by Heidi Waterhouse
Oceans rise, empires fall, and technology is reinvented over and over again. I thought it would be helpful to create a mapping of what we called things in the olden days, and what we’re calling them now.
|Description||Old and Boring||The New Hotness|
|Independent programs that report the state of something to a controlling program||Agents||Microservices|
|Structured language to communicate predictable formats of data from one organization to another||EDI||XML|
|Massively powerful computing resources that are too loud to sit next to||Mainframes||The Cloud|
|Iteration of all the places a word appears in a document||Concordance||Index|
|Syntax that separates text from how it is styled, but is still simple enough for humans to read||HTML||Markdown(s)|
|Contextual assistance navigating new or unfamiliar tasks||Clippy||Walkthrough video|
|Moving pictures used to convey emotion and a wish to catch the eye of a user||Animated gifs||Animated gifs|
|Source of all knowledge about weird error messages, strange undocumented commands, and amazing software power tricks||Listserv||Stack Overflow|
|Architectural structure designed to make people aware they were being watched||Panopticon||Open-plan office|
|Persistent multi-party messaging platform with multiple topic areas and closed membership||BBS||Slack|
I hope this makes you feel like a part of the giant treadmill of reinvention. Keep a copy of this article to share with the next generation when they tell you about this amazing new way to use one’s pocket-device to talk to people IN REAL TIME.
Heidi is a technical writer, speaker, and parent. Her favorite writing topics are security, new technology, and feminist analysis of romance novels. She only gets paid for two of these.
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