Questions about English used for talking about programming, but not about programming languages themselves.

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42
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3answers
1k 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?
41
votes
4answers
13k views

“log in to” or “log into” or “login to”

When writing an instruction about connecting to a computer using ssh, telnet, etc., I'm not sure what spacing to use in this familiar spoken phrase: "Log in to host.com" "Log into host.com" "Login ...
28
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it wrong to use the word “codes” in a programming context?

Is it wrong to use the word "codes" in programming context? I shall use these codes.
27
votes
7answers
8k views

Which is correct: “Filename”, “File Name” or “FileName”?

Which is correct: "Filename", "File Name" or "FileName"?
27
votes
3answers
7k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
18
votes
2answers
622 views

Marking plural of code words

In my blog (which is about programming) I often use reserved words from different programming languages. Like this: When column is nullable in both tables, this query won't return a match of two ...
17
votes
5answers
12k views

When I say “comment out”, does it mean to uncomment something or comment it?

When I say "comment out", does it mean to uncomment something or comment it? What is more better, or correctly, used? PS: I'm talking about source code.
17
votes
5answers
10k views

How is SQL pronounced?

When I was learning SQL, I remember reading that it should be pronounced just like the word sequel; however, I worked with a bunch of techs who seemed to prefer S-Q-L. Is there a proper convention for ...
16
votes
6answers
623 views

Where does the phrase “run code” or “run software” come from? Why “run”?

Historically speaking, it makes sense to me someone would say run "the computer". Early computers (not a human computer) were mechanical machines with moving parts that could achieve a velocity deemed ...
14
votes
9answers
556 views

Is there an abstract word for the environment in which a vehicle can move?

I am looking for a word (or short construct of words) that could be used to refer to things that a given vehicle could traverse: "sky, land, water. etc." To give an analogue, I can refer to ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the plural acronym “CSS” treated as singular?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which is a plural phrase. One would say: Cascading Style Sheets are used to provide a central location for all of the stylings of a project. However, it ...
11
votes
4answers
762 views

What does “randomically” mean?

I've just read an O’Reilly book and encoutered the word randomically. I highly suspect this is a made up word, but a quick google found it in use here, here, and here. Is this some obscure technical ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Frequent use of word not found in dictionary, “programatically.”

Here's a word I see often on StackOverflow, "programatically." Used to indicate that a programmer intends to do something within the code of a program, rather than through user interaction. For ...
8
votes
6answers
525 views

Preposition to follow “copy and paste”

The rows should be copied and pasted to the spreadsheet. Does that sound right? If not, how could we reword the sentence? I ask because "to" applies to "paste" but not to "copy". The logical ...
8
votes
1answer
434 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
434 views

Pluralizing keywords in programming languages [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Marking plural of code words In the language that I'm currently working in one of the keywords is try. I'm writing an error message: No implementation for global ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any cases where “prepend” cannot be replaced by “prefix”?

"Prepend" is seeing a fair amount of use, both in programmer jargon and elsewhere. Its use seems to come from a desire to create a word that is a direct parallel to "append." However, such a word ...
7
votes
3answers
780 views

Should the beginner's program read "Hello, World? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I was thinking today about comma usage and the typical first output for a beginning programmer. In the ...
6
votes
7answers
665 views

Is it correct to say “consecutively in time”?

I'm writing a technical report and I want to emphasize that each sample that I have stored in a buffer has been collected before the following one. Can I say, The samples from the buffer 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.
6
votes
2answers
186 views

Which would be correct: “outputs” or “puts out”?

Which word should I use in the following context? Is the required before data? Any algorithm first reads data, processes (the) data and finally [outputs|puts out] the processed data.
6
votes
1answer
343 views

What is an 'Iron Ring Event'

In a recent podcast of .Net rocks (at 45 minutes 29 seconds), regarding the future of software craftsmanship, it is postulated that there will be an 'Iron Ring Event' (if I heard it correctly). From ...
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
374 views

“Plugable” or “pluggable”

When it comes to programming copy edits, there are lots of words that would otherwise be thrown out or replaced. Hive uses a plugable design. Should that be plugable or pluggable? If the ...
5
votes
7answers
223 views

why is it said that “messages are sent to methods”

In object oriented programming, it is said that messages are sent to methods. In this context, why is the word "method" used instead of "procedure" or "function". In other words, why was the word ...
5
votes
3answers
172 views

What is the sense of using word “argument”, for inputs of a function?

In computer jargon, we refer to "inputs of a function" as "arguments". I was wondering what the sense is in doing so.
5
votes
2answers
625 views

Which is right: “drop-down” or “drop down”?

What is the proper way to write this term when writing product documentation? Hyphenated or not? drop down list or drop-down list?
5
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
749 views

A word for someone who has more skill than a code monkey to be at just the next level

A Code monkey is a computer programmer or other person who writes computer code for a living. This term may be slightly derogatory, meaning that this developer can write some code but is ...
4
votes
3answers
707 views

Pronunciation of UI

I heard someone pronounce UI as yooey. I guess this comes from the pronunciation of GUI, which is gooey. How common is this compared to yoo-eye and user-interface?
4
votes
4answers
1k 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?
4
votes
3answers
854 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?
4
votes
4answers
294 views

The verb for carrying out a bitwise OR/AND operation

I'm writing a scientific/technical text which involves describing some low level code. I need to complete the following sentence: When two values are combined, their tags are _ _ _ _ _ _ together ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

Compil[e/er/ation] Error

Which one should I use of the following: Compile Error Compiler Error Compilation Error I think the "Compilation Error" is way too long for everyday use, even though it's the "correct" ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Synonyms for “Inspect”

We have software which currently has these menu items: Map, Talk, Inspect, Analyze, Report, Team. We realize that the word Inspect word is not clear enough for most people. We have all the raw data ...
4
votes
1answer
311 views

Is “catenate” used in IT parlance?

When I was doing my IT degree in the 80s we learned that, in programming terms, concatenation was the act of joining two strings together. Recently I was reading a technical manual and came across ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

What's the verb for 'to form a canonical representation'?

I'd like to describe the activity of turning a set of elements into its canonical (standardized base) form. Some candidates seem to be: canonicalize canonize I'd also like to name the device ...
3
votes
6answers
924 views

Why do programmers always use 'we' when really they mean 'me' or 'you'? [closed]

Something I've noticed a lot from reading articles on stack overflow is that programmers tend to use the term 'we' a heck of a lot. I'm a programmer myself and I must admit, of all the times I've ...
3
votes
5answers
340 views

Single word for (request, response) pair? (casual words ok)

I'm looking for a unambiguous word (or else expression) for referring to a question and a corresponding answer as a single entity. The word should express that no more and no less than 1 question and ...
3
votes
7answers
216 views

Find or invent a term for “Completely intersecting minus one”

I'm writing a paper that frequently references regions on a string, and these regions often intersect. I need to succinctly describe regions that almost completely intersect. For example, given the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “no-op” mean?

In the Remarks section of a Microsoft dbset.add page I read Remarks: Note that entities that are already in the context in some other state will have their state set to Added. Add is a no-op if ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

When backward compatibility is bad

Sometimes, making a poor design choice in the past prohibits the programmers from providing neat solutions in the future. You want to abandon the wrong route and start from scratch. Which word or ...
3
votes
3answers
97 views

Is there a specific term for “conditions treated as though there are OR operators between them”?

I'm writing a program that generates playlists from a large pool of mp3 files. The program can keep track of total playing time, number of tracks and total size of the files, and can be given upper ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Instrumented? What is a good explanation/definition of the word. (English: Tech Jargon)

What is a good explanation/definition of the word Instrumented? as in "Good code needs to be instrumented..." I did a brief web search, but the few places it pops up seem to also be full of jargon, ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

When writing user stories, should there be a comma after “As a User”, and before “I want”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma after introductory phrases Agile software development often encourages people to write up user stories using a given formula. The formula is: "As a User I want to ...
3
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

“As of this patch…” , “From this patch onward…”?

I want to express that the new patch of the software I am writing enables the system to do "X". Which of the following options are preferable: As of this patch, the system is able to do X. ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

IT-related synonym for “context” [closed]

I'm developing an application which has an "Event" system that basically allows application extensions to attach events to a certain "context". When the application reaches a context, it will fire ...
3
votes
0answers
153 views

Is 'unwind' an appropriate term for describing the shrinking phase of a recursive process? [closed]

Can we say, for instance, that once the base case for a recursive procedure is reached, the recursive process consisting of the evaluation of the procedure 'unwinds'? Here, the term 'unwind' would ...
2
votes
4answers
283 views

Use of “permission” in technical writing

In a request for proposal (RFP) I am attempting to edit the following sentence-fragment which isn't grammatically correct: "...except for staff permissioned to update..." My problem is with the ...