From our readers: On the recent comments of Coar, O’Grady

Steve O’Grady wrote:

hello there – what’s up with your entries feed? it’s not displaying anything

To which I can honestly say, “What’s an entry feed?” (All readers should remind me at some point to describe my infamous lecture at IBM Research as I reported on this new thing called the “amazing internet”. Thing is, I gave that talk in 1996, not 1992.)

I don’t know what’s going on. I always tried to live with defaults, and don’t recall changing anything. Does anyone else have a clue? I’ll wait a few days. If no response I’ll try to find the time to work on this.

Ken Coar commented on a post that used “c13n” for “commoditization” :

The whole ‘i18n’ for ‘internationalisation,’ ‘l10n’ for ‘localisation,’ and such.. Well, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) claimed it was their invention. (I know, I was there.) They called them ‘diginyms,’ and forming that kind of abbreviation was ‘diginymicisation.’ I don’t think anyone had the chutzpah to call it ‘d14n.’

The convention here is to abbreviate a long word as prefix, number, suffix, where prefix is the first letter in the word, sufix is the last letter, and number is the number of letters between the prefix and the suffix; for example, “IBM” becomes “I1M”, “MicrosofT” becomes “M8T”, and so forth.

Now Ken claims DEC came up with this first . I expect anyone who has spent more time than they want to admit has faced the same problem. For example, Mark Davis of Unicode fame must have written “internationalization” about a zillion times before he realized he would spend the rest of his life writing the same damned word unless he found an abbreviation. I spent summer of 2004 in part working on a SWG study of “commoditization” and “componentization,”. and we probably threw in “civilization” if memory serves. I’m not sure we ever figured it out; it was a summer of “c*n”-ness.

Ken Coar commented on a post in which I mentioned Sahana:

Sahana was developed in Sri Lanka as a direct result of the December tsunami. The Sri Lankan open sourcerers are among the most dedicated and enthusiastic I have even encountered.

I couldn’t agree more; indeed, I wrote a plea for Sahana support earlier this day.

Ken Coar wrote, in response to my proposal of a very liberal license for the words that can be found here:

My friend Rich Bowen frequently advocates the JFTI licence: Just Take It. Sometimes known as the HJTI (Here, Just Take It) licence.

Thanks again to all the readers who took the time to comment. I think WordPress, an otherwise excellent piece of software, would profit by paying more attention to comments. Indeed, why not list the comments first, and then the stories they were about? Then the reader could skip over posts that drew no comments, dive into one that sparked lots of comments, and so forth.


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