Jargon: Kidding on the Square

At the first press conference since he won a broad nationwide overwhelming landslide mandate, President Bush gave reporters a hard time for asking multi-part questions: Question: Mr. President -- thank you. As you look at your second term, how much is the war in Iraq going to cost? Do you intend to send more troops, or bring troops home? And in the Middle East, more broadly, do you agree with Tony Blair that revitalizing the Middle East peace process is the single most pressing political issue ... (read more)

Java coders have lost their POJO

In an interview about Java programming, author Bruce Tate uses a term several times without explanation: POJO. The same acronym is popular on the Apache Geronimo developer's list, so I looked for a definition. It stands for "plain old Java objects," simple classes that are implemented as an alternative to Enterprise Java Beans and other complex methodologies. It appears to have been coined by Martin Fowler in the book Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture: The alternative is to use ... (read more)

Announcing Apache BikeShed

A nice use of the term bike shed discussion describes the initial chaos of the Apache Geronimo project: The momentum of the project is huge, and it appears we have reached the critical mass required for a success. However, we have some challenges to overcome. One of these is the nature of discussions on the mailing list -- we have had many bike shed type discussions thrashing minute details to death but choking out larger topics. In some cases, this has resulted in contributors collaborating ... (read more)

Nothing to fear but fearomeme

I'm reading a lot of James Lileks at the moment, and I just found an interesting word he tried (and failed) to inject into the public consciousness: fearomeme, an idea that spreads quickly because it scares the hell out of everybody. The recent story on the impending Yellowstone supervolcano eruption was a nice fearomeme, spooking several-dozen webloggers: When one erupts the explosion will be heard around the globe. The sky will darken, black acid rain will fall, and the Earth will be plunged ... (read more)

Name the New Syndication Format BikeShed

The expression bike shed discussion, which comes from a FreeBSD mailing list post by Poul-Henning Kamp, describes the experience of being bogged down by interminable debate on a subject where everyone feels comfortable in their expertise -- such as the building of a bike shed. It also can be stated as a law: ... the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change. Looking at the naming effort for the new syndication and weblogging format briefly ... (read more)

New technical jargon: Webmaster

Workbench quiz (score at home): When was the following word so unknown that Wired Magazine defined it in Gareth Branwyn's Jargon Watch feature? Webmaster: The name given to the person in charge of administrating a World Wide Web site. Visit Jargon Watch for the answer. And to those of you scoring at home, congratulations! ... (read more)

JargonWatch: quote mill

Occasionally on Workbench, I document new jargon as it appears, hoping to offer something to the public record if the authorship ever comes into question later. It's my small contribution to the wonderfully geeky field of etymology. I cloned the feature from the Jargon Scout feature in the late, lamented Tasty Bits from the Technology Front newsletter. Today's Rob Enderle item features a nice bit of jargon: quote mill. Dave Winer appears to have coined it to describe Enderle on Feb. 28, 2002, ... (read more)

JargonWatch: nitam

A bold attempt to coin new jargon from the Zia weblog: I use a word I made up 7 or 8 years ago, "nitam", to mean any email message, USENET article, or weblog entry (etymology: net-item, or acronym for "News ITem, Article, or Message"; pronunciation: like "night-um"). ... (read more)

JargonWatch: linktext

In The Weblog Handbook, Rebecca Blood uses a term frequently that I haven't seen employed before: linktext, the words used to describe and provide context for a link. Example: "Composing linktext has given me practice in thinking through a subject by writing it down." The person who appears to have coined and popularized the term is Jorn Barger, publisher of Robot Wisdom. He defines linktext as all of the text used to describe a link, even if some of it is not included in a link, and calls the ... (read more)

JargonWatch: blogstreaming

New jargon: Blogstreaming, the practice of chopping your weblog into a bunch of smaller weblogs so people can keep up with the interesting chunks and ignore the rest. Coined by Lloyd Wood on June 28, though he claims otherwise. ... (read more)