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

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2
votes
4answers
177 views

What should I call the less-than and similar operators?

Most programming languages support operators similar to the following 6, which are spelled here as in C. == != < <= > >= I'm aware of several terms used to include all of these ...
3
votes
4answers
484 views

“Interface” vs. “layer”

In computer science, what are the differences in meaning between interface and layer? For example, an interface between A and B must belong to either A or B or both, while a layer between A and B ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the Characteristics of a Software “Center of Excellence” (CoE)?

Recently a new director of my department came in and expressed his wish that we become a "center of excellence". I expected that since he is my first boss who actually has a programming background ...
10
votes
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, ...
14
votes
10answers
30k views

Difference between a pseudo code and algorithm?

Technically, Is there a difference between these two words or can we use them interchangeably? Both of them more or less describe the logical sequence of steps that follow in solving a problem. ain't ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

In open source jargon, who is a “committer”?

In open source jargon, is a "committer" someone who creates a commit that gets accepted into a project, or is a "committer" a gatekeeper who decides what commits/patches are or aren't accepted into ...
9
votes
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?
12
votes
5answers
996 views

Explain Cloud computing to Grandmother

Technically I understand what is cloud computing, but I'm having difficulties when trying to explain it to a layman. I am wondering if there are any good examples which could easily explain it.
5
votes
4answers
508 views

Does profiling without benchmarking lead to micro-optimization?

Read first: For a definition of the two terms ("profiling" and "benchmarking") and the need for distinguishing them, please read this answer to a previous question. I have to admit that until I saw ...
5
votes
6answers
420 views

What kind of bug is this? [closed]

My application has 3 shipping methods, the cheapest of which is free. The free shipping option is only available for orders totaling over $100. As soon as I built it, I thought of a way a user could ...
12
votes
7answers
826 views

Complexity point of no return. What do you call that?

As a software developer, one of my main tasks is to keep complexity under control. However, in some projects, there is a moment when the complexity level grows so high that it reaches some kind of ...
49
votes
17answers
3k views

What is a hack? [closed]

I often hear co-workers saying to each other, "That's a horrible, horrible hack." What I can take away from that is that it's not good. When I asked them if it works they say "yes, but it's not ...
7
votes
4answers
569 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
15k views

What are DRY, KISS, SOLID, etc. classified as?

Is something like DRY a design pattern, a methodology, or something in between? They do not have specific implementations that could neccessarily be demonstrated(even if you can easily demonstrate a ...
3
votes
2answers
510 views

Declaration vs. Prototype vs. Symbol vs. Definition vs. Implementation

I see the terms "declaration," "prototype" and "symbol" thrown around interchangeably a lot when it comes to code like the following: void MyUndefinedFunction(); The same goes for "definition" and ...
1
vote
1answer
562 views

Delegate Pattern : Delegate or Delegator?

I've a simple question about the terminology used in the Delegate pattern; Let's say I create an object that will be responsible to download something from the Net and when it is finished, will call ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

What does “downstream/upstream design” mean?

What does "downstream/upstream design" in software development mean?
4
votes
2answers
698 views

What's a propeller-head coder?

What's a propeller-head coder?
0
votes
2answers
9k views

Difference Between Software Development and Production?

In a typical SDLC there isn't much mention of the word production or development or the distinction between the two.These seem more of a real time , industrial driven concepts . I have come across ...
7
votes
1answer
731 views

Are “wrapper” and “shim” synonymous?

Are the words "wrapper" and "shim" more or less synonymous, or is there a distinction, perhaps connotative?
11
votes
6answers
841 views

What are the differences between a website and a web application?

How do you differentiate a web application from websites? It's language/platform agnostic.
23
votes
8answers
2k 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

What's the difference between a “control” and an “element”?

In web development, you often hear the terms "element" and "control". The term "element" is often associated with HTML, and you hear the term "control" most often in Asp.NET development... but the w3c ...
18
votes
15answers
2k views

Refactoring: Isn't it just a fancy word for clean up your code? [closed]

Before Martin Fowler's book "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" came out, we used to call major changes to code "rearchitecture" and minor changes "cleanup". IMO, refactoring ...
4
votes
1answer
426 views

What is the formal definition of a meta package?

There are several examples of packaging where an application package is built, named, described, even licensed, but contains only setup code and dependencies -- it has no first-class runtime software ...
0
votes
3answers
408 views

What is the general definition of something that can be included or excluded? [closed]

When an application presents a user with a list of items, it's pretty common that it permits the user to filter the items. Often a 'filter' feature is implemented as a set of include or exclude rules. ...
4
votes
2answers
351 views

I need a term for an appeal to my manager better than “single box development”

NOTE: The information after the question turned out almost like someone who is venting. That wasn't my original intention. If someone does want to take the time to give me an answer/advice, skimming ...
16
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
4k views

What is exactly the meaning of “portability”?

I know very well that java is a portable language..and it is the byte-code that makes it portable.. However I've studied also that C is a portable language. "The programs written in C are portable ...
6
votes
11answers
525 views

What should I call the process of converting an object to a string?

We are having a game of 'semantic football' in the office over this matter: I am writing a method for an object which will represent the object as a string. That string should be such that when typed ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Pure virtual or abstract, what's in a name?

While discussing a question about virtual functions on Stack Overflow, I wondered whether there was any official naming for pure (abstract) and non-pure virtual functions. I always relied on ...
7
votes
5answers
344 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
3k views

English to French translation of computing terminology [closed]

I work in France as a Java programmer, mainly in French, but am a native English speaker. My level of French is pretty good (French wife!), but one thing I have problems with is working out whether to ...
2
votes
2answers
669 views

Why do they name a program “mogrify” in Imagemagick? [closed]

I am not a native English speaker. Is there some trick in this name? What does it mean or imply? PS. I don't know whether this is the right SE site to post this question but if it is not could you ...
11
votes
10answers
2k views

How should I pronounce the :: and -> in PHP? [closed]

When I read these lines aloud to someone: $controller->process(); UserManager::getInstance(); How should the -> and :: be pronounced? Reading the characters themselves in cumbersome and I ...
3
votes
4answers
173 views

Delivery terminology and order of magnitude

What is the standard way of describing how software products are released and the proportionate order of magnitude to which the changes relative to the software product are conveyed? Is Release ...
1
vote
5answers
464 views

Is “WinForms” a widely-known and acceptable substitute for “Windows Forms” on a résumé? [closed]

I'm always trying to hone my résumé to the bare-bones essentials -- no fluff. I want to keep as many points as possible to a single line, and to this end I have used the term WinForms in several ...
4
votes
3answers
750 views

What does the term “fast follower” mean?

In the last few days, I've heard the term "fast follower" mentioned several times. It's used in the context of an unresolved bug/issue that (supposedly) will be quickly fixed and implemented. Is this ...
9
votes
5answers
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?
32
votes
3answers
48k views

Difference between Web API and Web Service?

I have heard about Web Services and Web API's a lot, is there any difference between them or are the same?
19
votes
11answers
41k views

Difference between defect and bug in testing [closed]

What is the difference between defect, and bug?
7
votes
3answers
711 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
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

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

When is something language agnostic? Why is it called that way?
125
votes
12answers
15k views

Why does it matter that HTML and CSS are not programming languages?

Example here: What languages should I know if I'm interested in building web applications ? Yes, I understand that HTML and CSS are not Turing-complete. Yes, I understand that they are declarative, ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is “egoless programming”?

I first heard this term about fifteen years ago. My understanding is similar to that described in the Wikipedia article and a TechRepublic article: you work with your colleagues in a "friendly, ...
18
votes
6answers
10k views

Why are good programmers referred to as Ninjas? [closed]

How is a Ninja programmer defined? If it is just an experienced developer, then is there really no better way to describe that? Ninja sounds like a childish marketing ploy designed to attract ...
43
votes
6answers
23k views

Method vs Function vs Procedure

Simple question, but I often hear these three terms defined with such ferocity, but which have been known to me to mean different things over the years. What are the "correct" definitions of ...
6
votes
10answers
419 views

What do I call people who extend my class in base class documentation?

Been calling them "implementers", but it seems weird to me. /// <summary> /// Implementers should implement this. Derp /// </summary> protected abstract void InternalExecute(); A point ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Static methods or static functions?

I was just reading http://stackoverflow.com/questions/155609/what-is-the-difference-between-a-method-and-a-function and all of a sudden, the thing came to my mind was the static methods. As static ...