configure /write a programme [program]

theol

Senior Member
Japanese
1. Robots can operate day and night once you write a programme for it, and they will follow the instructions and complete your work.

2. Robots can operate day and night once you configure a programme for it, and they will follow the instructions and complete your work.

Which one is correct?

Are there any better ways to write it?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A computer program is spelt the American way, even in British English. And it’s not at all clear what your “it” refers to, since it can’t refer to the plural “robots”. But in terms of which verb to use, I can see no reason to use configure.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s a fact, as far as I know, and always has been. I’ve always taken computer programme to be an error.

    I see that dictionary.com has an entry for programme as a “variant spelling” of program, but I read that to mean it’s a common error!
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    You "write" a computer program. You do not "configure" it: that is an error. A computer program is text on a page, just like this post. Would you "configure" this post?

    EDIT: see below. "computer program" has two meanings.
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    program - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    Note that the noun ("computer program") and the verb ("program a computer") are both jargon terms of computing. That is why the WR dictionary adds the word "computing" to the right of both definitions (#6, #8).

    A "jargon" word is a special term with a special meaning in one field. It is not a general word with a general meaning. So this is not a use of the general word "program/programme". It is a computer term, with only one spelling.

    Computing uses many common words as "jargon" (giving them special meanings): "program, file, folder, run, execute, mouse, recursion, cursor, open" and other words. Computing could have invented new "jargon" words for each of these meanings. But then you'd have to learn those new words.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    @JulianStuart is quite correct, of course. The term "computer program" has two different meanings. Despite using both words about a million times each, I never noticed the two meanings of the same word.

    Photoshop is a "computer program": an "app" that runs on a PC. Photoshop can be configured, but not written.

    The set of instructions that runs a computer is also called a "computer program". It is also called "source code" and "software". That set of instructions (in a human-readable language like Java or C) is text. It can be written, but it cannot be configured.

    They are connected: source code is coverted ("compiled/assembled") into "machine code": a file full of numbers that a computer can run. That file is a program, like Photoshop.

    The file "Photoshop" doesn't change. When @JulianStuart configures Photoshop (changes the settings in Photoshop), it saves the new settings in a file. The next time @JulianStuart runs Photoshop, the program reads the settings from the file, so he doesn't have to make those settings again.
     
    Top