Word of the Day: Brownfield

#WOTD (1)

Brownfield is a construction term that describes previously developed land. In the IT industry, it refers to previously developed software. Brownfield software development is software that is built from an existing program. It may be contrasted with “greenfield” development, which involves creating a software program from scratch.

Since the software industry has been around for several decades, the vast majority of software development is brownfield. For example, each new version of Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word is developed as a brownfield project. Even modern video games, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and StarCraft 2, are created from earlier versions of the software.

Brownfield vs Greenfield

Brownfield software development has many advantages over greenfield projects. For instance, whenever a software company releases an update to a program, they have a good idea of the market for the software. They also know what features and style of interface their users expect. Adding new features and interface enhancements is less time consuming than developing a program from scratch. Therefore, brownfield development is less costly and involves less risk than greenfield development.

– definition from TechTerms


Word of the Day: Greenfield

Greenfield is a term from the construction industry that refers to undeveloped land. In the IT world, greenfield describes a software project that is developed from scratch rather than built from an existing program. It is often contrasted with “brownfield,” which describes software built from an existing program.

Greenfield software development is generally more flexible than brownfield development since a new program does not need to fit a specific mold. For example, a greenfield word processor might provide a completely new user interface and may have features not available in any previous program. Additionally, greenfield software does not need to be backwards compatible with older versions of a program. There is no need to support legacy file formats or include previous features to meet end user expectations.

While greenfield projects are open ended, developing software from scratch involves inherent risk. For example, there may not be as large of a market for a program as the developer expects. The interface may not be well-received and may need to be altered or redesigned to be more user-friendly. It make take several updates before a greenfield application is successful in the marketplace. Of course, greenfield programs that succeed often benefit from being a unique option for users until similar applications are developed.

NOTE: The vast majority of software development is brownfield, since most major software releases are updates to existing programs. However, there has been a recent surge in greenfield development thanks to the new market of mobile apps.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: Pseudocode

#WOTD (7)

Most software programs are developed using a programming language, like C++ or Java. These languages have a specific syntax that must be adhered to when writing program’s source code. Pseudocode, on the other hand, is not a programming language, but simply an informal way of describing a program. It does not require strict syntax, but instead serves as a general representation of a program’s functions.

Since each programming language uses a unique syntax structure, understanding the code of multiple languages can be difficult. Pseudocode remedies this problem by using conventional syntax and basic english phrases that are universally understood. For example, a line of PHP code may read:if ($i < 10) { i++; }

This could be written in pseudocode as:if i is less than 10, increment i by 1.

By describing a program in pseudocode, programmers of all types of languages can understand the function of a program.

Pseudocode is an informal language, so it is mainly used for creating an outline or a rough draft of a program. Because it is not an actual programming language, pseudocode cannot be compiled into an executable program. Therefore, pseudocode must be converted into a specific programming language if it is to become an usable application.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: Hotfix

#WOTD (6)

A hotfix is a software update designed to fix a bug or security hole in a program. Unlike typical version updates, hotfixes are urgently developed and released as soon as possible to limit the effects of the software issue. They are often released between incremental version updates.

You may receive a hotfix notification by email or as an alert in the program itself. It may be labeled as a “critical update” or “security update.” Some applications allow you to update the software by simply clicking Update in the program. Other applications may require you to download the hotfix package and run the update as an executable file.

It is typically advisable to run a hotfix update as soon as possible to avoid problems with the software. However, any time you receive a hotfix notification, make sure it is legitimate and from the developer of the software before agreeing to install it. In most cases, you can check the software company’s website to view the update history and release notes for the program.

NOTE: Since hotfixes are designed to fix a specific issue, the size of a hotfix is typically small. For this reason, a hotfix may also be called a patch, since it “patches” the bug or security hole.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: Daemon

#WOTD (5)

The word “daemon” actually comes from the Greek language, meaning an “inner or attendant spirit” (Oxford American Dictionary). This is a fitting name, as a computer daemon is a constantly running program that triggers actions when it receives certain input.

For example, a printer daemon spools information to a printer when a user decides to print a document. A daemon running on a mail server routes incoming mail to the appropriate mailboxes. Web servers use an “HTTPD” daemon that sends data to users when they access Web pages. While daemons were first used by the Unix operating system, they have also been incorporated into Mac OS X, which is Unix-based.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: Skyscraper

#WOTD (4)

While not as common as the banner ad, the skyscraper is another prevalent form of Web advertising. Skyscraper ads, which are tall and narrow, get their name from the tall buildings you often see in big cities. They are typically placed to the left or right of the main content on the page, which allows all or part of the ad to be visible even as the user scrolls down the window.

Skyscraper ads come in two standard sizes — 120 pixels wide by 600 pixels high (120×600) and 160 pixels wide by 600 pixels high (160×600). They can contain text advertisements, images, or animations. When users click on a skyscraper ad, they are redirected to the advertiser’s website.

– definition from TechTerms

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