Questions tagged [computing]

Questions about language and terminology related to computers, programming, and IT.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why exactly is the verb "to throw" used when an error occurs in the program?

Why don't we use "to generate" or "to get"? E.g.: "External component has thrown an exception", "JavaScript had just thrown an error straight away", "Instances of Error objects are thrown when ...
2 votes
5 answers
128 views

A proper computer term for a third level folder

In this example path c:\abc\def\ghi the def is a subfolder of c:\abc But is ghi also a subfolder of abc? Or would it be more correct to say that ghi is a recursive subfolder of abc? I know that the ...
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

Alternative word or phrase to "result" in computer jargon

I'm looking for a title to add in an Instructions file to explain what is obtained after running a script. The exact word in Spanish is "resultado" but in English "result" sounds ...
3 votes
1 answer
199 views

First mention in print of "magic smoke" (electronics)?

In electronics, "magic smoke" is the stuff that lets components work: once the magic smoke leaves the component, the component ceases to work. What is the earliest reference in print to "magic smoke"?...
0 votes
2 answers
52 views

What is the word/phrase for what the end user of a computer sees and interacts with?

If you were to divide everything that makes up a computer and its software into what the average user interacts with, and everything else that works "behind the scenes", what would the "...
74 votes
9 answers
10k views

Why do we refer to computers and other machines as being up or down?

Generally when a machine is working we refer to it as "up" and when it's not we say the machine is "down." What is the origin of this?
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

Should a symbol with a plural name be considered plural?

Sometimes symbols like variables take a plural name (fx when referring to a container), for example: languages = ['English', 'French', 'German'] When then referring to the variable in for example ...
8 votes
8 answers
6k views

What is a word that means truncate from the beginning?

I am creating some software that has the concept of truncating a one-dimensional array from either the left or right end. I'm happy using the word truncate to describe lopping off the rightmost end of ...
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

What is the difference between Vert/Verts and Vertex/Vertices? [closed]

What is the difference between Vert/Verts and Vertex/Vertices? Both forms seem to be used interchangeably in mathematics and computer graphics. Blender (3D software) uses Vert/Verts in it's User ...
81 votes
3 answers
28k views

Is it "falsy" or "falsey"?

I have seen both spellings of this 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Is "looks up" a correct phrase when referring to a computer searching for information?

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? The computer looks up the email address provided. Guess it's just my brain, but "looks up" didn't have a familiar ring to it when I read ...
2 votes
1 answer
44 views

Using the term "operating system" to describe a gun mechanism -- influenced by computers or other way around?

Saw two separate videos on Youtube where they go into the details of how a given model of firearm works -- I think they use the term "operating system" to describe things like how ammunition ...
-1 votes
2 answers
331 views

Is there a term for computer users who prefer keyboard shortcuts over a mouse?

Loosely, this person could be called a "superuser" or "power user" but those are broad terms that don't specifically refer to a user who avoids a computer's mouse or trackpad. Over at the superuser ...
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

Gerund or infinitive in application's progress messages [closed]

Our application prints progress messages. Which verb form passes better for them: gerund or infinitive? Please compare: $ ./my-documentation-app Copy documents...Done Index documentation...Done Open ...
-1 votes
5 answers
1k views

Any single word to refer to the user who has already logged in and is using the application? [closed]

Frequently developers need to refer to the user that has been logged on to the application. This user is generally referred to as the current user. I would prefer to use a single word for it due to ...
0 votes
3 answers
754 views

What a common abbreviation for two's complement code [closed]

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

What is the antonym for OK?

I am trying to translate a web application, where if a specific condition is met it is necessary to write x < y : OK whereas, if not, one writes: x < y : KO This is a short message meaning that ...
1 vote
2 answers
72 views

English word for adding "monitoring points" to a process

There is an English word that I can't remember about adding "monitoring points" to computer code so that when the code is run "trace" information, such as the module being executed ...
4 votes
3 answers
281 views

Confusion about Pronunciation of gif

I know there isn’t a correct way to pronounce gif. And its an abbreviation. There are two ways to pronounce it Hard G ( as in gift) Soft G( as in giraffe) This is a classic example of toe-ma-toe ...
45 votes
8 answers
58k 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
71 views

Where does the term "bucket" in cloud storage come from?

In Amazon S3, Google Cloud storage, etc., they refer to containers that hold data as buckets. I was curious where this originated from. The closest I could find was maybe bit bucket maybe referring to ...
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Origin and scope of "cruft"

I just had to look up "cruft" (jargon for software or hardware that is of poor quality), as used in a comment to an earlier question. But I can't find any details of etymology, and I don't know how ...
0 votes
2 answers
64 views

single word or phrase when one of the department manager tries "blur the lines of responsibility"

While in an organization when a department works only for their objective rather than organization as whole, it can be generally called as silo mentality (with Negative connotation). However what ...
0 votes
2 answers
94 views

Why 'Principal' is an 'authenticated user'

Many computer systems, related to authorization and permissions uses word 'principal' as term to describe 'user' or 'member'. I can't get connotation here. Principal is a 'school boss', or 'body of ...
8 votes
5 answers
948 views

Etymology of "compiler" (computer term)

A friend and I were debating on the origin of the word "compiler". A quick google search led me to discover that Grace Hopper coined the term. But I'm not sure how or on what basis did she coin the ...
2 votes
5 answers
487 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
25 views

Computational complexity: how to express what the function depends on?

In computer science, algorithms are often characterized by their computational complexity — for example, a primitive sorting algorithm’s complexity may be O(n2) where n is the size of the input list. ...
5 votes
5 answers
3k views

What's the term for the left hand side of a comparison operation?

I believe the right hand side of a comparison (i.e. the thing being compared to) can be termed a 'comparand'. Is there a word that can be used for the the left hand side of that equation? I.e. the ...
1 vote
1 answer
734 views

Are "parent"/"child" in hierarchies technical terms? What's a non-technical version?

I want to display some hierarchical data. In math and computer science we'd use "parent" and "children", but I'm unsure if they're considered technical terms. Are there similar ...
-3 votes
1 answer
133 views

What is it called when people, e.g. computer programmers, pronounce, say, 65,536 as 'sixty-five, five, thirty-six' i.e. omitting 'thousands' etc?

I heard on ELU that computer programmers often pronounce long numbers like that. What is that method of saying the numbers called? How common is it? What is the point of it? What are the pros and cons ...
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

What would I call a program that was developed specifically for a company?

I am looking for a word that can describe a program I developed for a company, as opposed to a program I would create for a school assignment or for fun. I've written "paid programming task" ...
-2 votes
1 answer
48 views

Is there a standard way of referring to electronic files?

If I'm writing about a specific computer file - let's say a file which looks, in some view, to be named ExampleFile.pdf (which is already problematic, since what you see might depend on the details of ...
0 votes
1 answer
128 views

What is the process of finding the remainder in division called?

Is there any one word for the process of calculating the remainder (division)?
155 votes
9 answers
98k 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?
4 votes
6 answers
7k views

Antonym of "distributed" as in "distributed system"

If we consider context of computing, what is the opposite of distributed? Is it single or combined ? What is the opposite of "distributed system"?
-1 votes
1 answer
78 views

“She´s happy” vs “She's happy” vs “She’s happy” vs ...?

I’ve always wondered what the correct apostrophe is when using contractions. Should I use She´s happy or She's happy? English´s a universal language. English's a universal language. Why do a lot of ...
1 vote
2 answers
552 views

Does "delete" have negative connotations?

I've noticed, when major connected device OSes remove a Bluetooth device from the list of known devices, they typically use "forget", "remove", or "unpair" instead of &...
1 vote
2 answers
201 views

Is “evictable” an acceptable adjectival form of ‘evict’?

Is it correct to use "evictable" as an adjective for something that can be evicted? I plan to use the term in computer science context as an adjective on a cache whose entries can be evicted ...
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Computers as a class [duplicate]

I was just going through some book and found a word "computers" used as a class (like computer class). But in my generation, we called it a computer class, never "computers." Can ...
0 votes
5 answers
77 views

Choosing the right title for my academic publication [closed]

I'm writing a computer science paper where the concept is "many small pieces would work better that a single big one". Basically the collaboration of multiple small entities would be better ...
2 votes
1 answer
466 views

Is there any connection between 1 bit = 1/8 dollar and 1 bit = 1/8 byte?

I always thought the 1/8 ratio of bit/dollar was the inspiration for the bit/byte naming scheme, but I can't seem to find any evidence for this in my admittedly limited research. Wikipedia claims ...
0 votes
3 answers
174 views

"replaced with an empty string" vs "replaced with the empty string" - which is correct?

I would think that the latter is correct because there can be only one empty string, that is "", or equivalent ''. Yet the former reads somewhat more natural to me. I came to think about ...
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Word for moving a program into a production environment

I work as a software developer, and after we finishing developing a program, we have to move it from the development environment into the production environment so that we can test it under real-world ...
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

How to pronounce "ReLU" (Rectified Linear Unit)?

A Rectified Linear Unit is a common activation function in deep neural networks and is often abbreviated as "ReLU". I usually pronounce it as /rel-you/ (with the "e" as in "relative" or "rectified"), ...
22 votes
8 answers
13k 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 ...
21 votes
9 answers
6k views

If a picture of a screen is a screenshot, what is a video of a screen?

I'm looking for a catchy and nice-sounding word. A really nice sounding phrase would although be better than nothing. I record my computer screen a lot and never really found a nice word to describe ...
0 votes
1 answer
89 views

English as a computer language : research links needed [closed]

I conducted a small experiment some time back. The idea originated during e-mail composition when I wanted to examine the possibility of conveying something more than what is typically expressed in ...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the opposite of a server which is "down"?

When you say that "The server is down", you refer to a remote computer/program which is not responding. How do you call the opposite state in which everything is working? What is the correct verb to ...
1 vote
4 answers
217 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
328 views

What is the origin of "grapes" meaning the percent sign (%)?

While browsing through the Wikipedia article on the percent sign (%), I came across this interesting statement (emphasis mine): Names for the percent sign include percent sign (in ITU-T), mod, ...

1
2 3 4 5