What is the name for the programming paradigm characterized by Go?

I'm intrigued by the way Go abandons class hierarchies and seems to completely abandon the notion of class in the typical object oriented sense. Also, I'm amazed at the way interfaces can be defined ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What does it mean by expected running time and average runnnig time of an algorithm?

Let's say we want to analyze running time of algorithms. Sometimes we say that we want to find the running time of an algorithm when the input size is n and for the worst possible case it is denote it ...
8
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1answer
1k views

AddIn, AddOn, And Plugin [closed]

Even though at first glance the words AddIn, AddOn, And Plugin give the same meaning, there are some differences between them. Could anyone explain to me the subtle differences between AddIn, AddOn, ...
8
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3answers
308 views

Is there a semi-scientific term for this filtering behavior?

I'm looking for the term that applies to a certain kind of filtering behavior. It's often used in webshop-like interfaces, where large amounts of data are filtered based on a selection of filter ...
8
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1answer
270 views

What is “train” based development?

I ran across yet another new term in development methodology, and I haven't been able to find a definition for it. Specifically, it's called "train based development." Here are some examples of ...
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4answers
4k views

The difference between “concurrent” and “parallel” execution?

What is the difference between the terms concurrent and parallel execution? I've never quite been able to grasp the distinction. The tag defines concurrency as a manner of running two processes ...
7
votes
10answers
869 views

What objections do you have to the term “hacker”? [closed]

I've been of the mind that hacker is just another name for programmer. Not one that you'd use when someone asks you what you do but one that could be used between a brother/sisterhood of programmers. ...
7
votes
3answers
654 views

Microsoft Terminology: .NET C++ vs. traditional C++

I've recently been working with a team that's using both .NET C++ and pre-.NET C++. I fully understand the technical differences between the two technologies. However, I sometimes feel like I'm ...
7
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4answers
679 views

Is “Code Smell” still a useful metaphor, or has misuse of the term subverted its meaning? [closed]

I've come across some comments and answers on Programmers.SE that decry the use of the phrase "Code Smell" and I've been wondering what the reasoning is for those who dislike it. I first encountered ...
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4answers
5k views

What is the difference between building and compiling ?

What's the difference between Building and Compiling.
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5answers
442 views

Is there such a thing as feature bloat?

I have come across the expression software/feature bloat, but is this a real thing or should we rather be talking about things like performance problems, memory and disk footprint, user experience and ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Difference between immutable and const

I've often seen the terms immutable and const used interchangeably. However, from my (little) experience, the two differ a lot in the 'contract' they make in code: Immutable makes the contract that ...
7
votes
2answers
549 views

On a queue, which end is the “head”?

I had always thought that the "head" of a queue as the next element to be read, and never really questioned that usage. So a linked-list library I wrote, which is used for maintaining queues, codified ...
7
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7answers
731 views

Is “truthiness” a legitimate programming term?

SO has quite a few questions using the word "truthiness" to mean the truth value of an expression, when evaluated as a boolean, regardless of its original type. It's very useful in dynamic languages. ...
7
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8answers
4k views

What is a “wrapper” program?

Where I work, employees use a third-party desktop program for their clients. This program saves data to a flat file. My colleague wants to write a Java program that uploads that flat file to a remote ...
7
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1answer
317 views

What is the wireframe of a project?

What is the actual meaning of a wireframe of a project?
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2answers
222 views

When we talk about 'a closure' do we refer to a single variable, or do we refer to all 'closed' variables?

Let's take the following (JavaScript) code that returns a function that closes over variables x and y to illustrate: function test() { var x = Math.random(); var y = Math.random(); var f = ...
7
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4answers
541 views

“Pythonic” equivalent term for code written in modern C++ style? [closed]

There's a lot of good idioms promoted in modern C++. These include RAII and elegant use of boost or STL or a std::algorithm to solve a given problem. Just like you can write C in any language, you ...
7
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6answers
311 views

Is there a term for quasi-open source proprietary software?

Say a company wants to keep development of new features of a piece of software internal, but wants to make the source code for previous versions public, up to and including existing public features, ...
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3answers
287 views

What is the name of the functional argument in fold

In the higher order function fold/reduce what is the name, if any, of the functional argument? I am working on a monadic tabular processing library where rows are folded to produce simple analyses ...
7
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2answers
5k views

What are the differences between functional, operational and technical requirements?

I have done tasks based on Java, but my seniors assigned me to collect requirements for creating a globalized bug tracking tool. I have read many types of requirements from Wikipedia and the ...