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What's the difference between "system programming" and "systems programming"?

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What's the difference between "system programming" and "systems programming"? I find both are widely used as part of a book's name. However, what makes me confused is the difference between the two phrases. Who can give me an explanation? Thanks in advance.

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Original post by ApochPiQ
Can you provide any more context? Both phrases could refer to a number of things; in most cases I would suspect they're the exact same thing.


For example, one book is entitled "Windows systems programming", and another is entitled "Linux system programming".

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There is no significant difference. It would be like the difference between books or articles called "The Compact Disc" and "Compact Discs"; both refer to the general concepts that apply.

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I think the difference is quite literally, an 's'. They mean the same to me, but in different contexts they both take different meanings. Windows systems programming implies learning the APIs, etc and learning how to develop on Windows. Linux system programming could mean the same thing, or could mean actually working on the Linux system itself - the code to the kernel. The extra 's' doesn't give them a different formal meaning.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
actually, the difference is simple: "programming for systems" and "programming systems" :-)

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Original post by Kylotan
There is no significant difference. It would be like the difference between books or articles called "The Compact Disc" and "Compact Discs"; both refer to the general concepts that apply.



No the AP above nailed it, there is a difference between a systems programmer and a system programmer. One actually creates systems, the other works within them. Linus is a systems programmer, I am a system programmer using the linux system.

Its more like the difference between disk and disc, although most people mangle that one pretty badly ;)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
correct, but as it is illustrated by this discussion, few people are actually aware of the subtleties, which is also because the term is often used interchangeably by people who simply don't know any better, so the more the is going to continue, the more these terms are likely to eventually really mean the same.Normally only people with a corresponding background, will be familiar with these subtleties.

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Yet really, 'systems' is merely the plural of 'system' and therefore it's totally valid to use the terms interchangeably when speaking on the general level. Nobody would claim that a 'game developer' only works on subsystems within one game and a 'games developer' develops entire games. If you try and argue otherwise you're really just fighting against the English language.

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Original post by Serapth
No the AP above nailed it, there is a difference between a systems programmer and a system programmer. One actually creates systems, the other works within them. Linus is a systems programmer, I am a system programmer using the linux system.

By this ludicrous definition, everyone who writes programs for Linux is a "system programmer," which makes "system programmer" a meaningless term, doesn't it?

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Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by Serapth
No the AP above nailed it, there is a difference between a systems programmer and a system programmer. One actually creates systems, the other works within them. Linus is a systems programmer, I am a system programmer using the linux system.

By this ludicrous definition, everyone who writes programs for Linux is a "system programmer," which makes "system programmer" a meaningless term, doesn't it?


No, not everyone. The only programmers on Linux that would be system programmers are the people building linux itself. For example, kernal developers would by systems programmers, while application developers would be system programmers.

Hey, I never made the difference... english is a screwy language. But there is a definate difference between the two.

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That sounds utterly and completely made up. I've never heard such usage.

Don't take this wrong, but I would question your mastery of English pedantry judging by the blatant spelling and grammatical errors in your posts.

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Quote:
Original post by Serapth
Linus is a systems programmer, I am a system programmer using the linux system.


Quote:
Original post by Serapth
The only programmers on Linux that would be system programmers are the people building linux itself.


So, which is it?

As far as I know, "systems programmer" and "system programmer" are the same thing. Maybe the former simply has more experience [smile].

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Guest Anonymous Poster
While wikipedia interestingly doesn't differentiate between the two terms either (in fact, "Systems Programming" redirects to "System Programming", but hey anybody can edit wikipedia...), the university that I attended to obtain my CS degree did in fact also differentiate between "System Programming" and "Systems programming" which also created confusion among us students back then, however the syllabi where indeed different and this would back up the previously mentioned sentiment, that there is a difference. On the other hand, I truly don't care at all as I realize that the absoluet majority of programmers clearly doesn't differentiate between system/systems programming, the few who do, will usually in fact have a corresponding background in system(s) programming, so that they might be trying to set themselves apart from other programmers describing their activities also as system/s programming.

Only because a word can be correctly used as a plural of another word, doesn't necessarily imply that it is indeed meant as the plural of that other word, there are numerous examples for this in the English language, too.

Apart from that, it really isn't all that helpful (or even particularly mature in the first place) to try to discredit a user's posting only because it may contain typos or even real mistakes.

Anyway, occassionally it really doesn't matter what's right or wrong, as the general public opinion has much more weight than anything else, and thus languages, being flexible and dynamic beasts, evolve while being coined by majorities.

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