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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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Terminology to indicate that a software component does not seem to belong inside a library

What is the standard or commonly used terminology used in software engineering circles for this scenario that uses "widgets" and "FFT" as a fictitious concrete example: I have a ...
bgoodr's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
1 answer
132 views

Tree impurity of a call graph

In his "Software Engineering. Principles and Practice," H. van Vliet mentions "tree impurity of a call graph." However, the term tree impurity is not used in this meaning anywhere ...
DYZ's user avatar
  • 339
10 votes
6 answers
5k views

If a function mutates outer state during execution but reverts the outer state into original state after execution, does it still contain side effect?

According to What is a "side effect?", I know the side effect means changing outside world. But what if a function that changes the outside state during execution, but reverts the state to ...
wcminipgasker2023's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
119 views

Broadly accepted term for a "thick wrapper"? [closed]

A wrapper is often explained as modification of an interface to another function with very little added functionality, if any. I've seen scarce reference to a "thick wrapper" that does add ...
user2153235's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why is the term "string" so often abbreviated as "sz"?

A pattern I have noticed in many big C and C++ programs - including Microsoft Windows (REG_SZ type in Registry) and Valve's Source SDK (names of practically every string variable) - is that "sz&...
AcinonX's user avatar
  • 613
2 votes
1 answer
170 views

How are windows at program startup called?

Often, when a program is starting it shows a modal window which has program logo, copyright information etc. For example, NetBeans shows the following window at startup: Could anyone say how such ...
Pavel_K's user avatar
  • 175
1 vote
3 answers
203 views

How input side effects could be called?

According to Wikipedia, "an operation, function or expression is said to have a side effect if it modifies some state variable value(s) outside its local environment, which is to say if it has ...
Yaroslav Nikitenko's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
427 views

Can you explain what MAJOR and MINOR version is? [closed]

I'm trying to understand what they really are, but I can't understand how to use them. MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes. What is incompatible API changes? MINOR version when you ...
Inj3ct0r's user avatar
2 votes
7 answers
498 views

Is there a term that describes the property of being synchronous vs asynchronous?

Is there a term that describes the property of being synchronous vs asynchronous? The term that most naturally comes to mind is "synchronicity", however I only see this term being use in ...
Rylander's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
3 answers
430 views

Definition of "collaborators" (of an object) in Software Design?

I have seen Martin Fowler using the term "collaborators" as some sort of synonym of "dependencies". Unfortunately, Martin Fowler does not seem to define the term anywhere, so it is ...
Mike Nakis's user avatar
  • 32.2k
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there a common term for a fixed-length, fifo, "push through" array or list?

Here's a ubiquitous data structure in, say, game and UX programming: there're a fixed number of items (say, "5") they're all "zero" to begin with you can put one in on the "...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 437
7 votes
1 answer
190 views

What is the term used to describe the number of times a pointer can be dereferenced?

For example, which term completes the sentence "p has 5 ____" in order to describe a situation like int *****p?
vim_overlord's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Difference between API and protocol?

What's the difference between an API and a protocol? To use a specific example: Is Coinbase's choice to refer to its WebSocket client specification as an "API" appropriate? It seems that ...
Katie's user avatar
  • 239
1 vote
0 answers
210 views

If you run a function in a different thread, but you wait for it to finish in your main thread, is that function asynchronous?

Backstory Probably a stupid question, but I just have a sneaking suspicion that "asynchronous" is the wrong terminology to us for naming my template function here: template <class T> ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 3,613
3 votes
1 answer
303 views

Disambiguating Python terms, what is the difference between "type hint" vs "type annotations"?

Colloquially, type hint and annotations are used interchangeably in Python. After reading PEP 484, I was unable to disambiguate the terms "type hint" vs "type annotations" from the ...
Keto's user avatar
  • 148
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Can I assume "Perf" is a commonly understood abbreviation for "Performance" in the context of Software Engineering? [closed]

I have been using "Perf" when writing about performance of some pieces of software (in tools, pull requests, etc.) but was wondering recently if this was an appropriate practice. Can I ...
wip's user avatar
  • 318
1 vote
2 answers
253 views

What does "legacy signature" mean?

I see the term legacy signature a lot in the documentation of programming languages. For example in the php documentation : Passing the separator after the array (i.e. using the legacy signature) ...
Hicham Jerdaoui's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
179 views

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 ...
Vincent's user avatar
  • 169
-1 votes
3 answers
208 views

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" ...
jmach's user avatar
  • 27
5 votes
1 answer
570 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 ...
Gabriel Staples's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
84 views

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 ...
Msamericana1's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 ...
Hossein's user avatar
  • 75
0 votes
3 answers
735 views

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 ...
MeesterMarcus's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
79 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 ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 3,613
3 votes
3 answers
531 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....
Joachim W's user avatar
  • 141
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

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 ...
Estus Flask's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
501 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 ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 3,613
3 votes
2 answers
6k views

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', '...
dwjohnston's user avatar
  • 2,563
1 vote
3 answers
247 views

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 ...
CycklopsGT's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
177 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 ...
edelwater's user avatar
  • 544
0 votes
2 answers
114 views

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, ...
Mode77's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
2 answers
565 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 ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 460
0 votes
2 answers
144 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. ...
Kevin Krumwiede's user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
895 views

Opposite verb to "inherits"

What's the name of the relationship opposite to "inherits"? Subclass inherits from superclass Superclass ______ subclass
minseong's user avatar
  • 460
41 votes
10 answers
16k 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 ...
Jalkhov's user avatar
  • 557
-3 votes
1 answer
152 views

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 ...
AlainD's user avatar
  • 150
1 vote
1 answer
145 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 ...
GoldFlsh's user avatar
  • 147
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 ...
Garandy's user avatar
  • 211
2 votes
1 answer
250 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" ...
Neil McGuigan's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
152 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, ...
Drake P's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
3 answers
369 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 ...
ekolis's user avatar
  • 521
3 votes
3 answers
517 views

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 ...
Eric Hepperle - CodeSlayer2010's user avatar
31 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Stephen Warren's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
179 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 ...
Psirus's user avatar
  • 147
22 votes
2 answers
18k views

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 ...
user3153970's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
217 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 ...
user247763's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
148 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:...
NPN328's user avatar
  • 218
2 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Lou's user avatar
  • 346
-1 votes
1 answer
523 views

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 ...
baqyoteto's user avatar
  • 133
0 votes
2 answers
153 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 ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 7,119

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