Re: TLA/buzz-word frustration



You are right; OBE is an award made by the British to ‘deserving’ individuals.
It is the ‘Order of the British Empire’.

Trouble is, a great many ‘deserving’ individuals who get it aren’t, hence the alternative interpretation:
“Other Bugger’s Efforts”.....

PMSL (an FLA...)

On 22 Dec 2019, at 18:06, Bob Jacobsen <@BobJacobsen> wrote:

This reminds me a bit of a conversation that took place a while ago about the use of “iff”. Some people find it precise and useful; some thought it jargon.

This is a developer community. What’s the right level of language for that? What’s the right balance of “efficient communications, but some people might have to spend time to learn words/ideas they haven’t encountered yet” vs “that’s so obscure it’s a burden to everybody”? Particularly when we have lots of non-English-native-speakers? Is is reasonable to learn what other people are talking about, or better to reduce the level of the discussion?

We can certainly discuss that, but it’s clear there are tradeoffs.

On the three words mentioned, here’s what I think:

- iff (if and only iff) - a well known notation, people benefit from learning it.

- OBE (Overcome By Events, meaning no longer relevant) - That’s common where I work, but perhaps it’s a bit jargony. Maybe use less. Maybe not.

- Docker - the name of a particular set of machinery - I think this was fine to just use, though adding a URL would be generous for people who wanted a starting place to learn more. Why? Because if one hasn’t even seen the word, then a bunch of study is needed before taking part in a developer conversation; the homework starts with looking it up.

Google will generally define things, but sometimes it’s tricky (OBE is an example: Google seems to think I’m obsessed with the British aristocracy, but then I share an IP address with teenagers who might be). Maybe we should create something to help, i.e. a glossary.

There is a JMRI glossary already, and it’s even in multiple languages: The existing glossary entries are mostly oriented toward railroad-, model-railroad-, DCC-, and JMRI-specific language. More of those entries are always welcome, but since it gets almost no contributions and very few hits, I don’t think it’s much of a priority for anybody.

And I’m not at all sure that the JMRI glossary should be extended to cover developer language.

Maybe create a separate glossary? Or just say that it’s time to split this list?


On Dec 22, 2019, at 6:52 AM, Bob M. <jawhugrps@...> wrote:

I find the use of three-letter-acronyms (TLAs) and buzz-words in posts to
this list to be very challenging. My lack of a basic understanding of some
terms has reduced my ability to benefit from, or contribute to, some threads
on the list. This problem is only increasing over time.

I am not a computer scientist, nor a programmer, by trade. I do not (and
cannot) keep up with the latest trends in this industry.

I've been thinking that we could use a glossary of terms, to help those JMRI
developers like me who face this challenge. I'm thinking that an additional
web page in our technical/developers "help" pages for definitions of these
terms would help.

Two terms which immediately come to mind from recent e-mail list traffic
- "Docker"


Bob M.
Bob Jacobsen

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