Glossary Of Terms
Computer and Software Terms
Source code - is a set of computer
program instructions in their original form. A software developer
writes a program using a high-level programming language, or source
program, such as FORTRAN or C. Source code is the only programming
format that is readable by humans--at least those that are experienced
Compile -to translate the high-level
programming language, or source code, into an intermediary form
called object code. This is done by a compiler,
which is a program that translates the code. Rather than executing
a program line by line, a compiler looks at the entire source code.
Different compilers work with different source codes, and compilers
vary according to the type of computer used as well. That's why
there are different versions of the same software, one for Macs
and another for PCs for example.
Object code - is the source code translated
into machine language. In some cases the object code must be translated
again to produce low-level machine code and, in others, the object
code is the actual machine language. Purchased software traditionally
contains only the machine language, which cannot be read or altered
by the user.
Machine code - is the set of computer
instructions the computer reads to run, or execute, a program. The
instructions are actually just a series of symbols or numbers that
only the computer can understand. Each type of computer has its
own unique machine language.
Escrow - a system of document transfer
in which a deed, bond, money, stock or other property is delivered
to a third party to hold until certain conditions in a contract
Escrow agent - The party who receives
property to hold in safe-keeping and to deliver it to the escrow
beneficiary according to the terms of the contract.
Deposit - In general, an act by which
a person (escrow agent) receives the property of another (the software
developer), binding himself to preserve it and return it in kind.
License - A document which grants
permission to use a person's physical or intellectual property.
A software license agreement specifies the permissible uses of the
program. It does not transfer ownership.
Licensor - The person who gives or
grants a license. (The software developer.)
Licensee - Person to whom a license
has been granted. (The software user.)
Beneficiary - A party who will benefit
from a transfer of property or other arrangement. (The software
Date or Time stamping - Official record
of the date on which the initial escrow deposit and subsequent additions
and upgrades were made. These records can be used as valuable evidence
to prove who created the software first, which is necessary information
for copyright protection, or to show due diligence for ownership,
patent and trade secret protection under the law.
Copyright - The right of literary
property as recognized and sanctioned by positive law. An intangible,
incorporeal right granted by statute to the author or originator
of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby he is invested,
for a specified period, with the sole and exclusive privilege of
multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them.
Ownership - Collection of rights to
use and enjoy property, including right to transmit it to others.
The complete dominion, title or proprietary right in a thing or
Trade secret - A trade secret, as
protected from misappropriation, may consist of any formula, pattern,
or device of compilation of information which is used in one's business,
and which gives a person an opportunity to obtain an advantage over
competitors who do not know or use it. A secret formula or process
not patented, but known only to certain individuals using it in
compounding some article of trade having commercial value.
Diligence - Vigilant activity, persistent
in doing a thing, attentiveness or care, of which there are infinite
shades, from the slightest momentary thought to vigilant anxiety.
The opposite of negligence.
Due diligence - Such a measure of
prudence, or activity, as is properly to be expected from, and ordinarily
exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the particular
circumstances; not measured by any absolute standard, but depending
on the relative facts of the special case.
Collateral - Property which is pledged
as security for the satisfaction of a debt. Collateral is additional
security for performance of principal obligation, or that which
is by the side, and not in direct line.
Documentation - The deeds, agreements,
title-papers, letters, receipts or other written instruments used
to prove a fact, such as authorship. Any physical embodiment of
information or ideas, which may be used as best evidence.
Leverage -The use of a small investment
to generate a larger rate of return through borrowing.
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