Re: Platform versus Environment

Subject: Re: Platform versus Environment
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 09:09:24 -0800

"Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote in message news:232688 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> Goldstein, Dan wrote:
> > I would not use either term. They're both too vague.
> > If you're talking about the operating system, say, "operating system."
> > you're talking about the hardware, say, "hardware."
> It depends. Both have specific meanings depending on context, so make sure
> you provide the context. For example, you could have multiple environments
> (shells) running on a Linux platform running on an Intel architecture.
See, this is what makes life so fun. Yes, context is important, but jargon
terms such as "environment" and "platform" are tossed about arbitrarily by
marketing and sales people much more often than they are used appropriately.

Even when marketing and sales aren't involved, their cavalier use has more
often made their meaning meaningless: the terms mean whatever you want them
to mean. In this example, to be technically accurate, Linux is not a
platfrom but an operating system. And the architecture isn't Intel, but IBM
(after more than 20 years, the underlying architecture is still essentailly
the basic IBM Personal Computer (TM) design, right down to the BIOS

More often than not, users won't even care. As long as they can get their
job done correctly and quickly (and get home faster and get that raise
they've been hoping for), such terms are usually textual garbage that
obscures the content they really need, when they need it. (Unless the user
is, for example, an IT person responsible for installation, configuration,
etc., and even then...)

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and
break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf


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