The C++Course provides a general introduction to programming in C++. It is based on A.B. Downey's book, How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. Click here for details.

Glossary Q...Z

queueAn ordered set of objects waiting for a service of some kind.
queueing disciplineThe rules that determine which member of a queue is removed next.
recursionThe process of calling the same function you are currently executing.
referenceA value that indicates or refers to a variable or structure. In a state diagram, a reference appears as an arrow. Similar to a pointer, however, references have different syntax and traditional uses from pointers.
return typeThe type of value a function returns.
return valueThe value provided as the result of a function call.
rootThe top-most node in a tree, to which no other nodes refer.
run-time errorAn error in a program that makes it fail at run-time.
scaffoldingCode that is used during program development but is not part of the final version.
seedA value used to initialize a random number sequence. Using the same seed should yield the same sequence of values.
selection sortThe simple sorting algorithm in Section 13.7.
semanticsThe meaning of a program.
shallow equalityEquality of references. Two references that point to the same object.
shifted sumA simple hash function often used for compounds objects like Strings.
source codeA program in a high-level language, before being compiled.
startup classThe class that contains the main method where execution of the program begins.
state diagramA snapshot of the state of a program, shown graphically.
stateA complete description of all the variables and objects and their values, at a given point during the execution of a program.
statementA line of code that represents a command or action. So far, the statements we have seen are declarations, assignments, and output statements.
streamA data structure that represents a "flow" or sequence of data items from one place to another. In C++ streams are used for input and output.
structureA collection of data grouped together and treated as a single object.
syntax errorAn error in a program that makes it impossible to parse (and therefore impossible to compile).
syntaxThe structure of a program.
tabA special character, written as \verb+\t+ in C++, that causes the cursor to move to the next tab stop on the current line.
tableAn ADT that defines operations on a collection of entries.
templatesAlso known as parameterized types, templates allow the programmer to save time and space in source code by simplifying code through overloading functions with an arbitrary typeparameter.
thisA keyword that refers to the current object. this is a pointer, which makes it difficult to use, since we do not cover pointers in this book.
tokenA set of characters that are treated as a unit for purposes of parsing, like the words in a natural language.
traverseTo iterate through all the elements of a set performing a similar operation on each.
typeA set of values. The types we have seen are integers (int in C++) and characters (char in C++).
typecastAn operator that converts from one type to another. In Java it appears as a type name in parentheses, like (int).
typeparameterThe typeparameter is the arbitrary label or name that you use in your template to represent the various datatypes, structs, or classes.
valueA letter, or number, or other thing that can be stored in a variable.
variableA named storage location for values. All variables have a type, which determines which values it can store.
vectorA named collection of values, where all the values have the same type, and each value is identified by an index.
veneerA class definition that implements an ADT with method definitions that are invocations of other methods, sometimes with simple transformations. The veneer does no significant work, but it improves or standardizes the interface seen by the client.
virtualThe keyword that is used by any function defined in a parent class that can be overloaded in subclasses.
voidA special return type that indicates a void function; that is, one that does not return a value.
wrapper methodA method that acts as a middle-man between a caller and a helper method, often offering an interface that is cleaner than the helper method's.

Last Update: 2005-11-22