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

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9
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1answer
1k views

Are “wrapper” and “shim” synonymous?

Are the words "wrapper" and "shim" more or less synonymous, or is there a distinction, perhaps connotative?
9
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2answers
676 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 ...
9
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2answers
16k views

Distinction between API and frontend-backend

I'm trying to write a "standard" business web site. By "standard", I mean this site runs the usual HTML5, CSS and Javascript for the front-end, a back-end (to process stuff), and runs MySQL for the ...
9
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2answers
35k views

What's the difference between fault, error and defect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between defect and bug in testing In computer science technical writing, especially in software engineering, what's the difference between fault, error and ...
9
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3answers
3k 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
votes
3answers
903 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 ...
9
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1answer
423 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Why isn't C's most basic printing function named `print` instead of `printf`? [duplicate]

AFAIK, C does not have a print function. The most basic we can get is printf. So, is there a reason why this function is not simply named print, instead of printf? Note that this question is about ...
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8answers
1k views

Rigorous Definition of Syntactic Sugar? [closed]

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 sugar"...
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2answers
579 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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7answers
2k views

Is there an opposite for the term “Backporting”?

As I understand, the term "Backporting" is used to describe a fix which is applied in a future version which is also ported to a previous version. Wikipedia definition is as follows: Backporting ...
8
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6answers
3k 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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6answers
4k 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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5answers
504 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
679 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
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the wireframe of a project?

What is the actual meaning of a wireframe of a project?
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8answers
1k 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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6answers
1k 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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3answers
4k views

Is INT_MIN-1 an underflow or overflow?

I seem to remember that I was reading that underflow means you have a too small magnitude that cannot be presented anymore in a type overflow means you have a too large magnitude that cannot be ...
8
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2answers
39k 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 ...
8
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2answers
495 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 ...
8
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2answers
990 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
votes
2answers
936 views

Should I use “Business logic” term when speaking about non-business application?

Suppose there is a part of program that does not deal with initialisation, input, output. It just specifies what should be done, what is allowed or not. I use the term "Business logic" for this. But ...
8
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2answers
35k views

What is the difference between Enterprise Java vs Core Java? [duplicate]

I have some experience in programming in Java but wondering if someone could explain what is the difference between Enterprise Java vs Core Java? Someone asked me a question on whether I use core-...
8
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2answers
4k views

What is an Activation object in JavaScript?

In a given execution context, the Variable object is the Activation object of that execution context. From my research online, I am able to find the previous sentence rephrased in different ways but ...
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2answers
930 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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5answers
672 views

Why does “charset” really mean “encoding” in common usage?

Something that has long confused me is that so much software uses the terms "charset" and "encoding" as synonyms. When people refer to a unicode "encoding", they always mean a ruleset for ...
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3answers
3k views

What are the names for various forms of camel-case style naming?

For the purposes of communicating coding styles to my co-workers, what would I formally call the following variants of camel case? camelCase and CamelCase Notice that the former version ...
8
votes
4answers
19k views

What is the difference between a software process model and software engineering methods (methodology)?

I'm an academic guy, who is now venturing into the software engineering world, puzzled by the fact that many terms seem to overlap each other. I'm reading some books and cannot quite distinguish/...
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2answers
3k views

What are algorithmic paradigms?

We generally talk about paradigms of programming as functional, procedural, object oriented, imperative etc but what should I reply when I am asked the paradigms of algorithms? For example are ...
8
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5answers
359 views

Uncomfortable terminology

I couldn't imagine using terminology like "code smell", scrum "chickens", "pigs" at my workplace. These types of terms just wouldn't fit in to my environment. My co-workers would look at me, and tell ...
8
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3answers
326 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
votes
2answers
666 views

Who decided on the terminology downcasting and upcasting?

As far as I know, the terminology comes from how the inheritance hierarchy is traditionally displayed, with the extending types at the bottom, and the parent types at the top. This is a bit pointless,...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is the code section called a text section?

The section of an executable that contains code is sometimes called the .text section. In segmented memory architectures, a segment mapped as code is sometimes called a text segment. The unix error ...
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6answers
1k views

Does it make sense to use the term “Space Leak” with regard to Java?

EDIT: To clarify, I am not suggesting that leaks don't happen in a managed application. I'm simply pondering about how we talk about them. There are some highly upvoted discussions about memory ...
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15answers
758 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?
7
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3answers
837 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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5answers
17k views

Is there any difference between pointers and references? [duplicate]

References and pointers do the same thing as I know. Is there any difference between them? If there is no difference, why we call them reference not pointer?
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9answers
14k views

What's the difference between the terms “protocol” and “standard”?

I find the term "protocol" confusing (in the terms of computer science that is). If the protocol is just a set of rules, wouldn't it be easier if we used the term "standard" instead (like in "HTTP ...
7
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3answers
649 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
1k 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 ...
7
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4answers
824 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
votes
3answers
367 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
votes
2answers
233 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 = ...
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4answers
1k views

Why is an array of characters called a String in Object Oriented languages? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Etymology of “String” I was talking to my non-technical wife about my workday and she was confused as to why I was talking about strings. In her mind, a string ...
7
votes
6answers
382 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, ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the difference between an engineer and a product manager?

It seems nowadays all the develop teams have both software engineers and product manager. I am a newbie to the software industry and I wonder what is the difference? Is it necessary for a Product ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What are the different meanings of 'fixture'?

I have some difficulty understanding the concept of "fixture". I know what a test suite is, a test case, a test run, but what exactly is a "fixture"? A parameterized test case? It seems to me that ...
7
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3answers
863 views

Did concept of ViewModel exist before MVVM?

Today I was having a discussion with a colleague that ViewModel is a general concept and existed before MVVM pattern. I believe ViewModel term is used anytime you create a class with Model like ...
7
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between Optionals and Nullable type

Swift has Optionals. C# has Nullable types. As far as I can tell both serve same purpose, besides value of some type they store information whether variable has value or is undefined (uninitialized)....