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I knew the term "boilerplate" in object oriented programming. It means that the programmers create too many classes for just doing a simple programming task.

But "boilerplate" is also used in other field like this sentence.

We've tried getting info from friends who work at Facebook, prior representatives we've worked with (we've been advertising on Facebook since 2010 in previous non-dating sites we've built), only to receive the same boilerplate response about approved advertisers.

So what does "boilerplate" in the above sentence mean?

closed as off-topic by Hugo, TimLymington, Chenmunka, tchrist, andy256 Dec 14 '14 at 4:26

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    What part of a dictionary definition of boilerplate (3) may not apply to this question? – SrJoven Dec 13 '14 at 13:05
  • @SrJoven: Rather, "4. (Commerce) a draft contract that can easily be modified to cover various types of transaction;" "2 b. trite, hackneyed writing" ibid. – Kris Dec 13 '14 at 13:23
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    I have never heard "boilerplate" used to mean "create too many classes for just doing a simple programming task". Are you sure you didn't infer the wrong definition from context? – Peter Shor Dec 13 '14 at 13:36
  • @Peter, maybe u right but boilerplate has negative meaning – Tom Dec 13 '14 at 13:42
  • "Boilerplate" could be used to mean "add a standard set of classes to your program", which would be overkill for a simple programming task. – Peter Shor Dec 13 '14 at 13:51
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"Boilerplate" means something generic that can be re-used with minimal adaption: like a standard email reply.

(BTW, in software programming it means pretty much the same thing as what I have written above: the (perhaps over-)use of generic code that often clutters the programme where something bespoke would be much leaner and clearer: in other words, "create too many classes for just doing a simple programming task" describes the effect of using too much boilerplate code, rather than defining it).

  • so u mean "the same boilerplate response"= "the same generic response" without any difference? – Tom Dec 13 '14 at 13:44
  • @Tom -- "The same boilerplate response" would imply that the response appeared to be a standard text that was repeatedly reused. Back in the days when potential employers actually sent rejection letters, they were famous for being "boilerplate" -- often word-for-word identical between different companies. – Hot Licks Dec 13 '14 at 14:24

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