HEY! Software developers! Yes, you. Wake up!
An insiduous disease is spreading its way through the development community, leaving confusion in its wake. No-one wants to talk about it – but someone’s got to take a stand.
I’m talking about jargonitis.
Is your open-source project “designed to enhance the ability of the community to develop tools to plug into frameworks for the construction of software components?” Are you “exploiting an extensible platform for hosting innovative software tools for the development of cross-platform components?” Have you started a “revolutionary technology development platform to leverage an open source application framework?” If so, then I’m afraid you – yes, you – have been infected with jargonitis.
The primary symptom of jargonitis is logorrhea: a runny stream of useless verbiage. Word salsa like “designed to enhance the ability of the community to develop tools to plug into frameworks for the construction of software components” doesn’t mean anything – or, more accurately, doesn’t mean anything more than “improves plug-in development”. The extra blather actually drains the meaning that is there, until the point gets lost in a sea of undifferentied grey jargon, and readers of your project web site drift away.
“Technology infrastructures for implementation frameworks” – feh!
Software comes in three major flavors: applications, tools, and platforms:
- Applications do something.
- Tools let you make something.
- And platforms provide the building blocks out of which you build applications and tools.
So the next time I roll on to SourceForge, or Freshmeat, or Apache, or the Eclipse project home page, I want to hear about “visual editors for graphs” (applications that do something) or “IDEs for developing web applications” (tools for building things) or “APIs for collaborative applications” (platforms for building things on). That’s right: write nice, clear, concrete descriptions that say what you fricking mean.
If I see any more “technology projects to develop toolsets that leverage application frameworks” I’ll come smack ya.
You know who you are.