Programming Glossary

From SwinBrain

Below is a list of common terms related to programming.

  • Argument: The value passed to a parameter (usually an expression).
  • Array:
    1. A type of variable that can store multiple values. Each values within the array is accessed by an index.
    2. A keyword in the Delphi-Pascal language that is used to declare an array variable. The declaration indicates the name of the array, as well as the range for the indexes. For example: myArray: Array[0..2] of String is the declaration of an array containing 3 string values (being myArray[0], myArray[1], and myArray[2]). Delphi-Pascal allows a wide variety of index values, though it is recommended to have indexes starting at 0.
  • Assignment Statement: The statement used to assign a value to a variable. The assignment operator: is ':=' in Delphi-Pascal. The code a := b + 1 is an assignment statement where the value b + 1 is assigned to the a variable.
  • begin: The keyword used to indicate the start of a group of instructions in Delphi-Pascal. This is used as the start of the program's instructions, as well as the start of instructions in routines, and control flow statements.
  • Binary: A numbering system that uses only values 1 and 0, as compared to the decimal system which uses values 0 - 9.
  • Branch: A kind of control flow statement where the computer will perform a task or set of tasks only under certain circumstances.
  • Byte:
    1. A standard measure of 8 bits (e.g. 10011001 = 153).
    2. A data type in Delphi-Pascal that can store integer values between 0 and 255.
  • Char: A data type used to store a single character. In Delphi-Pascal this uses 1 byte.
  • Comment: A note made in the source code, not part of the program, denoted by //
  • Compiler: A program that converts source code into a language that the computer can execute.
  • Constant: Named value within a program. Like variables they have a name, type, and value, but unlike variables they cannot be changed and remain constant throughout the program. Constants are declared in the const section of a Delphi-Pascal program.
  • Control flow: The order in which instructions are executed by the computer. Control flow statements are any kind of statement that modifies the order that instructions are executed. For example branching statements are control flow statements.
  • Data Type: The type of data used.
  • Delphi-Pascal: A programming language, the language used in HIT1301.
  • Double: A data type used to store real numbers. A double uses 8 bytes, and can store values between 5.0e-324 and 1.7e308
  • end: The keyword used to end a group of instructions that were started by a begin keyword.
  • Expression: A part of a statement that generates a value of a certain type. This may be as simple as a literal value, or it may be a calculated value using a mathematical formula. Expressions themselves can contain both literal and variable values.
  • Floating point: Another name for a real number stored within a computer.
  • Function: A type of routine used to calculate a value. Functions return a value, and are therefore usable within expressions.
  • Hard coding: Another name for use of literal values in a program.
  • Identifier: The name associated with something in a program. For example, the name of a variable or the name of a routine. Identifiers are then used to indicate that you want to access this variable or routine.
  • Index:
    1. List of related items in an alphabetical order.
    2. Term used to describe the order of an array, eg. An array of 0…2 indicates that 0 is the lowest index, and 2 the highest. These indexes can then be called upon in the program with the variable name, using the notation [n], where n is the value of the index.
  • Integers: Whole numbers, for example 1, 2, -5, 123, etc.
  • Library: A collection of routines that are distributed for use. Each programming language will usually come with a library.
  • Literal values: Values used in the program inserted directly into the code, usually because they don’t occur commonly enough to warrant assigning the value as a constant or variable. Literal numbers can be integers or real, while textual literals must be enclosed within ‘single quotes’ in Delphi-Pascal.
  • LongInt: An integer data types that uses 4 Bytes, allowing it to store values from –2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
  • Real Numbers: The final subset of numbers before moving into complex mathematics. Domain = (-∞, ∞)
  • 'Single: A 4 byte, real number capable of storing a range of values from 1.5e-45 to 3.4e38
  • SmallInt: A 2 byte integer value capable of storing a range of values from –32,768 to 32,767
  • Jump: Move between different sets of instructions in the code.
  • Keywords: A word that has a special reserved meaning within the language. These keywords cannot be used as identifiers within a program (so you cannot have a variable called begin for example).
  • MIPS: A type of CPU, like Intel or AMD.
  • Operators: Code which allows you to combine values within a expression. Delphi-Pascal allows operators such as +, -, *, /, =, < and >.
  • Procedure: A kind of routine, a named group of statements that can be called.
  • Program:
    1. Delphi-Pascal language that labels the software being created. (it’s name)
    2. A piece of code written to instruct a computer.
  • Repetition: A control flow statement that allows a computer to execute certain commands more than once. Eg. “While”.
  • Routine: A part of the code that has been purposely grouped together because the statements are related to each other. Each routine has a name, its own variables, and a set of instructions. When you call a routine its instructions are performed.
  • Selection: A control flow statement that allows computer to execute instructions based on conditions. Eg. “If… Then… Else”
  • Sequence: The order in which a computer will execute given commands.
  • Statements: An instruction to a computer, separated by semi-colons in Delphi-Pascal.
  • String: A data type used to store a sequence of characters. For example: 'Hello World'.
  • Type: Indicates to the computer what data type the information will be stored as. This determines memory needed for the information, as well as the kind of operations that can be performed.
  • Variable: Value storage for later use, usually used for interchanging values in the program. Variable declaration requires naming the variable and specifying its data type. Variables are declared in the var section of a Delphi-Pascal program.


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Thanks to Leon for compiling this glossary.