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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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8 votes
15 answers

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?
Michael Riley - AKA Gunny's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers

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 ...
rwong's user avatar
  • 16.9k
15 votes
11 answers

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. ...
Kramii's user avatar
  • 14.1k
7 votes
8 answers

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 ...
user6950's user avatar
39 votes
24 answers

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 ...
mlvljr's user avatar
  • 1,249
14 votes
6 answers

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

What is the difference between update and upgrade in the context of application software?
Svisstack's user avatar
  • 280
16 votes
18 answers

Pronunciation in programming? [closed]

How do you correctly or erroneously pronounce programming terms? Any that you find need strict correction or history into the early CS culture? Programming char = "tchar" not care? ! = bang not ...
32 votes
3 answers

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 '...
plaureano's user avatar
  • 1,241
1 vote
5 answers

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 ...
emeraldjava's user avatar
351 votes
6 answers

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?
user avatar
4 votes
8 answers

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 ...
John Gietzen's user avatar
9 votes
8 answers

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 sugar"...
dsimcha's user avatar
  • 17.2k
26 votes
3 answers

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?
Phillip Ngan's user avatar
  • 1,691
16 votes
16 answers

Is software development an engineering discipline?

Can software development be considered engineering? If no, what are the things that it lacks in order to be qualified as an engineering discipline? Related to this is this question on Stack Overflow ...
60 votes
14 answers

What is the history of the use of "foo" and "bar" in source code examples?

Why do many code examples, especially tutorials, use the names "Foo" and "Bar" so often? It is almost a standard. For example: void foo(char* bar) { printf("%s", bar); }

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