Questions about computers, programming and IT.

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5
votes
3answers
761 views

“Intended” vs. “intentional”

I'm reading an article about intention recognition in computing areas and somehow robotics. I came across this sentence: This problem has been discussed as the difference between “intended and ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between obsolete and deprecate in computer science?

Given the two terms "obsolete" and "deprecate" in computer science, what is the difference between them? What I understand, Deprecated means still available for use but will no longer be developed ...
3
votes
2answers
324 views

How popular are the terms “software” and “hardware” outside the computer world?

If I’m not mistaken, the terms software and hardware were ordinary English words, but they have been widely popularized by popularity of computers. How much they are common (and acceptable by native ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What is “embarrassing” about an embarrassingly parallel problem?

In computer science, a problem that is obviously decomposable into many identical but separate subtasks is called embarrassingly parallel. An example is a cryptographic brute force attack, in which ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

“Concatenate” vs. “merge” vs. “join” in scientific text

I wonder what the difference is between concatenate, merge and join from the lexical point of view. These words are often used in scientific or programming text. It seems to me that different authors ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

What’s the difference between “tool” and “utility”?

I find these two words appear together often, especially mentioned as tool and utility for the Unix operating system. So I am wondering about the difference between them.
3
votes
3answers
213 views

Expression to describe error’s way

In the context of a computer system, events that fail to go to their destination are redirected to another one through several steps. I’m looking for an expression to describe the way they take. I ...
9
votes
4answers
12k views

Is there a word meaning “append”, but at the beginning, not the end? [closed]

In computer programming, when you append a "string" to another, you add it to the end of the former string. E.g. String string1 = "abcd"; String string2 = "efgh"; Appending the two strings would ...
0
votes
2answers
658 views

“Computing” vs. “computation”

Can anybody explain the difference between computing and computation? Which one is correct: computing/computation node (to refer to a server) computing/computation power (to refer to the FLOPS of a ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the word “hacking” or “hacker” come from? [closed]

Is there a history behind the word "hacker" and "hacking"? Could it have anything to do with "hashing" i.e. using a hash function?
1
vote
3answers
78 views

What is an overall term for a service that publishes digital publications?

I'm looking at what I am calling Digital Edition Solution Providers (ways of taking a PDF of a magazine and turning it into a website, and content for sale on Apple Newsstand, Android, KindleFire ...
1
vote
1answer
579 views

'Rollover'/'Roll over' in computer world

While Oxford Dictionary of English does not have definition of rollover, Wiktionary defines this word as "a graphic element that changes its shape or colour when the cursor moves over it"; in other ...
2
votes
5answers
179 views

“Printfing” or “printingf”?

At this point the program starts printfing the pot value. At this point the program starts printingf the pot value. Both sound wrong, and yet... one of them must be used.
1
vote
3answers
79 views

Word for code/applications that call an API library

I have an API library, what do I call code/applications that use it? I want to avoid "client" because in my context, it is ambiguous with another concept. Also it doesn't have to be a single word, as ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin of the term “wizard” in computing

In computer user interfaces a "wizard" is a set of screens that guide the user through a process. Does anyone know the origin of this term? I personally associate wizards with magic more than a ...
15
votes
6answers
743 views

What is the noun to refer to the 64- or 32-bit -ness of an operating system

I know that "processor architecture" can be used to refer to whether the processor is 32-bit or 64-bit (or something else), but what word can be used for the operating system? Note that it's not ...
-1
votes
1answer
175 views

Why is it correct to say “to negate a double”? [closed]

In programming you can negate a double. At least Google hits tend to that, but there are, though, a lot of hits for invert a double. While the definition of to invert is clear to invert: to ...
8
votes
1answer
495 views

What do you call the phenomenon where a rectangle Ϳ is shown because a font lacks a glyph?

Is there a name to describe the situation where a particular character is shown on a computer screen in a particular font, but this font does not have a glyph for this particular character? Usually, ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

call vs invoke - informatics context

Particularly in computer science and informatics, when should one use them? Is call the preferred form? For instance, call function invoke method Googling for "call operation" returns +300 000 ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

What is the word for an applied template? [closed]

The notion of a template is that it is abstract and can be applied to future instances. Is there a word that means an instantiated template? I'd prefer something that specifically refers to the fact ...
1
vote
1answer
295 views

Is there a word for someone who posts a “comment”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you call who writes comments in this board? Commenter or commentator? Difference between “commentor” and “commentator” Why do we say 'commentator' instead of ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

“On Mac OS X” vs. “in Mac OS X”

The NY Times uses both "on Mac OS X" and "in Mac OS X". Can someone explain which one seems more appropriate if there is no difference?
23
votes
3answers
9k views

Origin of the term “driver” in computer science

According to Wikipedia: … a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device. What is the origin of the term ...
5
votes
2answers
296 views

“Timeboxing” versus “time-slicing”

What is the difference between timeboxing and time-slicing? From what I can tell, it is the same concept, but timeboxing is applied to project management and time-slicing is applied to scheduling ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Add-in, addin, add-on, addon

For example, Firefox uses add-ons whereas Microsoft Office uses add-ins. I've seen all 4 versions (add-in, addin, add-on, addon) used in various software programs, but I wonder if all of them are ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “cURL,” the computer utility? [closed]

Are there programmers here? I'd like to know how you guys pronounce cURL. Because I don't live in a country that uses English, I haven't heard it yet.
1
vote
4answers
159 views

Do “download” and “upload” only refer to networks?

I know what it means to download something from a website or upload a video to YouTube. But do the terms "download" and "upload" only apply when referring to one device transferring data to another ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

The origin of binary “image”? [closed]

I'm curious why a chunk of binary data is called image? Like disk image, boot image, Linux image, flash image, etc. In my brain, image is something two-dimensional, but binary data is a ...
5
votes
1answer
309 views

Who first used the term “bit rot”?

Wikipedia says: Bit rot, also known as bit decay, data rot, or data decay, is a colloquial computing term used to describe either a gradual decay of storage media or the degradation of a software ...
1
vote
5answers
470 views

What do we call the GUI “box” which groups elements together?

What's the English (non-technical) word we use to refer to a GUI "box" which groups different elements together? For example, we can see a Performance "box" in this image: What's an alternative ...
64
votes
9answers
12k views

“Username”, “user name” or “user-name”

In computer science, you should have a username or a user name or a user-name and a password to be able to log into the system. Which one is the correct spelling?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the origin of “beta” to describe a “user-testing” phase of computer development?

It occurred to me that I use the term "beta" to describe a "release candidate" of a computer product that has passed all expectations of the development team, and is now being given limited exposure ...
43
votes
3answers
2k views

How “macro” in computer programming came about

The prefix macro- is normally used for large things like macroeconomics and macroscopic. How did it come to be used to describe text macros in the programming world?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin of != in the meaning “not equal to”?

As a programmer I have always assumed that using != as meaning not equal to when writing text (usually on the internet) came from programming languages. Is this true or is the origin different?
2
votes
4answers
297 views

What would be a suitable name for the game panel in tetris?

I am trying to develop a Tetris clone. However, I am unsure what to name the panel where the user places the pieces. Game panel seems too generic since the entire frame is in fact the panel of the ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Why “motherboard” is used to refer to main board of computer

Why is motherboard used to refer to the main board of a computer? What is the relationship with the word mother here?
13
votes
5answers
9k views

Difference between “computation” and “calculation”

If the words computation and calculation are not perfect synonyms what is the difference between them? Which one describes more accurately what is done by a person computing or calculating something ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Capitalization of User Interface Buttons

Being an amateur programmer and a bit of a perfectionist, I often find myself wondering about capitalization in user interfaces. If you look towards the top of this very website, you'll notice the ...