Hacker Definition Controversy

29 10 2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The terms hacker and hack are marked by contrasting positive and negative connotations. Computer programmers often use the words hacking and hacker to express admiration for the work of a skilled software developer (but may also use them in a negative sense to describe the production of inelegant kludges). Some frown upon using hacking as a synonym for security cracking — in distinct contrast to the larger world, in which the word hacker is typically used to describe someone who “hacks into” a system by evading or disabling security measures.

While “hack” was originally more used as a verb for “messing about” with (e.g. “I hack around with computers”), the meaning of the term has shifted over the decades since it first came into use in a computer context. As usage has spread more widely, the primary meaning of newer users of the word has shifted to one which conflicts with the original primary emphasis.
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