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What is the "subject" of upload/download?

  1. Apr 6, 2015 #1
    I am involved in an UI design project for a setup tool for an image processor. The setup tool is computer software used to adjust settings of the image processor by connecting to it with a cable.

    The software can both obtain/send data from/to the image processor.

    Should I call obtaining data from the sensor "download" or "upload"... or should it be "import" or "export"?
    (We will make buttons for these operations and have to label them)

    Sorry for the elementary level question. Hard to confirm for non-native English speakers...thanks for your help in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2015 #2
    I would say download
  4. Apr 12, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    I would lean more toward import/export, as in "import from sensor" or "export to sensor". "Import from sensor" would send data to the image processor, and "export to sensor" would send data from the image processor.
  5. Apr 12, 2015 #4


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    Gold Member

    Those terms depends on your point of view. If you have two digital electronic devices sharing information with each other, each thinks of itself as uploading data from the other and downloading data to the other. This has gotten complicated since the advent of the Internet because it is very common to call data being transferred from a PC to a server as the PC uploading data to the server ... that's really the standard usage these days.

    Another way of looking at it is that both devices may agree that one is superior, or "the boss", or whatever, and what's done is thought of in terms of the master device. You upload to it and download from it because it is higher in the chain of command thus to it is UP and from it is DOWN
  6. Apr 17, 2015 #5


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    Gold Member

    If you are getting data from an external device, you are downloading or importing. The use of import or download is a judgement call. In my opinion if you are accessing data through a program that will process it for display or storage I would favor Import. If you are transferring a file and it will reside on a computer intact, I'd say you are downloading the file.
  7. Apr 20, 2015 #6
    Thank you everyone, I undersood that this is a judgment call as meBigGuy said.

    Since there is space on UI we will label [download from image processor / upload to image processor].
    It has been rewarding to confirm our idea that calling it download/upload is a matter of the hierarchy and that the words import/export have implication of processing of their own.
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