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

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133
votes
12answers
20k 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, ...
35
votes
10answers
24k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
65k views

Difference between a defect and a bug in testing?

What is the difference between a defect and a bug?
27
votes
24answers
20k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

What should you bring to the table as a Software Architect? [closed]

There have been many questions with good answers about the role of a Software Architect (SA) on StackOverflow and Programmers SE. I am trying to ask a slightly more focused question than those. The ...
8
votes
2answers
558 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) { ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the precise definition of programming paradigm?

Wikipedia defines programming paradigm thus: a fundamental style of computer programming which is echoed in the descriptive text of the paradigms tag on this site. I find this a disappointing ...
87
votes
11answers
65k views

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 ...
40
votes
8answers
10k views

What is enterprise software, exactly?

I don't understand the difference between "normal" software and enterprise software. Even after reading these... "Enterprise Software" on Wikipedia "Enterprise Software Is Sexy Again" on Techcrunch ...
49
votes
6answers
32k 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 ...
20
votes
12answers
15k 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" ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I say that programming language compiles to other languages?

How can I say in english, that programming language can be compiled to other programming languages? The example can be Haxe. On the website the language is decribed as "Multiplatform": ...
5
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
81
votes
14answers
83k views

How is a “Software Developer” different from a “Software Consultant”? What makes a consultant?

I have seen a lot of people claiming themselves to be a "software consultant". These consultants do what a normal software developer does, write code, estimate tasks, fix bugs and attend meetings etc. ...
47
votes
3answers
99k 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?
26
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a named anti pattern for historically grown software? [closed]

Is there an anti pattern that describes a historically grown software system where multiple developers just added new features to the system but no one really kept an eye on the overall architecture ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

I've been told HTML is a markup language, C++ is a programming language, what could make that difference?

My programming friends are always telling me that HTML is a markup language and C++ is a programming language. When I ask them what's the difference, they never give me a reasonable answer. What ...
18
votes
5answers
25k views

The difference between “concurrent” and “parallel” execution?

What is the difference between the terms concurrent and parallel execution? I've never quite been able to grasp the distinction. The tag defines concurrency as a manner of running two processes ...
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?
25
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
676 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?
8
votes
2answers
908 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between “recursion” and “self-reference”?

The wikipedia articles are too advanced for me to understand, could someone give me a simple explanation please?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are frameworks, stacks, and middleware?

Hey I'm a student programmer currently working in Java. I often see several terms thrown around alot and it would be very helpful for someone to explain the differences. I was prompted by my research ...
0
votes
2answers
480 views

Does the pattern of passing in one object instead of many parameters to a constructor have a name?

If you have a constructor that takes a lot of parameters, like this: public OrgUnitsHalRepresentation(List<OrgUnitSummaryHalRepresentation> orgUnitSummaryHalRepresentationList, int count, ...
303
votes
6answers
18k 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?
76
votes
6answers
88k views

What's the difference between simulation and emulation

I frequently see Simulation and Emulation in computer science. These two terms seem synonymous. Is there any difference between Simulation and Emulation?
22
votes
12answers
54k views

What's the difference between computer science and programming?

I'm new at computer science and programming, and I was wondering, is there a difference between computer science and programming? and do you get to choose to study only one of them at the university, ...
7
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
39
votes
12answers
3k views

Why are errors named as “Exception” but not as “Error” in programming languages?

I've been thinking about that for quite a while actually. I am not a native english speaker myself but still I have years of programming experience and I always asked me this. Why is it named as ...
20
votes
7answers
51k 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
6answers
957 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.
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?
29
votes
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
14k 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?
17
votes
8answers
9k views

What is Pseudocode?

I've seen a lot of mentions of Pseudocode lately, on this site and others. But I don't get it: What is Pseudocode? For example, the Wikipedia article below says "It uses the structural conventions ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

When programmers talk about “data structures”, what are they referring to?

When programmers talk about "data structures", are they only talking about abstract data types like lists, trees, hashes, graphs, etc.? Or does that term include any structure that holds data, such ...
8
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Who was the first software engineer?

It's fairly well known who the first programmer was but who was or were the first software engineer(s)? By software engineer I mean someone who uses formalized specifications and methods to deliver ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the term for this type of refactoring

I am sure there is a term for the following bit of refactoring, but I can't remember it and my Google-fu is failing me! The refactor moves if statements to where they are going to have most impact, ...
17
votes
1answer
808 views

Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?

I've always wondered why one calls a function as opposed to, for example, executing it. A Google search for function call etymology and similar terms turns up nothing useful, Wikipedia doesn't ...
14
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
7
votes
15answers
754 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?
6
votes
2answers
822 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 ...