determine an application's process name on linux (ubuntu)

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http://askubuntu.com – This is the situation: Working on (the next version of) a Unity quicklist editor, I would like to add a reliable way of "restarting" launcher icons. To do so, I need to remove the icon (editing gsettings) and replace it on the same position. So far no problem. However, if the application in question is running, user will possibly lose data, as the application will quit when it's icon is removed from the launcher. What I need is a reliable way to find an application's process name, to let the editor check in the list of running processes if the application is running, and send a warning messag (HowTos)