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Basic Scripting and Programming

  • Algorithms
    A set of ordered steps for solving a problem, such as a mathematical formula or the instructions in a program (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • AND
    A Boolean logic operation that is true if both inputs are true (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Arrays
    An ordered arrangement of data items.

  • Assignment Statements
    In programming, a compiler directive that places a value into a variable.

  • BASH
    The Bourne Again Shell (BASH) is a command line processor for Unix from the Free Software Foundation. It is the de facto command processor in Linux and Mac (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Bit
    The smallest element of computer storage. Represents either a 1 or a 0.

  • Boolean Logic
    The "mathematics of logic," developed by English mathematician George Boole in the mid-19th century (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Bounds Checking
    The process of checking the limits of input. Typically, the upper and lower limits are tested for validation.

  • Byte
    The common unit of computer storage from desktop computer to mainframe. It is made up of eight binary digits (bits).

  • Case Statement
    A variation of the if-then-else programming statement that is used when several ifs are required in a row.

  • Char
    In programming, the mnemonic for declaring a variable or array that holds alphanumeric characters.

  • Data Structure
    The physical layout of data (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Decision Structure
    In programming, an instruction that compares one set of data with another and branches to a different part of the program depending on the results.

  • Double
    A 64-bit floating point number.

  • Do While Loop
    A high-level programming language structure that repeats instructions based on the results of a comparison. This structure is a post-test loop, meaning that the statements are executed at least once, then the condition is checked to see if the process is going to repeat.

  • Floating Point
    A method for storing and calculating numbers in which the decimal points do not line up as in fixed point numbers. The significant digits are stored as a unit called the mantissa, and the location of the radix point (decimal point in base 10) is stored in a separate unit called the exponent.

  • For Loop
    A high-level programming language structure that repeats a series of instructions a specified number of times. It creates a loop that includes its own control information.

  • Function Call
    A request by a program to link to and use a subroutine.

  • If Statement
    A high-level programming language statement that compares two or more sets of data and tests the results. The statement is concerned with the outcome only if the result is true.

  • If-Then-Else-Statement
    A high-level programming language statement that compares two or more sets of data and tests the results. If the results are true, the THEN instructions are executed; if not, the ELSE instructions are executed.

  • Input Validation
    The process of checking information that comes into a process for its correctness and validity. The data is compared to a heuristic to determine if the criterion is met.

  • Integer
    A whole number. Can be signed (positive or negative) or unsigned (always positive). If signed, the leftmost bit is used as the sign bit, and the maximum value of each sign is thus cut in half (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Java
    An object-oriented programming language from Oracle that is platform independent. Developed by Sun in the early 1990s (Oracle acquired Sun in 2010), and modeled after C++ (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Language
    A set of symbols and rules used to convey information (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Long
    In programming, an integer variable. In C, a long is four bytes and can be signed (-2G to +2G) or unsigned (4G).

  • NOT
    A Boolean logic operation that reverses the input. If 0 is input, 1 is output, and vice versa (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • OR
    A Boolean logic operation that is true if any of the inputs is true (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Parallel Execution
    Solving a problem with multiple computers or computers made up of multiple processors.

  • Parameter Validation
    The process of checking information that comes into a method or function for its correctness and validity. The data is compared to a data type to verify validity of the input (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Perl
    A programming language written by Larry Wall that combines syntax from several Unix utilities and languages. Introduced in 1987, Perl is designed to handle a variety of system administrator functions and provides comprehensive string handling functions. It is widely used to write Web server programs for such tasks as automatically updating user accounts and newsgroup postings, processing removal requests, synchronizing databases, and generating reports (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Permissions
    The rights and abilities that are granted to a user, or to an application, to read, write, and erase files in the computer. Access rights can be tied to a particular client or server, to folders within that machine, or to specific programs and data files (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • PowerShell
    A comprehensive command line interface and scripting language for Windows (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Python
    A popular, object-oriented scripting language widely used for writing artificial intelligence (AI) applications (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Regular Expressions
    In programming, a set of symbols used to search for occurrences of text or to search and replace text. The simplest regular expressions are DOS/Windows wildcards; for example, *.html refers to all file names with HTML extensions. However, regular expression functions are available in many programming languages that allow for complex pattern matching and text manipulation. For example, a regular expression can be used to replace specific text within a sentence when the sentence begins with a certain word (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Sequential Execution
    Tasks performed one after the other in some consecutive order, such as by name or number.

  • Strings
    A set of contiguous alphanumeric characters.

  • Switch Statement
    In programming, a bit or byte used to keep track of some event. The term is sometimes synonymous with the branch command. Also, a statement that saves the programmer from having to write multiple compare statements.

  • Type System
    The rules that apply to the data types in a programming language. Every language supports some number of data types (binary, text string, floating point, etc.) that are processed by the instructions. Type checking verifies that the operations performed on the data are correct; for example, a text string cannot be multiplied. Static type checking looks at the source code, while dynamic type checking works at runtime. Both methods are used to verify the proper operation of the program with regard to how instructions operate on the data (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • Unary Operations
    A single operation, meant to increase or decrease the variable by one unit.

  • VBScript
    A scripting language from Microsoft. A subset of Visual Basic (PC Magazine, 2019).

  • While Loops
    A high-level programming language structure that repeats instructions based on the results of a comparison. This structure is a pre-test loop, meaning that the condition is tested before statements are executed.

  • XOR
    A Boolean logic operation that is widely used in cryptography, as well as in generating parity bits for error checking and fault tolerance. Compares two input bits and generates one output bit. The logic is simple. If the bits are the same, the result is 0. If the bits are different, the result is 1 (PC Magazine, 2019).


PC Magazine. (2019). Encyclopedia. Retrieved from