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Thread: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    What exactly is the difference between the words options, settings, preferences and configuration?

    English is not my first language so this has confused me quite a bit for several years. I tried Google and hoped there would be some detailed and in depth explanation of this somewhere but couldn't find any little hint at all, as if it is so obvious when which one of these words is used that there is no need to explain it.

  2. #2
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    Re: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kvark View Post
    What exactly is the difference between the words options, settings, preferences and configuration?

    English is not my first language so this has confused me quite a bit for several years. I tried Google and hoped there would be some detailed and in depth explanation of this somewhere but couldn't find any little hint at all, as if it is so obvious when which one of these words is used that there is no need to explain it.
    Not much, they may be used for the same purpose.

    An "option" is a choice, a "setting", "preference" and "configuration" are almost the same thing in computer terms. They are just your personal settings (sorry).

    So your themes, your language settings, your default applications can be considered your "preferences", "configurations", and "settings".

    The words may be used different in some applications, but they are the same basic theme.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Re: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    Options are selections the user may make to change the behavior of the software.
    Settings are options that are preserved between sessions.
    Preferences are options with more then one relevant choice in each catagory.
    Configurations are entire sets of options, settings, and preferences saved in a file and loaded by the program on startup.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2006
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    Ubuntu Studio 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    nicely said....

  5. #5
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    Re: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    English has the most words of any language. Numbers 2 and 3 are French and German. We have more letters than both combined. Your language may not tend to have 5-10 words that all mean the same thing, but English does. We have so many words that it's considered a bad thing if you use the same word (aside from articles) more than once in a paragraph, let alone a sentence. Native English speakers who use the same words over and over are sometimes thought of as uneducated because of having a small vocabulary. We have books (thesauruses) to tell us what other words mean the same or about the same thing (perhaps a slightly different nuance or connotation...er, the words might mean the same thing but be used in a different way or in different situations to sound mean, nice, friendly or anything else) so that when we write papers and articles we can sound like we know a lot of words.

    LinuxChix | Linux User #432169 | Ubuntu User #8495 | IRC: maco @ irc.linuxchix.org or irc.freenode.net

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Re: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    Don't forget properties. They all mean the same thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Re: options/settings/preferences/configuration whats the difference?

    Properties can be static while the others usually are not.

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