Buzzwords for Webbies

I've had requests to provide definitions for buzzwords I use in the blog from a number of folks. I can't blame them,  any good startup or even hip larger company wants to be fully buzzword compliant.  What are the buzzwords that SmoothSpan insiders and customers care about?

Attached is the quick and dirty list.  The "Wikipedia" links go to Wikipedia's definitions of these buzzwords.


AjaxAsynchronous Javascript and XML.  A technology for creating RIA's.  Wikipedia

Apollo: Adobe's toolkit for making Flex apps run on the desktop without an Internet connection. Disconnectivity can be bliss!

Atom: An XML-based standard for web feeds that's more recent than RSS and embraced by companies like Google. It can carry more types of information than RSS. Wikipedia

BPEL: Business Process Execution Language. Essentially, a standards-based language for describing workflows. Wikipedia

CGI: Common Gateway Interface. If your web server isn't serving a page, it is running a program. CGI is how things plug in so they can be that program. Alternatively, the web sever may directly embed a language so it can run directly. Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby all work this way. For Java, the ultimate approach is J2EE, with the app server serving up the dynamic web pages. FastCGI is a faster alternative to vanilla CGI. Wikipedia

CRUD: Create, Read, Update, and Delete. The basic operations a simple database application needs. Wikipedia

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets. CSS defines how to format an HTML page or XML data. Separating the format information from the content makes it easy to reskin a page. Wikipedia

Dataflow Language: A language that shows the flow of data rather than the flow of control. Conventional languages like Java focus on flow of control. As the Wikipedia points out, dataflow languages take advantage of multicore multicpu computers for free. Spreadsheets are the most common form of dataflow language.

EC2: Extensible Computing Cloud. Amazon's cool grid computing service where you rent servers by the hour.

EJB: Enterprise JavaBeans. The basic api's needed to create an object that lives on a J2EE server.

FlexAdobe's Flash-based and (eventually) open sourced mechanism for doing scalable RIAs.  Workday adopted it.  It is a competitor to Microsoft's SilverLight.

IDE: Integrated Development Environment, the editor developers use to write code. Eclipse is an open source IDE used for many languages including Java and Flex.

J2EE: Java Platform, Enterprise Edition. Java's application server specification. App servers let you run programs instead of just returning static pages for web interfaces. You can do a lot more with them, but that's their most common meaning and usage. Wikipedia

PHP:  A well established scripting language for the web.

REST: Representational State Transition.  Today's preferred embodiment of SOA API's.  Wikipedia

RIA:  Rich Internet Application.  Usually means an Ajax application, but it is any rich user experience.  RIAs have important advantages over traditional browser applications. They need not repaint the whole page to change content, content can be pushed to the page without waiting for the request, as well as many other advantages. Wikipedia

RSS: "Really Simple Syndication". The most popular web feed standard, although Atom is a more recent standard. Wikipedia

Ruby on Rails:  A new and very popular object oriented language and framework for creating web applications.  It's main advantage is its much simpler than Java and more powerful than PHP.

SaaS:  Software as a Service. is the most famous example.  Software is sold as access to a browser based experience for a monthly or other on-demand fee structure.  It runs in the vendor's data center--not the customer's.  Wikipedia

SilverLight:  Microsoft's answer to Adobe Flex and mechanism for creating RIA's under .NET.

SOA:  Service Oriented Architecture.  These days, REST is the favored paradigm for creating these.  This one is almost too old to be a buzzword any more.

SOAP:  Variously Simple Object Access Protocol or Service Oriented Architecture Protocol.  One of the first widely used standards for SOA.  Lately the intelligentsia think REST is better.  Wikipedia 

SOC: Service Oriented Client. Not heard often, but SOC pertains to converting older client/server and "dumb" browser clients to RIAs.

Spry:  Adobe's client side JavaScript library designed to make Ajax approachable to web designers.  Spry Homepage.

Tag Cloud:  These are called "weighted lists" by UI designers.  Usually just a bunch of links that surround a central word or concept that changes as you navigate the cloud.  Try Visual Thesaurus for a really cool example and Technorati for a duller vesion.

WSDL:  Web Services Description Language.  A W3C standard for defining web services in XML.  It's metadata about SOA interfaces.  If your system can use it, it lets you check out all the interfaces available and potentially connect to them.  StrikeIron is a web service search engine and marketplace.  Wikipedia

Pictorial Buzz Words:

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