Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about the definition of software-engineering terms, and about the right terms to use to refer to commonly known concepts, practices or patterns related to software and systems development life cycle. Using the right terms correctly is a core practice of the scientific and engineering reasoning.

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If an object x is an instance of a type T, then what is a type T for a concept C?

In concept-based programming (as in C++ concepts), I am wondering if there is a noun to say that: A type T is an XXXX of a concept C. in the same way we can say that: An object x is an instance of ...
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3 answers
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How do I describe a hierarchical relationship between software objects? [closed]

I'm trying to express a particular relationship between two software resources available in an API. The relationship is such that one of the resources is the "main" or "original" ...
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1 answer
334 views

What does "OOM-safe" mean?

(In the context of reading about the systemd D-bus implementation called sdbus (full sdbus API here)): What does "OOM-safe" mean? From this blog post, by Lennart Poettering, the author of ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What does it mean if an algorithm converges?

I’m considering following sentence in a document: Lastly, a xxx algorithm is performed to improve the convergence speed (speed it takes for the individuals in the population to get closer to the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What does "set" mean in programming languages like C#?

I've been reading a book about C#. What does the word 'set' mean in the following excerpt? Pattern matching with the switch statement: Like the if statement, the switch statement supports pattern ...
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3 answers
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What is the proper term for separating code into their own files? [closed]

Just curious on how to better explain this with the right terminology. For instance in React, this would kind of be like breaking down a large component into multiple smaller components. But that is ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
67 views

What do you call a function that properly remains undefined?

Backstory: I have subclasses that are supposed to override and define various functions, but not neccessarily all of them. They can't remain purely virtual though for obvious reasons, and so I am ...
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3 votes
3 answers
349 views

What to call tests that check that output has not changed?

This is a question about terminology, not about method. Our application consists of physical simulations. Results have been validated in various ways, but we have no oracle that guarantees correctness....
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1 answer
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Term for a map of constants [closed]

Considering there's a map of string constants, most commonly with a key and a value being equal, e.g. in TypeScript: const itemTypes = { FOO_BAR: 'FOO_BAR', BAZ_QUX: 'BAZ_QUX', } as const; They ...
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0 votes
2 answers
124 views

How do the contexts of the terms "Databank" and "Database" differ? Where did the terms originate from?

Suppose I were to make two classes: class Databank { ... } class Dababase { ... } Based upon the chosen terminology, could one infer how one class would behave different compared to the other? And ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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lambda function vs anonymous function vs callback function

I'm writing a introductory JavaScript tutorial series, I have a question about terminology. When explaining the Array.prototype methods, I've given an example of some code like: const letters = ['a', '...
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3 answers
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What do you call a routine that contains a smaller routine?

Just a question about general terminology. A subroutine as I understand it is basically a packaged subset of instructions that a routine runs to obtain a specific result that it needs for a larger ...
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0 votes
1 answer
114 views

Best practice or patterns to couple complex custom objects to custom logic

In many project that grow more complex at a certain moment business rule editors, workflow editors, custom taxonomies and such enter the arena. In all of these a coupling is made between a complex ...
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2 answers
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What is the term for replacing a literal with a changeable symbol?

Is there a designated term for replacing hard constants (literals of any type) peppered throughout code with changeable constructs (can be a variable or #define or any similar mechanism)? Basically, ...
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2 answers
214 views

Name of the relationship between a child object and parent interface?

If Pet is a class that implements the interface INameable, and dog is an instance of Pet, what is the name of the relationship between dog and INameable? In casual conversation and while talking with ...
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2 answers
142 views

Adjective for being okay to send via an unreliable protocol?

UDP is an example of an unreliable protocol. Is there a single word that means "okay to send via an unreliable protocol?" Sort of like "unimportant", but that's too strong a word. ...
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2 votes
5 answers
373 views

Opposite verb to "inherits"

What's the name of the relationship opposite to "inherits"? Subclass inherits from superclass Superclass ______ subclass
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41 votes
10 answers
11k views

Difference between Algorithm and Code

A few days ago I had a conversation with a Civil Engineer with a background in Pascal and BASIC, and we talked about programming in Python. When I was talking, I used the term "code" to ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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General term to describe the anti-pattern where the same concept is described in different ways?

Our codebase is old and very large. Over the years, many developers have worked on the code and frequently refered to the same concept inconsistently. For example, we have a "number that uniquely ...
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0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Code reference symbols in documentation, comments and pull requests?

I've seen method references in PRs and comments and documentation but it's unclear what the specific symbology means. E.g. ClassName#myMethod or ClassName::myMethod or what about ClassName::CONSTANT ...
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10 votes
4 answers
2k views

What's the name of the principle that a method should EITHER orchestrate OR do?

I recall a principle that a professor talked about while I was in school (back in the mists of time) that went something along the lines of "A method/function should either orchestrate other ...
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2 votes
1 answer
243 views

What is the name of this pattern / style?

We have a "workflow orchestration" system at work. It works something like this: You configure what to run (in a database table), such as: NameOfStepATHingToRun ="weather_data" ...
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3 votes
1 answer
145 views

Am I using the correct terminology for my project?

I'm currently the sole programmer for a project. We are creating a handheld device that includes a screen to display live data and video feed, push buttons to control the program's functionalities, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
191 views

What do you call a dependency that "leaks" to client code? What do you call one that doesn't?

Let's say you have a library StuffDoer which calls an external library MagicWizard to do its stuff. Then you add a reference to StuffDoer in UsefulApp. In some scenarios, referencing StuffDoer ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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What is the technical terminology for the practice of checking for null and edge cases in programming?

I took a PHP test for NASA recently and thought I should have done better. I believe the issue is something I used to know about, but need a refresher in. I can't remember what it is called though. It ...
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30 votes
3 answers
5k views

Definition of "functor"; Haskell vs. C++

I'm trying to understand whether the Haskell and C++ communities mean different things by the word "functor", or if there's some underlying concept that unifies the two meanings. My ...
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2 votes
1 answer
55 views

What is the relation between edges in a dependency graph and the program call to create a vertex?

A Makefile is a representation of a depency graph. The files are the vertices, for example somefunctions.h, somefunctions.c and myprogram.c are the "input" vertices (is there a formal word ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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What is the meaning of fan-out

I see this word in many places but don't get it. From the Wikipedia, In message-oriented middleware solutions, fan-out is a messaging pattern used to model an information exchange that implies the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
155 views

Is it called "composition" if we are using primitive data types?

The following is an example of "composition": public class Car { Engine engine; // Engine is a class } But is it still called "composition" if we are using primitive data ...
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1 vote
1 answer
113 views

Where's the interpolation in "string interpolation"?

In most contexts, the concept of "interpolation" seems to be related to estimating unknown states from known ones, like video frames or data points. From the Wikipedia entry on interpolation:...
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1 vote
3 answers
778 views

Is there a single word for a "non-empty" string?

Take a simple example: string1 = "" string2 = "foo" string1 is empty or null, which is clear. But what about string2? I wouldn't call it "full". "Non-empty" or ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a term for "shift towards zero"?

In pseudo code: given numbers x and y, if x is greater than zero, subtract the magnitude of y from x, otherwise add the magnitude of y to x. It's ok if x goes from being positive to negative or vice ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
145 views

Does accepting a handler instead of returning a result have a name?

def create() -> socket.socket: ... return sock def create_(func: callable)-> None: ... func(sock) return What are the names of those two interfaces between* a socket ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
132 views

Sign Extension, When to stop?

Today, we learnt about sign extension to solve the problem where adding positive number to another positive one gives a negative. But my professor didn't mention at all when we should use it and how ...
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0 votes
2 answers
168 views

Name for a "called function"

I am writing a documentation for a programm where a function is defined and it is called three times. I call the definition of the function "function definition". But what is the correct ...
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7 votes
7 answers
2k views

What is the difference between an index and an offset?

I am looking to understand the difference between the words index and offset. I have never seen "offset" in reference to lists/arrays/etc in programming. I have only seen index. To me, these ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
364 views

What is meant by service? [closed]

We know there are services in windows but I am reading a book by Ed Snider and he uses the term “service” whenever his program requires a certain feature/functionality. Like he creates a navigation ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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What terminology should I reference to learn how to break down CISC instructions?

I'm trying to learn the fundamentals needed in order to be able to analyze CISC architecture executable binary instructions and break down each instruction into its components including the opcode and ...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

In MVC, is the router considered one part of the controller? Or are they considered separate entities?

I'm learning to implement RESTful APIs, and the concepts of Controller and Router are common in many frameworks, along with the MVC pattern in general, so I'm encountering them everywhere. From this ...
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43 votes
7 answers
18k views

Software bug vs. software corruption

While investigating Wikipedia article on Qantas Flight 72 I've found "Potential trigger types" section that says (emphasis mine): A number of potential trigger types were investigated, ...
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-2 votes
4 answers
262 views

Is there a name for the data structure [object, list, primitive] e.g. JSON? [closed]

tl;dr - I've settled on the terminology Traversable for the container type which includes List and Dict but excludes str, and Atom for anything which is not traversable, e.g. cannot nest indefinitely. ...
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0 votes
2 answers
188 views

Errors that don't make code behave wrong from user's point of view - how would you call them?

var file_extension = 'txt'; if (file_extension === 'txt') alert('plain text'); else if (file_extension === 'md') alert('markdown'); var file_extension = 'txt'; if (file_extension === 'txt') ...
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1 vote
5 answers
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Is the Database part of the Backend?

Yesterday I asked myself if the database is part of the back-end. On the one hand the back-end includes everything the user doesn't come in contact with, if you look at it that way the database ...
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5 votes
2 answers
338 views

Is there a term similar to "upsert", but for the "find or create" case? [closed]

I'm wondering if there is a commonly used term similar to "upsert" or "merge" but for the case of "find or create". Ideally with a single word, something shorter that &...
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45 votes
4 answers
9k views

Is cloud computing mainly just a marketing term?

I understand the concept of cloud computing, but I'm curious why the term has become so exhausted the past several years. Servers have been around for a long time, and I fail to see how this is any ...
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1 answer
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What is the term for generalised code to handle cross system functionalities

I work in a codebase which handles two countries' energy market functionalities as- payment, energy consumption, billing statements, addresses etc. For this I need to make sure that when I am writing ...
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8 votes
1 answer
146 views

What is the field/discipline called that deals with the automated management of very large and heterogeneous collections of files?

I work for an academic research lab whose file storage footprint is growing past the point where it can be properly managed "by hand", i.e. without extensive automation. (The number of ...
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38 votes
10 answers
8k views

What term describes a list of exactly length 1?

A container having 2 or more elements could be called a "plural container". A container with no elements could be called an "empty container". But what is the terminology for a ...
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4 votes
4 answers
566 views

If a system talks to a database to get some previous information to serve a request, does that make the system **stateful** or **stateless**?

I've read this example which basically states that, since a method has to hold a single private field.. It is considered a stateful system. So basically ANYTHING system that calls upon some sort of ...
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16 votes
9 answers
6k views

What does "representing" something in memory mean in OOP?

While learning about OOP, I have found that the term "represent" is used a lot in OOP tutorials. For example I may find a statement like this: "a car object represents a real life car&...
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