Learn the Lingo

I never thought it would come to this, but conversations over the last several months in my house have given credence to the idea that I need to supply my family with a dictionary of terms. The list contains what sounds like everyday terms or phrases with entirely different meanings.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin)
  • The Project: Simply put, the project refers to PawnOfSale which is the first product I am developing for my business, The Slanted Shed. For the longest time, we couldn’t agree on a name, so we simply referred to it as “The Project”.
  • The Cloud: We don’t have our head in the “clouds” here. We could be talking about any number of services such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or NextCloud. Simply put, and many of you should know this, we’re talking about file storage out there in cyberspace or whatever you call the Internet these days.
  • Apache: We had to sell off our attack helicopter to finance…NO, NO, NO! There are no attack helicopters here. Apache is the most common web hosting software on the planet.
  • Bootstrap: Boots are against the dress code in our office, so we’re not talking about THOSE bootstraps. Typically we are talking about Twitter Bootstrap which is the framework we use for theming PawnOfSale and some of our website themes.
  • CentOS: Not cents–we don’t have a lot of those. CentOS is a Linux distribution that was forked (See later) from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In short, it is the community version of Red Hat’s enterprise version. It’s very solid, stable and secure. It’s also our primary choice of server platform for PawnOfSale.
  • DBeaver/SQuirreL: While it might be fun to think that we have fluffy little rodents running around the office, these two are SQL clients. We support MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and SQLite to name a few. Both of these SQL clients can access multiple server types. (we strongly prefer and recommend PostgreSQL and MariaDB first!)
  • Eclipse ”(also: IDE)”: Eclipse is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Eclipse allows us to develop in PHP, HTML, Markdown, JavaScript, CSS etc all through one convenient application. It also has version control capabilities so that we can maintain code histories and rollback if necessary.
  • ERP: Second thought, you won’t hear this as much in our offices. Our first DBA wanted to call PawnOfSale ERPawn instead because in his words “That’s exactly what it is“. Problem is, nobody know what ERP is. When I was a kid, “erp” was what one of the baby’s did when my mom burped it too hard… According to Wikipedia, ERP is: “…the integrated management of main business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology. ERP is usually referred to as a category of business management software — typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from many business activities.” Clear it up? If not, don’t ask, we don’t use this term much anymore!
  • Fork: Yum, give me a fork and I’ll tear up a buffet…NO, once again, different fork. In this case, when we fork something, we’re talking about taking someone else’s project, copying it and develop it into something you can use. We’ll occasionally “fork” a theme to take use of the base code and expand or alter it for our needs. Typically, we fork our own projects so that we can tinker with new features without altering or harming the original code.
  • Git ”(also SVN or Subversion)”: “Clem! I’s gonna git you for that!” Nope, again…we may be hicks at heart, but we’re talking about version control (there’s that term again…”whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?” —Keep reading) systems. You have most likely heard of Github. Github is a great place for developers to share their projects, collaborate, etc. For our purposes, we have our own SVN (Subversion) repositories that serve our needs a little better than Git.
  • Hyper-V: This is the virtualization software used by Microsoft. Virtualization is useful when you have limited hardware capacity and high demand for servers. We use Hyper-V in a private setting for hosting test servers to try our new apps, new “forks” of our software etc. With a virtual server, we can create a server environment based on a template, copy a server or delete one without changing hardware. We could set up hundreds of virtual servers on one physical device and start/stop or add/delete as needed.
  • Java: Only one person in my family does NOT like coffee, and that’s ME. You should all know Java, it’s a computer language that was often using for embedded apps on websites. Now, it’s a good framework or environment to base standalone apps.
  • Kettle ”(also: Spoon, Pan, Pentaho)”: All of these terms relate to the product known as Pentaho Data Integration owned by Hitachi. It is primarily used as an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processor. ETL is a process used to get data from one source, clean it up or transform it somehow and load it to another source.
  • Markdown: Markdown is a reasonably new language that allows very simple creation of beautifully formatted documents. Whereas WYSIWYG editors require you to load styles or use the mouse to select text for formatting, Markdown allows you to do it all while not moving your hands from the keyboard. (Much like LaTex/Tex below) Readme files are often written in Markdown.
  • Node (also: Node.js, npm):
  • R: The letter R. The beautiful, beautiful letter R… R is also another programming language. It is very lightweight and can be used for mathematics, statistics, ETL, visualization etc of about any data you can feed it.
  • SASS: Using Node.js and SASS, we can build styles into our themes using components of other styles, custom components etc that will then all be pulled into one *.css file for the website theme.
  • Tex or LaTex: “Nice shootin’ Tex but I’m alergic!” You guys really watch too much TV. LaTex (Tex) is a language very similar to Markdown above. LaTex is often the language of choice for writers of math and technical books and/or documentation.
  • Ubuntu: Another “flavor” of Linux similar to CentOS.
  • Virtualbox: See Hyper-V above. We also use Virtualbox on some equipment we have that cannot run Hyper-V or machines that have other primary functions.
  • WYSIWYG: Say it with me: WYSIWYG–“wizzy wig”. What You See Is What You Get. ie: Microsoft Word formatting. Usually references an editor. We don’t use much wizzy wig here these days, but these editors are very useful in seeing the code required by certain styles.

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