Friday, April 02, 2004

Geek Glossary Part I

It was brought to my attention that I use a lot of acronyms ;-). And it's true, I do. With my job, it saves me about ten hours a week using acronyms in emails, phone calls, and in meetings. The computer industry is just over flowing with them. However, some acronyms have a different meaning depending on how they are used. It's like all the rules we have in the English language at it's worst. Let me give you an example. Here are two sentences using the same acronym to say two different things.

  • wrote something in ASP today.
  • I need to call our ASP to find out what happened.

So if that wasn't confusing enough I use phrases like "Classic ASP" and "ASP.NET". These are referring to versions of Active Server Pages. So in truth "Classic ASP" means version 3.0 and "ASP.NET" means version 4.0 and 4.1.

During a recent meeting at work, we were discussing the "API" for interfacing with this or that, and one of the people in the lending department asked what an "API" was. I thought this was a great question, because as geeks we forget that not everyone knows or even has any clue as to what we are talking about. So what does "API" mean? Well, it stands for Applications Programming Interface. Don't you feel better knowing that? So now you are going great, what does an Application Programming Interface mean in English. What it really means is, it is a way, or more correctly an program that someone has written that has methods of letting you talk with this other program, without having to know the particulars about it. Now, you are thinking so APIs are something that makes it easier to program for something. And the answer to that is a very positive, ummmm sometimes, maybe...

The last one we will cover today is "blog". It isn't really an acronym, and it's barely a word. Basically it's slang. What blog actually started out as was "Weblog". Then someone started to drop the "we" of "weblog" to make it "blog". So basically a blog or weblog is a web page that is updated almost daily that consists of someone?s ramblings, rants, raves and even geeky thoughts. (Kind of like this one).

Until our next installment of Geek Glossary, here is a link to a great Geek Glossary to look up computer acronyms and other computer industry mumbo jumbo.

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