Glossary / Technology

Programming Glossary

Algorithm: Process/routine/method to solve a problem
Analog Pin: On the arduino, the analog pins enable reading of voltage. The voltage on the pin is interpreted as
Argument: Extra information which the computer uses to perform commands. Some commands have stricter requireme
Array: An array is a collection of variables that are accessed with an index number. An array is declared w
Ascii: American standard code for information interchange (ascii) is a set of definitions for 128 character
Assignment: Giving a value to a variable. If a variable is seen as a container for data, assignment is filling t
Associated Type: An associated type is a type that is used to describe the requirements of a concept, but is not actu
Attributes: Within a class, an attribute is a defined quality of that class. It is similar in function to a stri
Bang Line: In interpreted languages such as python, one is allowed to tell the computer where to find the pytho
Bitwise: Operations bitwise operations work at the bit level of variables. These are the and (&) operator (no
Block: Chunk of code between curly braces {}
Boolean: Boolean variables or bool hold one of two values: true and false represented as 1 and 0, respectivel
Byte: In both processing and arduino, the byte stores an 8-bit number, from 0 to 255. Byte is an unsigned
Capacitor: Capacitors are another element used to control the flow of charge in a circuit. The name derives fro
Cast: A cast translates one variable type into another and forces calculations to be performed in the cast
Cgi: Short for the common gateway interface. Cgi specifies the way a web browser (client) can request or
Char: A char takes up 1 byte of memory and stores a character value written in single quotes, like 'a'. Th
Class: A class is a prototype for an object in processing or c++. It can be used to create an instance of t
Classes: Classes are blueprints for commonly used and related variables and functions. An instance of a class
Comment: Comments help you understand (or remember) how your program works or inform others how your program
Comments: /* label your code, write yourself a note! */
Comparison: Comparison operators are operators that compare two values, like != (not equal to) or == (equal to),
Compiler Error: An error that causes the compiler to produce an error message and fail
Concatenate: To combine two or more strings such that they become a new string value.
Concept: A concept contains a set of requirements that describe a family of abstractions, typically data type
Concept-Based Overloading: Concept-based overloading selects the most specific algorithm from a set of specializations of a giv
Conceptual Abstraction: The ability for people to create different points of view on a design, depending on the relevant deg
Condition: A boolean expression used to control conditionals and loops.
Conditional: An if-statement.
Constant: A constant is a value that does not change within a program. It cannot be reassociated with a differ
Constraint: A constraint is a requirement placed on the type parameters to a generic algorithm. Constraints are
Constructor: The constructor of a class is the method that will be called when an instance of that class is creat
Cpp File: In an of or other kind of c++ class, the .cpp file is where all the definitions for a class are stor
Declaration: At the top of the function, state your variables' types.
Define: The #define operator defines a value that persists throughout an entire application. For instance: #
Dereferencing: Dereferencing a pointer returns the value of the variable that the pointer points to. For instance:
Digital: In the arduino controller, the digital pins accept or send digital signals. The signal values are ei
Diode: The diode acts like a one-way valve for current, and this is a very useful characteristic. One appli
Doc String: A string which follows a function in order to detail its purpose in a way that is easily accessible
Double: A double is a very large floating-point number consisting of 8 bytes (64 bits) that can represent nu
Encapsulation: The physical separation of different subtasks, e.g., into separate classes, source code files or mod
Evaluate: To find the value of an expression
Event Handler: An event handler is called when a certain event happens. In processing applications, the mousemoved(
Expression: Anything that has a value, e.g., 'a + b' or '(a == b)' or 'c++'
Flag: A boolean variable to convey true-false info. In c, an int.
Float: A float is a number that has a decimal point. Floating-point numbers can be as large as 3.4028235e+3
For: The for loop repeats a block of statements enclosed in curly braces until the condition is met. An i
Formatting: Indent stuff nicely, etc. Compiler ignores it:, tas don't.
Function: Something that is called with parentheses, e.g., sqrt(). Specifically, a portion of code that is des
Function Call: A function call is another way to refer to calling a method that has been declared and defined elsew
Header File: In an openframeworks class or arduino library, the .h or header file is where the declarations of a
If-Else: An if is used with a comparison operator and tests whether a certain condition is true or false: if
Ifdef: The #ifdef operator checks whether something has been defined using the #define keyword. It must be
Ifndef: The #ifndef operator checks whether something has not been defined using the #define keyword. It mus
Inheritance: Inheritance is the process of having one class extend another class. When a class extends another cl
Integer: An integer is a numerical value that does not have a decimal point. It represents either of the foll
Iteration: The repetition of a loop in which the computer repeatedly does something. Iteration is also known as
Lifting: Lifting is the process by which the differences among multiple, concrete implementations of the same
Logic Error: An error that the computer never notices, but that you notice because your darn program doesn't do w
Long: Long variables are extended-size variables for number storage, and on arduino and of they can store
Loop: The repetition of code based upon certain conditions expressed by one of the following conditionals:
Method: A method is a function that is declared within a class.
Method Declaration: This is the declaration of a function within a class, where its signature is defined. In c++, this i
Method Definition: In c++, this is done in the .cpp file and looks like this: void classname::methodname() { } methods
Methods: In object-oriented programming, a function that is defined as part of a class is one of that class'
Model: A model is a type or set of types that meets the requirements of a concept. An integer pointer is a
Modular Decomposition: The design that results from stepwise refinement, since your design has been 'decomposed' into modul
Modules: Modules are small pieces of pre-written python code that you can import into your programs. Using th
Nesting: When you put one thing inside another, e.g., a conditional inside a loop, a loop inside a conditiona
Object: An object is an instance of a class. It therefore has all of the same attributes and methods of that
Object-Oriented Programming: Object-oriented programming is a programming paradigm that focuses by constructing objects (instance
Operation: Statements which use programming commands to tell a computer to do something.
operator : An operator is a function that operates on or modifies a value or function. +, =, and / are mathemat
Operators: A built-in function such as *, +, -, /, for, while, if, =
Pin: On the arduino, the pins are the ports that connect into the microprocessor. There are analog, digit
Pointer: A pointer is a type in c++ and c that points to a section in memory. They are most often used to pas
Potentiometer: A potentiometer is a resistor that is usually controlled directly by the user, allowing the amount o
Protocol: A protocol is a set format for exchanging information. When you phone someone, their number must be
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM): Is a way of simulating an analog output by varying high and low signals at intervals proportional to
Rdbms: Rdbms is the abbreviation for 'relational database management system', a system for the creation, ma
Recursion: Recursion is a process by which a method calls itself over again until some process is complete or s
Reference: A reference is the location in memory that a variable points to. You can use references to set the v
Refinement: Refinement is a hierarchical relationship between two concepts. If b refines a, then the requirement
Regular Expressions: A regular expression, or regex, is a term that signifies or matches a set of expressions. The set si
Requirement: A requirement is part of a concept that describes the behavior of an abstraction. Requirements tend
Resistor: Resistors are electrical components that resist the flow of charge. The value of a resistor is measu
Retroactive Modeling: Retroactive modeling allows types to model concepts without modifying the types in question. Retroac
Return: This statement sets what a function returns. In c++ and java, the return type is indicated in the si
Run-Time Error: an error that does not disrupt compiling, but causes your program to abort with an error message whe
Scope: Scope defines the area of an application or method in which a variable is accessible. Most variables
Serial: Serial is a library in the arduino core software that enables serial communication using the rs232 p
Shell: When speaking of python programming, there are two shells that are commonly referenced. The first is
Short: A short is a datatype that represent a small int, using 2 bytes instead of 4 like a c++ or java int.
Signed: Signed numerical values can have negative numbers assigned to them. This usually means that the firs
Specialization: Specialization allows multiple implementations of the same algorithm, each of which has different co
SQL: Sql stands for the structured query language. It is a standard language used for querying rdbms.
Statement: A command line that ends with a semicolon.
Static: Marking a method as static means that it is available from a class whether or not an instance of tha
Stepwise Refinement: The 'divide and conquer' strategy to computer programming. Start with the main goal, and break it do
String: A string is construct available in processing and c++, which represents a series of characters that
Struct: A struct is a collection of variables, somewhat like a simplified class. It cannot have methods, but
Substring: A string is the smallest type of variable that holds non-numeric data. Word, phrases, lines of a fil
Switch: Switch/case statements control the flow of programs by checking a list of "cases" inside a set of br
Syntax: Grammar defining a programming language
Taxonomy: A taxonomy (or concept taxonomy) is a set of interdependent concepts arranged in a lattice based on
Type: Type refers to what datatype a variable represents. For instance, int, string, or char are all datat
Unsigned: Declaring a variable as unsigned means that it will store values only between 0 and their maximum va
Variable: Holds values, e.g., integers (int), strings (string) and reals (float, double). Two warnings: (1) de
Variable Assignment: Variable assignment is the assignment of a value to a variable. For instance: int val:, val = 5:, //
Variable Declaration: Variable declaration is where a variable is first given a type and a variable name. For instance: in
Vector: A vector is an object in c++ that behaves somewhat like an array in that it contains multiple elemen
Voltage: This is the rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity in a cir
While: The while loop constructs a loop that executes until the statement in the condition of the loop is t

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