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

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22
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4answers
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is there a term for doing this: func1(func2(), func3());

I know that obj.func1().func2() is called method chaining, but what is the technical term for: func1(func2(), func3()); Where return of a function is used as an argument to another.
3
votes
1answer
803 views

What is block level design in context of mobile application?

I was wondering if anyone can give me some direction related to "Block level design" in context of mobile application? Recently I saw a video in my university and a professional mentioned about ...
1
vote
2answers
265 views

How is this “interface”-like structure/pattern called? [closed]

Let's assume we have an XmlDoc class that contains basic functionality for dealing with an XML data structure and saving/loading data to/from a file. Now we have several subclasses, A, B and C. They ...
8
votes
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? ...
19
votes
6answers
765 views

Is cloud computing just a way of renting resources?

The company I work at recently hosted a web service in Windows Azure and announced that. Now trade online magazines say lots of meaningless stuff like "company X moves to the cloud", "company X drops ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
253 views

What is “syntactic delegation”

Steve Yegge mentions it in When Polymorphism Fails: ... I think this implies that type is best represented via properties rather than classes, because of the inherent inflexibility of classes. But ...
8
votes
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. ...
37
votes
2answers
3k views

Where does the term “Red/Black Tree” come from?

A Red/Black Tree is one way to implement a balanced binary search tree. The principles behind how it works make sense to me, but the chosen colors don't. Why red and black, as opposed to any other ...
5
votes
2answers
280 views

What defines an encapsulation properly?

I find the encapsulation concept a bit confusing. So far I have read that the members of the class should be private and any access to private members must be through getter and setter methods, which ...
7
votes
3answers
858 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
25k views

What is the difference in meaning between “software”, “program”, “application”, and “gadget”? [closed]

It seems to be a naive question, but I was unable to find an explicit definition and difference in meaning of the words "software", "program", "application", and "gadget". What is the correct (at ...
15
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8answers
3k views

What’s the opposite of abstraction? [closed]

As I understand it, abstraction is the term we use for when more meaning is created out of something simpler without altering it. It is derived from the latin verb abstrahere (to ‘draw away’). For ...
1
vote
4answers
496 views

Strange software development terminology [closed]

I have been working in a professional software development environment for a short while now. Over this short period of time I have heard some terminology I never knew existed. For example, in a ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a difference between property and attribute?

These two words are completely synonymous for me, but I wonder if there's actually a useful semantic difference that I can incorporate into coding/naming conventions/process.
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a “Process Canary”

In the book "Hard Code" by Eric Brechner, he states, Lying is one of a handful of valuable process canaries that can warn you of trouble. I've heard a dev or two toss around the old "canary". ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

What is the technique called in which you return a never ending http response to keep returning lines of javascript for dynamic update effect?

There is a technique in which you don't end the response and this allows you to send content to the client in chunks like pieces of javascript or maybe xml document that can be parsed on the client ...
2
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1answer
1k views

what is the meaning of a “Teardown Report”

I am sorry if this a wrong place to ask the question. I saw the usage "Teardown report" for a product What does it mean?
30
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6answers
5k views

What is the difference between 'layer of abstraction' and 'level of indirection'?

I am not sure if both terms can be used interchangeably. Maybe there is some academic distinction in computer science which is not relevant for day-to-day programming? Or can I use both term ...
2
votes
5answers
348 views

What is a better word for aligning your nesting?

I was taught by an old-time programmer who called this nested code if(condition){ <div> <b>text <u>text</u></b><br/> <table> <tr> ...
8
votes
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.... " ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Collective term for shaking device and using accelerometer of a device

Does anyone know what the collective term for shaking a device to achieve something or using the accelerometer of a device to do something is? Is it haptic technology?
1
vote
2answers
244 views

What it is a data structure of a certain type called?

I'll try to keep this as much language agnostic as I can but I'll give the examples in C# since I now know how to solve it that language. The question came to mind when I was thinking of how could I ...
5
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5answers
569 views

terminology: Memory leak

When I hear the term memory leak by that I mean a bug in a program that doesn't cause any problems except that it doesn't free memory resource and if it continuously does that it can eat a lot of ...
4
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the term that describe objects representing both logic and data?

The reason I am asking this question is I want to know how to properly call an architecture where classes have either data or logic but not both. I know this goes against object orientation and ...
36
votes
7answers
3k views

What makes a piece of software an Engine? [closed]

The descriptor 'Engine' gets thrown around a lot: graphics engine, RegEx engine, AI engine, etc. but what actually makes a piece of software an Engine? Design, Input/Output, Purpose, Size?
34
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3answers
5k views

What is the origin and meaning of the phrase “Lambda the ultimate?”

I've been messing around with functional programming languages for a few years, and I keep encountering this phrase. For example, it is a chapter of "The Little Schemer, which certainly predates the ...
10
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5answers
973 views

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 ...
22
votes
7answers
59k views

What does artifact mean?

The dictionary defines artifact as: artefact, artifact [ˈɑːtɪˌfækt] n something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest ...
11
votes
11answers
4k views

Opposite term of indent [closed]

We say that we indent code. I'm writing a string builder which can add/remove tabs to indent code. Sample: builder.Add("<ul>"); builder.Indent(); builder.Add("<li></li>"); builder....
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Term for domain specific business object? [closed]

This question might be a little vague. I have seen an acronym referring to a business object in a software system. It's usually mentioned when discussing such design patterns as Java EE's DAO pattern....
7
votes
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 ...
21
votes
12answers
17k views

What defines robust code?

My professor keeps referring to this Java example when he speaks of "robust" code: if (var == true) { ... } else if (var == false) { ... } else { ... } He claims that "robust code" ...
97
votes
11answers
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What's the difference between an API and an SDK?

I was looking through various APIs and SDKs, when I realized that I couldn't really tell the difference between something called an API and something called an SDK. Both of them are, conceptually, a ...
4
votes
5answers
428 views

Is it time to do away with 'front-end' and 'back-end' as tech jargon? [closed]

It seems that the primary usage of these terms is either: mutual mystification of contractors and/or clients who don't know what they are talking about or how to talk about it, the innocent and ...
4
votes
7answers
759 views

When is a loop “non-trivial”?

Is it correct to call a loop that you do not know the limit at compile time "non-trivial"? If you know that you will be using a value from a class that will be in a range e.g. between 0-1000, is that ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the difference between an Asset and a Resource?

I've used several IDEs and created several default projects. Upon creation, I'll find folder structures created for me. Sometimes I'll see a Resources folder, sometimes an Assets folder, and sometimes ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

where is there a good description of the use of the word 'scope' in computer science? [closed]

Where is there a good description of the use of the word 'scope' in computer science? In this post of a question about the Java final reserved word one responder implies that scope is textual so each ...
30
votes
3answers
1k views

Origin of “Readme”

When did people start writing Readme files? It seems that pretty much all programs have this file, regardless of the format. Is there any documented first use of this document?
5
votes
1answer
296 views

What is the industry term for those “earn credit by affiliates” programs in iPhone/Android/etc games?

In iPhone, Android, and other gaming platforms you can sometimes earn credit by installing other games, going to someones website, even signing up for a credit card. For iPhone, for example, there ...
4
votes
4answers
379 views

What's the opposite colour to “green” for a native thread?

Simulated threads are known as "green threads" in programming-language-wonk speak. They are compared to "native threads" as provided by the operating system, but is there an analogous colour for ...
10
votes
4answers
5k 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 "...
0
votes
2answers
573 views

What is the “internal syntax” of a programming language?

I was reading a paper (PDF) that introduced a term, internal syntax, that I've never heard of. What does this term mean, and how is it different from the source syntax? It looks that the internal ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

What is each time through a loop called? [closed]

while ( true ) { // what is each time through this loop called? }
14
votes
8answers
12k views

Feature vs. Function [closed]

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
319 views

Terminology question: Generalize Heisenbug

Is there some kind of generalization to the effect called Heisenbug? Because I would like to describe in my documentation how instrumenting a program changes the execution no matter what. In The New ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the term for IntelliSense in a non-Microsoft world?

When talking about IDE software or about what a programming language allows you to do or not at the source level, I often use the word IntelliSense, which has a precise meaning in the Microsoft world, ...
10
votes
4answers
473 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
33k 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 "...
13
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16answers
5k views

What is a nicer way of describing the process of “Idiot Proofing” a piece of software [closed]

To me, Idiot Proofing just means making sure the user can't break a piece of software even if he tried. For instance, if a value is read from a text box, and is converted to a double, if the ...