I’m a software development guy. I’m not a computer scientist or mathematician or mathematician’s wife or doctor or software engineers. But I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen people, companies or governments get all hung up on some jargon. To which one can say: “Don’t be daft.” We use jargon for practical reasons: because it is useful, useful to understand and it is common and it is simple to understand. It is useful as a marketing tool, as evidence in favour of something, as a way of talking about something, as a sign of ignorance.
Some people, however, are daft and use jargon as an excuse for nonsense.
I think this is a pretty universal phenomenon
The problem with the daft way is that it becomes an excuse for people who are not as capable and creative in writing code or creating interfaces – or if they do, don’t bother doing it often enough, or do not know enough about what they are doing – to give themselves the benefit of the doubt.
Take for example Facebook’s ‘Open Graph’ or Twitter’s ‘Text and graphics’ feeds. Both these feeds use what appears to be standard Web standards – they are, after all, “open”, “text and graphics” feeds. On the other hand, they have a lot of baggage associated with the Web in the sense of a very specific set of features, or that it lacks a high level of user control over its performance, or that it is inaccessible to many users. Why does Facebook – or Twitter – have this baggage?
Well, for starters, as I explained in a previous article, Facebook’s ‘Web standards’ implementation is based on their HTTP protocol (which, as I mentioned, makes Facebook very powerful in social networking and web services, as well as being used by other companies – like Twitter, Google, the BBC – and other systems) with a custom protocol for interacting with web pages. This implementation was, however, the result of years of design work and design iterations and iteration after iteration.
Twitter’s implementation is very similar. That makes them “Open Graph”. This is the original protocol (the original design), with the ‘Web standards’ implementation being an evolution which is based on a web standard library, and also based on custom client libraries for Android and iOS.
But what’s interesting is that Twitter uses an API similar to Twitter.com’s. So they might be in the same business as Facebook. It doesn’t say. But it’s pretty
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