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    Fully Buzzword Enabled

    Bob Balaban  August 30 2008
    Greetings, Geeks!

    I think I am the one that invented that phrase, and I think it was back in 1999. My colleage Karen Hobert and I were touring around, doing 3-day workshops on advanced Notes/Domino development. One of the topics I presented a couple of hours worth of material on was J2EE (Java 2, Enterprise Edition, the stuff of which WebSphere Application Server and other platforms are made). Or, it might not have been until 2002, when I started speaking at Lotusphere again, and did some presentations on "Java for LotusScript Developers" and "Integrating Domino and WebSphere".

    In any case, the term emerged spontaneously after reciting a long list of technology features, as in: "It's got platform-portability, multi-threading, scalability and code reusability. It's object-oriented, powerful AND easy to use, network-aware, MIME compliant and stream oriented. It won't drive you to work, but it might drive you to drink. It's obviously fully buzzword enabled."

    Since then, I've used it many times. I've even started to see it (or one of its common variants, such as "fully buzzword compliant") used by others out in the blog-o-sphere.

    What does it mean? In essence, it's really an ironic comment on the tendency of technology marketers to hype product using buzzwords. I've always been a bit annoyed by the (now rather common) practice of reducing the capabilities of a complex technology down to a handful of technical terms that someone thinks has currency, or that someone thinks adds "cool" to a product, so that it will fit on the top half of a 1-page marketing brochure. I understand the desire to describe in simple terms what a product *IS* (if you can, it tends to sell better), but the buzzwords don't really tell you anything about what something *does*.

    It seems to be all about the hype, not about the thing being hyped. Maybe that's why I'm an engineer, not a sales guy.

    Does anyone want to refute my claim of invention? If so, let's hear about it!

    Here's another one I'm pretty sure I invented:

    It was only about 15 minutes after Iris first added Java language capabilities (primarily for Agents) in Notes 4.6 (Autumn, 1997) that people started saying, "LotusScript is dead". Well, HAH! (that was me, having the last laugh, because it's more than 10 years later now, and LotusScript is still alive and well. At least for a little while longer...). Java, at the time, also suffered from being over-hyped. It was going to take over the world, it was the stuff that the UI of the future would be made of, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

    All the hype actually got in the way of talking about Java as a bit of useful technology -- lots of developers were afraid of it (some still are). So, in order to attempt to defuse that, I started referring to Java this way:

           "Java is a tool, not a religion"

    Followed by:

           "If it solves more problems than it creates, use it. Otherwise, don't"

    Powerful, AND easy to use!
    Image:Fully Buzzword Enabled         (My friend Amy Blumenfield first gave me this animated GIF, several years ago. It makes me smile)

    (Need expert application development architecture/coding help? Contact me at: bbalaban,
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