Is "programmable biosphere" a good (albeit more technical) way to describe terraforming, or does the phrase imply something different? If something different, what would the difference be?
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No. Building a fully programmable biosphere and then programming it appropriately for your needs, to replicate an Earthlike environment, could be one Clarketech style method for achieving terraforming, but neither implies the other. If you broaden the definition of "terraforming" to include altering the environment on a planetary body to any particular specifications, not just so as to replicate an Earthlike environment, then building a programmable biosphere may indeed constitute one method of terraforming, but plenty of other, much more plausible, and certainly much easier, methods still remain.