Questions about computers, programming and IT.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
2answers
51 views

“The Sultan of Swat” is to nickname as “Babe” is to what?

Trying to name things in a computer data model. People have a variety of name roles, such as legal name, maiden name, etc. "The Sultan of Swat" is a nickname or pseudonym of George Ruth. It seems ...
1
vote
4answers
179 views

Antonym of “Device” in computer terminology

How would I talk about something that is either a laptop or a desktop, but not a smartphone or tablet? Is "computer" ok, even though technically speaking, smartphones and tablets are or contain ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Does a recursive procedure “recur”?

In programming, a recursive procedure is defined as a procedure which refers to itself in the code. The question is, is "recur" the corresponding verb to the adjective "recursive"? Can I say that a ...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Can “backup” be used as a verb in the context of data management? [duplicate]

I have heard backup being used as a verb in the sense of I have to backup my hard disk by non-native English speakers (the English noun backup is also used in other languages, for example in ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Etymology of “ping”

According to Wikipedia ping, the IP network utility, was named after the sonar "ping", which is apparently onomatopoeic. However, "ping" is now used in the vernacular in the sense of "pinging" ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

How are invented names like “scrypt” pronounced that include nonstandard abbreviations?

In technical contexts, I often come across terms that are invented names where some underlying meaning is not spelled out but can be inferred. This inferred meaning would often be lost if one tried to ...
-1
votes
2answers
61 views

Is there a verb to express moving files within a cloud, similar to “to upload” and “to download”

Writelatex is an awesome cloud solution to write LaTeX documents online. Through one of their dialogs one can "upload" files to the cloud. However, when looking at the options offered, all but one - ...
1
vote
3answers
55 views

A word for “Progress Bar” when it's not used to measure progress

What would you call something that looks exactly like a progress bar (ie: When you are installing a program) but that isn't used to measure the progress of a task. In this case it's used to display ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Version control “in revision” vs. “at revision”

Should a programmer use in or at as a preposition when referring to the version-control revision number? Example: Which is correct, fixed in revision 12345 or fixed at revision 12345? The ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Name of Shift-Key Concept

What is the name of the concept or type of key used in shifting characters on a mobile device? Many common virtual keyboards used in cellphones and advanced mobile devices use a certain paradigm for ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

When writing names for .mp3 and .pdf files (songs, books etc.) in Windows, do you use hyphen, en or em dash to separate an author and his/her work? [closed]

When writing names for .mp3 and .pdf files (songs, books etc.) in Windows, do you use hyphen, en or em dash to separate an author and his/her work? Ex. "Linkin Park - In the End" or "Linkin Park – ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the proper term for a ternary digit?

A binary digit is a bit. Is there an equivalent term for a three-state digit? (e.g., a digit representing true, false, or unknown)
2
votes
3answers
399 views

Do you “hit” or “press” a button?

I am currently writing an user manual for a software tool, providing step-by-step usage instructions. I am aware that pressing a button is a perfectly fine expression. However, I'm trying to find ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Which preposition to use when referring to computer environments

The computer software can have versions targeting different hardware and operation systems. For example, the same game can be run on PC, Xbox and Mac. My question is - when describing the release of ...
1
vote
3answers
107 views

What is the noun for either a file or folder?

We have files, we have directories; what is the noun that we could use to generically describe either of these? For instance, an apple or a pear can generically be described as fruit. Is there such a ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

Primary is to Secondary as Principal is to…what? [closed]

If something is divided into principal divisions, what is the next level "down"? For example, if a generic term for a US state or Canadian province is a "principal country division", what is a good ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Equivalent of the word “quadrant”

What would be the equivalent of the word quadrant when referring to 1/2 and 1/8 of an area? I'm looking for a more specific term than simply a half. To give more detail, I'm looking for a term which ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

To 'link' or 'relate' two items?

I'm developing a system in which users can 'link' separate items by using a 'Link' button. In the database, this 'link' is called a 'relation'. I'm inclined to change the text of the button to ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What do you call something that reads and writes files?

In programming, it's common to write a class that both reads and writes files. What do you call this type of thing? Is it a file handler? A file parser? A file provider? A file streamer? How about a ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Word/phrase origin of “StackExchange” [duplicate]

Because of the success of StackExchange.com I am having difficulty researching the term on the Internet. Where does it come from? I know the phrase comes out of computer programming, but my ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

What a common abbreviation for two's complement code

What a common abbreviation for two's complement code? I've searched on Google, and find "TCC" as a required abbreviation on thefreedictionary. Is it commonly recognized? Or may be there are some other ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What is meaning of “on the fly” in computer science? [closed]

I am not native English speakers, I often see " on the fly " in some program docs or blogs. I don't know the exact meaning of it. Is it a idiom? e.g.: Since sandman doesn't have any advanced ...
0
votes
4answers
79 views

Is “delete” a hyponym of “edit”? [closed]

In computer science, is delete considered to be included in edit, or are they two separate things? Example: Editing item details and deleting items. In my case, both can be done by the same user ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Opposite of “specialized” in the context of computing units

A graphics card or an algebraic co-processor is a specialized computing unit. A conventional CPU, which understands a lot more instructions, is a flexible computing unit. I'm not happy with using ...
1
vote
1answer
580 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
264 views

Augmentation in Computer Science

How would you define augmentation in terms of Computer Science? I've heard it used as ‘strengthening’: “In jQuery, you design a page, and then you make it dynamic. This is ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “regex”?

The term regular expression is often shortened to regex. What is the correct pronunciation of the g in regex? Is it like the g1 in gallium, or is it like the g2 in giraffe? I’ve heard it said both ...
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?
2
votes
6answers
2k views

What's another way to say “problem area”?

Looking for some powerful, formal words with a slight negative connotation for a resume/performance assessment. The general context pertains to computer software development. These aren't my problem ...
4
votes
4answers
193 views

What is the etymology of “[computer] terminal”?

I suspect it's something to do with the fact that back in the Olden Days of computing, a terminal was connected to a mainframe computer system, and thus a user would be sat at the terminal end of the ...
1
vote
5answers
245 views

singular and collective noun for included computer source code

In software development, one often has multiple individual files that are referenced or "included" by others. What is the noun for each one of those individual files, and what would you call the ...
15
votes
7answers
433 views

Is there a word for the action of lifting the mouse to go further?

Using a computer mouse to point to a far away target and running out of table surface (or hand range), one typically lifts the mouse, moves it in the opposite direction, puts it back down, and ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
0
votes
3answers
187 views

Word to refer to computers as opposed to consoles

I'm looking for a word that you'd use to refer to all computers that distinguishes them from gaming consoles. The word "computer" is too general - that would include servers and other industrial ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it “falsy” or “falsey”?

I have seen both versions of the word, falsy and falsey. It can mean "something that is equivalent to false" in computer science, such as "The only two falsy values in the Ruby Language are false and ...
1
vote
3answers
173 views

looking for a word or expressing to express matching, symmetric

Background: A packet has a source IP and a destination IP. I set the source IP as 10.0.0.3. The destination IP can be set as 10.0.0.1, 127.0.0.1 or 138.9.32.4. These 3 IPs belong ...
21
votes
8answers
1k views

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized?

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized? I have been using unmaximized, but I feel there is a more precise way.
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Provenance of 'deprecated' (in the programming sense)

What are some early uses of "deprecation" in computer science? When did the word enter common usage in the field of programming? Are there any particularly well-known examples of early deprecations ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between ‘“folder” and “directory”

What is the difference between folder and directory in the context of computer science?
-1
votes
2answers
109 views

Inverse for the term "refinement”

In computer science there is a term "refinement". Refinement is a hierarchical relationship between two concepts. If B refines A, then the requirements of B are a superset of the requirements of A. ...
9
votes
1answer
578 views

When did “Easter egg” begin to mean “hidden feature”?

Can anybody trace the origins of 'Easter egg' for this meaning?
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.
0
votes
4answers
97 views

Failing sometimes for unknown reason

Context: I have an automated test that sometimes fails for unknown reason. It's a sort of false positive: the feature it tests is not broken. Most of the time, either it succeeds or fails for right ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

Prepositions used with “command line” and “shell”

I found the following variations on the use of "command line" and "shell" in computing and wonder which are correct and how to use them appropriately. Command line: is it "at the command line" or ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

What is a “big-ender pair”?

In the sci.math newsgroup ca. 23 Mar 2013, in thread Subject: Re: math formulae?, I saw the following: > >"Is the tournment liken to a bridge tournment? The problem is vague. > > ...