Programs vs Applications

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Programs vs Applications

Postby niila on Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:27 pm

Greetings!
What exactly are the differences between these two, and how should they be used in translations? In finnish at least i think there are different words for both. Would be easier to use just software rather than programs and applications.
And other question is that is mintInstall now called Software Manager? Should we call it Software manager even if the original calls it mintInstall?
https://translations.launchpad.net/linuxmint/helena/+pots/mintinstall/fi/26/+translate
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Re: Programs vs Applications

Postby rich_roast on Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:43 pm

As I understand it, a program is any individual working piece of software (the "executable" whole of it; I don't think libraries, which are also software, could be called programs on their own, but that might be ambiguous). An application is a program which does something useful - the user can apply it. So Firefox is an application, while hald (hardware abstraction layer daemon) is a program, merely. Firefox is a program too, of course, but it is something which the user interacts directly with to get work done, it is applied, thus, an application. There's some grey area here, of course. XOrg, for example, is probably just a program rather than an application, since although it is interacted with by the user, it doesn't do anything productive in its own right.

Software is a useful group noun and adjective but program is necessitated for the singular, in English.

Hmph. Well, that's the way I understand it anyway. :wink:
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Re: Programs vs Applications

Postby maggiemiller on Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:52 am

Well I think that Application is a more specific term that usually refers to retail versions of computer programs. Application is the preferred term among software engineers and other technical types. An application is what you run to effect a task, that is Word, PhotoShop, etc. A program is/are the bits and pieces that make the application work. Seemed to make sense at the time. A program or group of programs designed for end users, in contrast, applications software (also called end-user programs) includes database programs, word processors, and spreadsheets.
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