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

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Violation of the DRY Principle

I am sure there's a name for this anti-pattern somewhere; however I am not familiar enough with the anti-pattern literature to know it. Consider the following scenario: or0 is a member function in a ...
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4answers
2k views

What does the term day-one-bug mean?

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 ...
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8answers
7k views

Feature vs. Function

Often I hear PMs (Project Managers) talk about feature and function. And I'm just so puzzled to differentiate them. Sometimes I think of a feature to be equivalent to a user story. Something like "As ...
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4answers
11k views

What is the difference between building and compiling ?

What's the difference between Building and Compiling.
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4answers
7k views

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

When is something language agnostic? Why is it called that way?
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3answers
15k views

What are binaries? [closed]

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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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7answers
1k views

Programming knowledge vs. programming logic

Is there any difference between the two topics? I have seen companies asking for Good Programming knowledge some Good Programming logic. I have seen this in Job profiles for a developer – for e.g. ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
441 views

Where does “method” as a special term in OOP originate?

"Method" is a special term in Object-Oriented Programming. Does anyone know when the word began to be used in this particular sense, and in connection with what programming language or other branch of ...
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1answer
2k 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, ...
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5answers
289 views

Should I incorporate exit cost into choosing a solution

I'm currently choosing between two viable software designs/solutions. Solution 1 is easy to implement, but will lock some data in a proprietary format, and will be hard to change later. Solution 2 is ...
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7answers
5k views

What is the difference between Static code analysis and code review?

I just wanted to know what the difference is between static code analysis and code review. How are each of these two done? More specifically, what are the tools available today for code review/static ...
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665 views

Contractor vs Consultant [closed]

For a programmer, two of the most common terms that seem to be overloaded are contractor and consultant? Is there a difference between the two?
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7answers
350 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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5answers
797 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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2answers
480 views

What is 'code skew'?

In the O'Reilly book on Scala, I read that copy-pasting of code creates: ... creates issues of code-bloat, maintainability and skew, I can't see any obvious definitions of the word skew in ...
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2answers
791 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?
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5answers
863 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

What does 'opinionated software' really mean?

I've seen a lot of other framework/library developers throw the phrase 'we write opinionated software' around, but in practical terms, what does that really mean? Does it mean that the author of the ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
529 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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1answer
637 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 ...
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4answers
3k views

What does it mean when data is scalar?

I don't know what scalar means exactly, but I'm trying to see if I'm thinking about it correctly. Does scalar relate to arbitrariness where the type of data could be any type, or a system is not able ...
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2answers
514 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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8answers
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Rigorous Definition of Syntactic Sugar?

It seems like in language holy wars, people constantly denigrate any feature they don't find particularly useful as being "just syntactic sugar". The line between "real features" and "syntactic ...
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6answers
2k 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' ...
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3answers
422 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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5answers
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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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5answers
6k 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 ...
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6answers
3k 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? ...
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7answers
894 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. ...
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3answers
180 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 ...
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6answers
786 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.... " ...
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2answers
480 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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2answers
726 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 ...
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2answers
298 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
750 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 ...
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3answers
313 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 ...
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1answer
328 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
2k views

Is functional spec a “design document”?

So I have been a bit lost in the terms, so first of all I present you what I have learned so far: System requirements specification - what users want, what the system should do Functional requirement ...
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15answers
729 views

What is the common definition of a Hacker? [closed]

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?
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3answers
707 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 ...
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3answers
567 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 ...
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4answers
793 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
3k views

What is a Bootstrapper in programming?

I sometimes see the term "Bootstrapper". I saw it last when creating some learning exercises for Prism. I stumbled upon UnityBootstrapper class. My question is: when would you call a class a ...
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3answers
17k views

What does “S” stands for in OOPS?

I have searched for the full form of "OOPS" in Google, but unfortunately, there are many ambiguous answers. Some say it's "Systems", and some say it's "Structure", and some have even mentioned it as ...
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2answers
372 views

Why is the 'out' keyword used in two seemingly disparate contexts?

In C#, the out keyword can be used in two different ways. As a parameter modifier in which an argument is passed by reference class OutExample { static void Method(out int i) { i = ...
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5answers
469 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 ...