Tagged Questions

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

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23
votes
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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?

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
364 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
378 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
330 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
17k views

Library vs. framework vs API? [closed]

What is the difference between a library, framework, and API? They all seem the same to me. I would like to hear peoples thought of this.
6
votes
9answers
3k 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
523 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
970 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
335 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

English to French translation of computing terminology

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
617 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 ...
9
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
170 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
425 views

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

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
715 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
660 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?
23
votes
3answers
30k 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?
18
votes
11answers
31k views

Difference between defect and bug in testing [closed]

What is the difference between defect, and bug?
7
votes
3answers
683 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

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

When is something language agnostic? Why is it called that way?
118
votes
12answers
12k 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, ...
14
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
40
votes
6answers
19k 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
416 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
1k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
5k 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. ...
25
votes
5answers
861 views

Has the term “Service Oriented Architecture” become meaningless jargon? [closed]

I was asked today if I had experience with "Service Oriented Architecture" and although I think I do. The concept, to me, seems so muddled I don't know how you could honestly answer that question ...
7
votes
15answers
721 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?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a “task pool”?

I have searched for many websites for a definition of "task pool", but most descriptions are very vague. Anywhere I can find a precise definition of it? More details. Are dependencies allowed in ...
11
votes
11answers
5k views

What does “Human Readable” mean? Is it a misnomer?

Two examples spring to mind: One of the reasons that .Net programmers are encouraged to use .config files instead of the Windows Registry is that .config files are XML and therefore human-readable. ...
7
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
27
votes
25answers
8k views

What is abstraction? [closed]

Is there a generally agreed upon definition for what a programming abstraction is, as used by programmers? [Note, programming abstraction is not to be confused with dictionary definitions for the word ...
11
votes
6answers
659 views

What is the difference between `update` and `upgrade`

What is the difference between update and upgrade in the context of application software?
21
votes
11answers
1k views

How do you portray to non programmers what programming involves? [duplicate]

I get casually asked a lot to take a couple days to teach someone how to program. Most people really think they can learn what I know in a few days. When I tell them I have been doing this for many ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
360 views

What is a proper term to describe a server running source control, bug tracking and CI tools?

I'm looking for a 'term' that describes holistically the set of various software development tools/services that most developers use on a day to day basis. While each tool by itself has a specific ...
282
votes
6answers
14k views

What is negative code?

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Douglas McIlroy and found a quote that mentions "The real hero of programming is the one who writes negative code." What does that mean?
2
votes
8answers
254 views

What are the proper uses of the various “Sign-in” terminologies?

What are the preferred use cases for the following sets of terms: Log in / Log out Log on / Log off Sign in / Sign out Sign on / Sign off From what I can guess, "Logging in" should be used for a ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

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 ...
31
votes
12answers
11k views

What's the difference between a “developer” and a “programmer”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the key differences between software engineers and programmers? What is the difference between software engineer and software developer? What's the difference ...
16
votes
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?