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App — the Most Abused Word In Tech?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the I-remember-calling-them-programs dept.

Google 353

Barence writes "PC Pro has a blog exploring the misuse of the word 'app'. Until the iPhone came along, the word 'application' largely meant a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac. Then Apple took ownership, trimmed it to three letters, and within months the word 'app' became synonymous with small widgets of code for smartphones. Now, Google's pushing the boundaries of the 'app' definition even further. Google Chrome users will have seen a new addition to their browser recently: the Chrome Web Store. Here, you'll find dozens of 'apps' to install and run directly from a handy icon on the browser's home screen. Except, these aren't 'apps' at all. They're websites. Google's idea of 'apps' are what we quaintly referred to in the good old days as 'bookmarks.' Does the word 'app' mean anything at all any more?"

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You want to know what an "app" is? (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093330)

There's an app for that.

Re:You want to know what an "app" is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093462)

I'm sure there is a utility to fix that? Oh wait, no, you're holding it wrong.

Re:You want to know what an "app" is? (1)

punkrockguy318 (808639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093466)

This is definitely worse than a couple of years ago everyone referring "mp3 players" as iPods regardless of the brand.

Re:You want to know what an "app" is? (1)

noobermin (1950642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093954)

It's all in a relation to Moore's law: As the computer develops, so are more incompetent developers allowed to run amok without the extensive memory leaks to be noticed to give reason to their immediate firing from development jobs and since they are allowed to continue, they're allowed to further facilitate their despicable memes in "technospeak" because they think it will get them laid.

Re:You want to know what an "app" is? (2)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094014)

Kleenex, Band Aids, Jello, etc.

Re:You want to know what an "app" is? (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093484)

I'm glad it's a more common word now. Before the iphone, people were only interested in something if it was a Web 2.0 page because it was cool. Now we can write proper applications again.

Pedantry and Nothing More (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093346)

Then Apple took ownership, trimmed it to three letters, and within months the word 'app' became synonymous with small widgets of code ...

Perhaps you would take care to avoid abusing words like 'widgets' and 'code' when tearing down the misuse of 'app'?

What does "widgets of code" mean here? What does "Tech" mean in the title?

Re:Pedantry and Nothing More (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093592)

Damn right. An "app" is just an application program. A bit of code that helps you solve a particular problem. It doesn't matter how big it is or where it runs.

Re:Pedantry and Nothing More (2)

David Chappell (671429) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093838)

Damn right. An "app" is just an application program. A bit of code that helps you solve a particular problem. It doesn't matter how big it is or where it runs.

Indeed, an application need not be large. It is my understanding that both "app" and "application" are short for "application program". I believe an application program is one which applies the power of the computer to some problem or task which has meaning outside the computer, even if the task is trivial. Programs which are used to repair the computer itself, adjust it, or organize its data are generally not application programs. They are utility programs.

So, calculators, media players, word processors, and stock tickers are all application programs. Virus scanners, disk defragmenters, file managers, etc. are not.

Re:Pedantry and Nothing More (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093758)

Perhaps you would take care to avoid abusing words like 'widgets' and 'code' when tearing down the misuse of 'app'?

Instead of 'widget', use 'smidgen'.

Instead of 'code', use, um, 'binary'. (?)

Re:Pedantry and Nothing More (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093772)

Yeah it does seem nitpicking to criticize Apple, but the last sentence about Google has a good point - They are calling their website bookmarks "apps" when they are not in fact applications.

Aside-
-Having grown-up with Commodore GEOS and Workbench, I call programs "tools", directories "drawers", and the terminal a "CLI".

Why worry? (3, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093356)

Words change, things change. Move on.

Re:Why worry? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093434)

Because if people can't agree on what a word means, it leads to potential for misunderstandings and fraud. I don't think anyone can define "App" in the way that agrees with how Apple, Google and everyone else is using the word.

Re:Why worry? (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093918)

Can you identify a widget or program in a way that agrees with everyone as well.

how about a shortcut, link, or alias? Folder vs Directory?

App is just a new word. Apple has always used Apps as Windows used Programs. No one wrote programs for the Mac they wrote Applications. however it was sometimes referred to as programs as windows users crossed over.

Now Apple is popular. Their self contained applications have encompassed many traits. Since apple is popular, every one is copying them instead of paving a new path.

Re:Why worry? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093554)

Appropriate appellations apparently apply to applications.

Re:Why worry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093670)

As you say, words change. When you tell someone not to bemoan words changing, you are denying them the right to define the words because of others having that right. That's atleast as stupid, in myopinion.

Re:Why worry? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093920)

They are incorrect, as the most abused word is f!ck Back in the day, it was to have sex. Now, it is abused to where it can replace any other type of word. You can also add ing or er to it and expand its possibilities even more

Verb: let's f!ck

Noun: That f!ck tried to rip me off.

Pronoun: Jim is suck a jerk. F!cker thinks he is all that and a bad og potato chips.

Adjective: That f!cking jerk thinks he is awesome.

Adverb: That dude f!cking runs fast from the cops.

Interjection: F!ck! He really stole 50 bucks from me.

Conjunction: I will b!tch f!cking slap you sucka!

Preposition: He is right f!cking there.



So I will beg to differ as f!ck is apparently a much more used and abused word than app.

Re:Why worry? (1)

anegg (1390659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093994)

One wonders just how long you have been waiting with that bit of humor, waiting for the right moment to introduce it into a thread where it was actually on-topic...

Re:Why worry? (3, Insightful)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093938)

Indeed! Apple is not a fruit anymore, it's a RELIGION! :p

Cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093370)

Have to disagree.. Cloud is the most abused word, and also the most irritating.

Re:Cloud (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093526)

Look to the left, I see /. use 'cloud' in their stories links, or has it always been there?

Re:Cloud (1)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093534)

The problem with 'the cloud' is that no two experts can agree on what 'the cloud' is. Its abuse is natural in the any sphere especially in advertisement. Jabberwocky (exageration) anyone? (Better off Ted)

Re:Cloud (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093542)

Have to disagree.. Cloud is the most abused word, and also the most irritating.

Nah, "cloud" is just overused, not abused. "Cyber" is the most abused word.

There is such a thing as a web app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093372)

Just because most of the web isn't running on pre-compiled code doesn't make many of the applications any less worth being an app. Sure, a static HTML page isn't an app, but I'd say Google is. Slashdot is. YouTube is.

Re:There is such a thing as a web app (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093626)

Or how about what makes it so unacceptable to call it an app when Google installs a bookmark (shortcut) to a web applet? Does it really matter if the content is hosted locally vs remotely? Or is the gripe with the bookmark, which is analogous to a simple desktop shortcut? Still, the difference is that the bookmark is a remote address while the shortcut is (typically) a local address.

Re:There is such a thing as a web app (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094000)

Sure, a static HTML page isn't an app, but I'd say Google is. Slashdot is. YouTube is.

No, none of those are web apps. A web app is a self-contained piece of code that runs on your local machine and queries the web with XMLHttpRequest() to obtain additional data. All of the sites you mentioned, with the exception of Google when live searching is enabled, are traditional CGI-based web sites in which your browser loads a new page to fetch new content. That's the exact opposite of a web app.

Your wall on Facebook is an example of a web app. (The entire site, however, is not.)

Applet? (0)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093390)

Would that be an acceptable alternative? You could even use case to emphasize, as in "appleT".

Re:Applet? (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093464)

Applet, even though applicable, has way too much stigma attached to it from the Java days.

Re:Applet? (1)

commodore73 (967172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093544)

Back in '96 or '97, any time I saw "applet initializing" in the status bar, I knew the browser was about to hang or crash.

Things could always be worse (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093402)

Thins could always be worse. At least I've not heard anyone use the term "proggy" since like, 2000.

Re:Things could always be worse (1)

iRommel (1684036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093482)

I used to like proggy :[

Much preferred the older term (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093414)

I preferred when it was "prog" instead of "app". App is what you call an applet

Re:Much preferred the older term (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093458)

Meh. To me, a "Prog" will always be an issue of 2000AD.

Re:Much preferred the older term (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093598)

'prog' sounds like something you'd find on a porn site. i.e. 'progging' videos.

Re:Much preferred the older term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093660)

I think of 'prog' rock :)

Re:Much preferred the older term (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093848)

I have always known applications or programs as apps. Applets are small utility apps.

Here's how I see it (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093416)

An application is a self-contained piece of software which is used for a particular task.

An app is a 'tiny' (by some metric) application.

Firefox addons can be seen as "Apps" if they did something large. Remember this is an 'end user' term. End users don't weigh how 'good ' a program is by LOC, by how many states it has or whatever, they weigh it by how much it does for them.

Re:Here's how I see it (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094030)

App, as it is used know, pretty much refers to the way the software is delivered. Applications are often delivered on physical media and explicitly installed by the user. Apps, as the word is used now, are delivered exclusively through a network and installed and updated seamlessly. Applet are like this but usually do not reside on the users machines.

All this is silly and pedantic. What is going on is simple. Google is playing a numbers game like it did with versions number on Chrome. If every bookmark becomes an App, then Google will not seem so anemic when compared to Firefox and Apple. After all, when one has no quality, quantity is the key.

The most abused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093418)

I thought the most abused word was "cyber"

Re:The most abused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093450)

Cyber-rape?

How about Service? (1)

Dann25 (210278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093440)

I need an app to manage my web services supporting ITIL services for the armed services

Re:How about Service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093852)

Your service has a poor quality of service because the web service is being served by a windows service that uses remote services without service level agreements. Happens all the time.

I imagine someone can do better than this though...

Uh, no. (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093446)

Then Apple took ownership, trimmed it to three letters, and within months the word 'app' became synonymous with small widgets of code for smartphones.

That claim is simply made up of whole cloth. The author has apparently never heard the phrase "killer app," which goes back to way before iPhones or smartphones.

"App" is a common and logical shortening of "application," and has been in widespread use for a long time.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093558)

I believe John Dvorak coined "killer app" when writing of Visicalc in PC Magazine, circa mid-80's.

rj

Re:Uh, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093686)

Visicalc was first available on the Apple ][

Re:Uh, no. (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093898)

As it turned-out the "killer app", the program that made computers attractive to billions of people so they'd run-out and buy one, was the Web Browser. Specially NCSA's Mosaic for PC, mac, and amiga. (Later Mozilla Netscape and MS Explorer.)

Prior to the Home Web browser (pre-93) most people saw no need to get one. Now it's almost reached the point where you can't live without one.

And of course as computers became more "needed" they also started shrinking. The laptop surpassed the desktop in sales a few years ago, and I suspect the cellphone will eclipse the laptop pretty soon.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094008)

As it turned-out the "killer app", the program that made computers attractive to billions of people so they'd run-out and buy one, was the Web Browser.

But before that the prices had come down enough because so many businesses bought computers. And businesses bought computers because Visicalc and its subsequent imitators were the killer app that made the computer a huge office productivity booster. If anything the web browser was second generation killer app.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093606)

Indeed.. I used "app" in conversation long before the whole app store thing. In fact I still use it for refering to traditional software.

I'll admit the line is blurry on what constitutes a web page and what constitutes a web application these days. Just about every web page has _some_ application like qualities. I would say google search and gmail are definitely applications, but what of sites like slashdot and youtube.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093714)

He didn't say "app" means "small widgets of code for smartphones", he said it became synonymous with that. Try asking someone outside of IT "what's an app?" and you'll find the author is entirely right, irritating as it is for those of us who have always used the term in the traditional sense as an abbreviation of "application".

Re:Uh, no. (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093736)

I was writing apps for the Macintosh in the late 80s. They always were called applications on the Mac, even then.

I think app is pretty cool actually and seems about right for what it is.

Lawn, etc.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093788)

I always assumed an "app" was a small application. A full application, like Photoshop, runs on my computer and gives me access to vast, vast, vast array of capabilities for manipulating images. The Photoshop app that runs on my iPhone, however, gives me a half-dozen controls for brightness, contrast, color, some filter effects, cropping, etc. So the iPhone Photoshop app is a greatly scaled down version of the full Photoshop application.

The Solar Death Ray is to blame, of course (1)

Tuan121 (1715852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093476)

I think the guy that created the solar death ray has aimed it at "applications" and "app" is all that remains.

That's all I've learned on slashdot today.

Re:The Solar Death Ray is to blame, of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093798)

No, it wasn't the solar death ray guy but Chuck Norris did glance at "applications". app is all that's left.

Not recent (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093492)

From TFS:

Then Apple took ownership, trimmed it to three letters, and within months the word 'app' became synonymous with small widgets of code for smartphones.

Apple has been talking about 'applications' in preference to 'programs' for decades. 'App' has been a common abbreviation in the Macintosh world for years.

Re:Not recent (1)

devjoe (88696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093574)

And even with Google, they have had Google App Engine, which is a platform for creating web sites, since 2008, and it even appears as an option in the current poll. Far from a new usage of "app".

Re:Not recent (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093730)

Likewise Google - you have never heard them say "Web Program" before. It has always been "Web Application", or "Web App" for short.

Re:Not recent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093964)

Not just the Mac community. Windows too. The usage is as old as the hills.

Not to mention the term "web app". I'm not sure when I first heard that term used, but it was probably more than 10 years ago.

Good Old Days? (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093498)

...what we quaintly referred to in the good old days as 'bookmarks'.

I'm reading with Firefox 3.6.13 and they're still referred to as Bookmarks.

Most abused word in tech is (1)

Khue (625846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093538)

Cloud. And I heard Blackholes are formed by throwing an App into the Cloud for virtualization.

Re:Most abused word in tech is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093620)

amen. Microsoft's 'to the cloud' ads are perhaps the most ridiculous abuse of a tech buzz word I have ever seen. They pretty much make no sense.

Ceci n'est pas une app (3, Funny)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093560)

This comment is not an app

Re:Ceci n'est pas une app (3, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093806)

I would like to buy a copy of your English to French Slashdot comment translator app.

Still appilicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093566)

Until the iPhone came along, the word 'application' largely meant a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac.

Now it means a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC, Mac, or iPhone!

Google Chrome users will have seen a new addition to their browser recently: the Chrome Web Store. Here, you'll find dozens of 'apps' to install and run directly from a handy icon on the browser's home screen.

Now it means a self-contained piece of software that you access on the Web!

Except, these aren't 'apps' at all. They're websites. Google's idea of 'apps' are what we quaintly referred to in the good old days as 'bookmarks.'

Okay, so, I haven't checked into all of them, but if an "app" was just some news web site with mostly static HTML pages of text and pictures, then yes, you might as well just call it a web site. But if the bookmark links to a page with interactive JavaScript, then, yes, that is an app. A depth-of-field calculator for photographers written in pure JavaScript? Yes, that's an app. A web-based to-do list? Yes, that is an app.

Maybe app isn't short for applicaton (3, Interesting)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093572)

As the article points out, an 'app' is very different from an 'application'. I have never heard someone refer to an iPhone program as an 'application' and I have never heard someone use the term 'app' to refer to a stand-alone desktop software. This would seem to imply that they are distinct terms, and one is not merely shorthand for the other.

This is not the misappropriation of one term, but the creation of a new one. Sure, the word app has its root in the word application, but there are lots of words that come from old words (in fact, most words have their roots in other words that mean different, but related, things).

I think the only time that anyone should complain about the misuse of terms is when it is unclear which version of the word someone is using. An example from the article is the misuse of 'download' for 'upload'. If someone says download when they mean upload, it can be confusing. If someone calls something an 'app', no one will think they are talking about a desktop application.

Also another complaint with the article: applications have always referred to more than just 'a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac'. All other operating systems have applications as well.

Re:Maybe app isn't short for applicaton (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093768)

They don't refer to them as 'applications' because most iPhone users will just call it whatever Apple markets them as. Like it or leave it, a majority of 'apps' are really 'applications'.

'App' has been used for decades as others have already pointed out. It is a shortened version of 'application'. Apple has taken a word and claimed it for their own, ignoring any use of it from before.

Re:Maybe app isn't short for applicaton (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093790)

As the article points out, an 'app' is very different from an 'application'. I have never heard someone refer to an iPhone program as an 'application' and I have never heard someone use the term 'app' to refer to a stand-alone desktop software.

You should know that since 2001 all standard software on OS X has had a .app extension and EVERYONE has been calling them "apps" for two decades now, similar to how windows some users refer to exe's, except that the .app is actually visible by default for all users, so it is not limited to power users. Further, the .app moniker has been used to differentiate between general services "mail" or "iTunes" and the application in question "mail dot app" or the "iTunes app".

If someone calls something an 'app', no one will think they are talking about a desktop application.

I disagree.

So while you may have never heard of anyone calling a stand-alone desktop software as an app, it's been very common among users of Apple products for a very long time.

Applications don't need to run locally (1)

dr.newton (648217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093580)

Just because the application is running on a web server somewhere, and not on your hardware, doesn't mean it's not an application. Applications that users access over the web are called, gasp, "web apps".

Also, a bookmark is not the same as a web app. "bookmark" is a term for a URL that probably begins with "http" and is stored by a browser (unless it's IE, in which case I believe it's "favourite" instead). Slashdot is not a bookmark, but you can have a bookmark for Slashdot. The things being called "apps" in this case are not the little icons, they're the things you access using the icons.

How did this make it to the front page of Slashdot?

Not the MOST abused word... but close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093604)

I'd say "app" is the second most abused word.

The most abused word, I'd have to say is "cloud".

</PersonalOpinion>

Many of them are apps (2)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093610)

"Except, these aren't 'apps' at all. They're websites." Except many of them are "apps" as much as any application has ever been. Fully running programs written in a programming language, which just happens to be HTML5. Also the abbreviation "app" predates the iPhone by approximately as long as I have used computers.

Re:Many of them are apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093720)

HTML is not a programming language. It is a markup language (in fact, that's what the ML stands for!)

It is a powerful markup language, yes, and can be used in conjunction with other programming or scripting languages, but nothing you can do in pure HTML5 can be considered programming (except perhaps in the most basic sense of "instructing a computer to perform a task", and that's not the sense of the word that the phrase "programming language" refers to.)

Apps for my iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093624)

I want apps for my iPhone because it has the wifis and the bigger gee-bees [youtube.com]

Nintendo Paddles (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093628)

The common "folk" do this with everything, so I think it is odd that it is getting discussed with 'app'. As the subject said, there are still people that call all game systems a Nintendo (I seriously know a person who I have to correct because they will call their PS3 a Nintendo). They will still call all controllers paddles. They will call any system on Atari an Atari. They will call the Genesis a Sega.

There are lots of examples, but I like the paddles one the best. It does not matter what the controller is for or what it does, if it is associated with a video game system, some people, no matter what, call them paddles. The origin of this is from when the Atari 2600 made the paddle controller. Since then, people call all controllers paddles even though many of them have little to nothing to do with Atari 2600 paddles.

Suck it up and get used to the fact that people do this (even if it is a company), or correct them any chance you get and frustrate yourself

Abuse of common terms. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093666)

Part of the confusion and consternation comes from the fact that many "apps" are nothing more than proprietary encapsulated forms of what would be just a simple website on any more robust platform. Also "apps" can take the form of pure data such as an ebook. The term "app" is fairly well abused in the Apple framework.

Big corporations love to hijack common terms and treat them as personal trademarks. It seems Apple is no different than Microsoft in this respect.

PC is Another Term in My Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093678)

Isn't the use of the acronym "PC" extremely misused as well? PC =/= just Windows machines. Macs and Unix machines are also PCs; heck, wouldn't a phone even be considered a PC?

How is google abusing things? (1)

Balial (39889) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093704)

We've been calling web services "web applications" for years. Why is it wrong to abbreviate them to "web apps" or just "apps"?

One more example (1)

k8to (9046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093706)

In my world, "app" is a couple of additional configuration files for our already installed software.

It confuses everyone.

The meaning changes again. So what? (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093716)

Until computers came along, the word 'application' largely meant the act of putting something to a particular use. Then information technology took ownership, and the word 'application' became synonymous with a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac.

Words often take on new meanings. What's the big deal?

My new app (1)

johnwbyrd (251699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093718)

With the major advent of apps, there exists several tracking apps that lets you manage all your apps that don't manage themselves. (hereinafter referred to as "app apps")

I have created an app that manages apps that manage other apps that do not manage themselves. (hereinafter referred to as my "app app app")

Kurt Godel is currently investigating whether my app app app manages itself. If not, this feature will be added by Q3.

Consumer is King (1)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093728)

From the consumers' point of view:
the word 'application' [and 'app'] means a self-contained piece of software.

Cyber... (1)

II Xion II (1420223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093740)

I vastly prefer the word "app" to "cyber."

As if adding "cyber" before every word suddenly makes it some revolutionary technological achievement.

*shudders*

"Cloud" is far more overused (1)

jr0dy (943553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093756)

My vote for most overused word in tech is definitely "cloud" - and Microsoft's ridiculous ad campaigns are not helping the situation. People use it in a very uninformed, buzzword manner in most circumstances.

Re:"Cloud" is far more overused (2)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094020)

My vote for most overused word in tech is definitely "cloud" - and Microsoft's ridiculous ad campaigns are not helping the situation. People use it in a very uninformed, buzzword manner in most circumstances.

At least they're not calling it ActiveCloud.NET 7 Series Enterprise Edition.

A tip - drop the "app" (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093778)

Just "lication" - it's cleaner.

.

Really? (1)

Alternate Interior (725192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093780)

And a shell script is just a text file. So are SVGs. And really a web page is just text, too, so we're all massacring English every time we use the word 'website.'

Get over yourself. These "bookmarks" have functionality. Functionality is what makes them apps. Who cares, really, if your app is a VBA script hosted in Excel, or a website, or an Java ME applet on a mobile phone, or an ELF executable? They all have functionality.

Running, driving and walking are transportation. Abbreviating it transp doesn't magically exclude flying, just as the word App doesn't exclude HTTP-transported, browser-contained applications.

Apps and clouds. (1)

johnwbyrd (251699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093782)

Don't get me started on abuse of the word "cloud". internet != cloud. server array != cloud.

Summary misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093800)

I work on Chrome.

An "app" is not necessarily a "bookmark". Many of the apps in the store include bundled content and/or require extra privileges (a la extensions). It is true that some apps do not have either of these things, but neither does Google Docs, which has long been considered a "web app" without people complaining.

Tech - the most abused term in software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093812)

Probably one of the more annoying aspects of working in tech. What? No - not online stuff.. Actual physical technology. No - not like a router. Like as in something that has nothing to do with the internet.

Mundane Terminology... (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093832)

It should go without saying that any technical word used by the average layman likely has no sophisticated technical meaning.

Longing for the days... (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093850)

Oh, how I long for the days of "news for nerds, stuff that matters."

This is a crap submission for a crap article. Nobody I know is confused about what an "app" is.

Application or applet (1)

genfail (777943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093856)

I've been telling all of my non-geek friends that when Apple says application they really mean applet, and the rest is just marketing BS.

Re:Application or applet (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093996)

I've been telling all of my non-geek friends that when Apple says application they really mean applet...

Because you want to misinform people and trick them? That's mean.

app - a small morsel of food (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093864)

but not enough to keep you going.

Premise of Google "app" claims is wrong (1)

thisisauniqueid (825395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093894)

A Chrome app is not just a website. From http://code.google.com/chrome/webstore/docs/index.html#concepts [google.com] :

"An installable web app can be a normal website with a bit of extra metadata; this type of app is called a hosted app. Alternatively, an installable web app can bundle all its content into an archive that users download when they install the app; this is a packaged app."

Also Chrome apps have an authentication and billing API that lets developers charge per access, by time or per install. This means apps don't have to do their own authentication or billing, they just use the API.

Apps also blur the line between extensions and websites, see the above link for more info.

TFA's definition of "application" is too narrow (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093908)

There are hundreds of business applications where there is an "exe" or other "application" front end and a database backend. The front end could be called an application, or the entire package together could be called an application. There are hundreds of "web-based applications" and we call them applications. I would challenge the idea that Chromes "apps" are not apps. They are apps, just "web based apps."

The definition of application has always been changing. This is nothing new. This is merely taking the lexicon a step further and bringing it into the mainstream. If you were in an iPhone, and asked "What does that app do?" no one is going to have a problem figuring out what you mean. If you were in Chrome and asked "do you have this app?" again, no one is going to have a problem figuring out what you mean. The language isn't being severely diluted.

The definition of "application" has been changing since day 1. The execution of an application is still well understood by the people who create them, and the average end user doesn't care because they can get their point across simply. This is an example of a bunch of old grumpy programmers hating people who are not programmers telling them what's an "app" and what's not. That and they hate that Apple in a very "cutesy" way popularized apps by shortening the name and making it a little less geeky. "Application" has always included a broad category of computer programs that you enter data, and receive output. It's never limited the word to the structure of the code.

Re:TFA's definition of "application" is too narrow (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094028)

This is an example of a bunch of old grumpy programmers hating people who are not programmers telling them what's an "app" and what's not. That and they hate that Apple in a very "cutesy" way popularized apps by shortening the name and making it a little less geeky.

It is referring to programs by their extension, how is that less geeky? OS X applications are .app bundles. It is no less geeky than referring to an exe.

Does it really matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093926)

With HTML5 features, a web page can be far more than just a news feed. One of the base apps, entangle I think, is pretty much a full featured puzzle game. Leaderboards, score tracking, audio, the works. It smacks of one of those ten dollar casual puzzle games that PopCap sells, which says a lot for a "simple" web page.

I also seem to remember someone created a replica of Quake in a similar manner.

Just because it looks like a normal web document doesn't mean it isn't more than just that.

Not even close to the most abused word (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093960)

"App" has a long way to go to beat "screen saver" for most abused tech word. Screen saver also wins in that it now commonly means the thing it was originally created to counteract - Static images which would burn in on CRT monitors.
This is like the term "AIDS Vaccine" commonly being used to describe the HIV virus.

They are apps (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093962)

Today's websites are apps. They are complicated, bug-infested programs, with ugly UI and high latency. Just like Windows.

The definition is still valid (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093984)

Until the iPhone came along, the word 'application' largely meant a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac.

Really? So something installed on, say, Amiga was not an "application"?

On the other hand, if you drop the "PC or Mac" part, the definition is still perfectly valid for iOS (and Android etc) apps. In fact, if anything, they're even more self-contained on average than your usual PC app, while all other marks are still there.

ow, Google's pushing the boundaries of the 'app' definition even further. Google Chrome users will have seen a new addition to their browser recently: the Chrome Web Store. Here, you'll find dozens of 'apps' to install and run directly from a handy icon on the browser's home screen. Except, these aren't 'apps' at all. They're websites.

Are they software? Yes (it doesn't magically become something else just because you lay out UI using HTML/CSS and code the backend using JS).

Do they solve some specific problem? Yes.

Are they self-contained? Yes.

Can they run offline (which is effectively equivalent to being "installed")? Yes.

They are applications.

CPU (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35094022)

I really love it when my, mom, doctor, boss, etc... calls a computer a CPU.
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