A

affordance

An affordance is a concept from cognitive science that identifies the potential of an object, that is, what a person can do with it. It is the complement of a constraint.

An affordance is a concept from cognitive science that identifies the potential of an object, that is, what a person can do with it. It is the opposite of a constraint.

Has Broader
cognitive science
semiotics
Has Related
constraint
Referenced By
Strong Centers
The Nature of Software

Agile software development

Also known as
Agile
Has Broader
project management
software development
Referenced By
Local Symmetries

application programming interface

An API is, in the most generic sense, a published commitment on the part of a person or business entity to expose certain functionality, behavior, or semantics of an information system under their control. In the sense in which we are more accustomed, an API refers to a specific class of software that implements this functionality on the Web.

Also known as
API
application programming interface
Has Broader
controlled vocabulary
interface
Referenced By
Boundaries

C

C

C is a general-purpose programming language designed by Dennis Ritchie in the early 1970s, which is basically the backbone for everything else.

Has Broader
programming language
Referenced By
Local Symmetries
Positive Space

call graph

A call graph is a statistical representation of code as it is being executed, useful for determining the code's actual behavior. A call graph generally makes use of AST to produce meaningful results.

Has Broader
directed graph
Referenced By
Levels of Scale

cognitive science

Has Broader
science
Has Narrower
affordance
Has Related
linguistics

constraint

In the parlance of design, a constraint is any construct that either inhibits or prohibits certain activity within a given context. Constraints also exist within the process of design itself, such as those of resources like time and money, which often dictate the course of action. The complement of a constraint is called an affordance.

Has Related
affordance
Referenced By
The Nature of Software

context

Referenced By
Levels of Scale
Positive Space

controlled vocabulary

A controlled vocabulary can be understood as both a document and a database of valid terms for a particular information domain.

Has Narrower
RDF Vocabulary
application programming interface

cybertext

Cybertext is a generalization of the concept of hypertext to include non-deterministic processes.

Has Narrower
hypertext
Has Related
dense hypermedia

D

data format

A data (or file format, or serialization format) is a set of rules for turning a data structure into a sequence of bytes which can be stored or transported. The term is also used when speaking about instances of such serializations.

Also known as
content type
media type
Has Broader
data interchange
Has Narrower
Extensible Markup Language
Hypertext Markup Language
programming language

data interchange

Data interchange is the transmission of data across information system boundaries in a manner that keeps the meaning of the data intact.

Has Narrower
Resource Description Framework
data format

database

A database is any persistent storage facility for digital information. Databases can be embedded in applications, or be stand-alone online resources accessed over a network. File systems are a form of database, as are relational (SQL) databases and (RDF or otherwise) graph stores.

Has Broader
information infrastructure
Has Narrower
SQL

dense hypermedia

Dense Hypermedia is a style of Hypermedia where the entities are small, and the links that connect them together are numerous. Contrast this with ordinary Hypermedia, where entities are large and the links are sparse. A benefit of Dense Hypermedia is the ability to communicate complex concepts, structures, and relationships between concepts and structures.

Has Broader
hypermedia
Has Related
cybertext
Referenced By
Positive Space

Description of a Project

DOAP is an RDF vocabulary for expressing mainly open-source software projects.

Also known as
DOAP
Has Broader
RDF Vocabulary
Referenced By
Positive Space

development

Has Broader
process
Has Narrower
software development

digital media

Has Narrower
software

directed graph

A directed graph is a mathematical object consisting of a set of nodes and a set of ordered pairs that connect the nodes together. Directed graphs are absolutely everywhere in computing.

Has Narrower
call graph

E

Extensible Markup Language

XML, while scorned and vilified by contemporary Web developers, is still a usable standard framework for expressing ordered-tree data structures.

Also known as
XML
Has Broader
data format
open data standard
Has Narrower
SVG

F

Fifteen Properties

The Fifteen Fundamental Properties/Transformations are a conceptual framework invented by Christopher Alexander and described at length in The Nature of Order. They describe certain empirically observable geometric properties in (built) space that are associated with Alexander's conceptualizations of "wholeness" and "life". They also represent structure-preserving transformations that take a region of space from a state of the given geometric property being weakly-expressed to being expressed more strongly.

Also known as
15 fundamental geometric properties
15 fundamental properties
15 geometric properties
15 properties
fifteen fundamental geometric properties
fifteen fundamental properties
fifteen geometric properties
Has Narrower
Levels of Scale
Referenced By
Local Symmetries
The Nature of Software

fitness variable

In the proposed process model, a fitness variable is an affirmative statement derived from evidence gathered in the context, which is construed as a statement of fact. It is a tighter statement than a requirement insofar as it has specific constraints on its language and scope.

Has Broader
post-industrial process model
Referenced By
Levels of Scale

form

In the proposed process model, the form is the part of the composition that complements the context —​ it is ultimately what the client seeks to acquire and what the architect seeks to define. The form also refers to the part of the project scaffold that is home to successive incarnations of what is to become the finished product, including the product itself.

Has Broader
post-industrial process model
Referenced By
Levels of Scale
Positive Space

H

hypermedia

Hypermedia is a generalization of the concept of hypertext, to include audiovisual content.

Has Narrower
dense hypermedia
hypertext
Has Related
information infrastructure

hypertext

Hypertext is a style of text where segments of content are connected together by links.

Has Broader
cybertext
hypermedia
Has Narrower
Hypertext Markup Language

Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is, of course, the lingua franca of the Web.

Also known as
HTML
Has Broader
data format
hypertext
open data standard
Referenced By
Boundaries

I

identifier

In information systems, an identifier is a symbol, word, or token that is associated with an information resource, that (ideally) uniquely identifies it.

Also known as
ID
Has Narrower
Uniform Resource Identifier
Universally Unique Identifier

information infrastructure

Information infrastructure is the information system that helps a person or organization manage and organize its stocks and flows of information. As with any information system, the information is more significant than whatever technology is used to manipulate it.

Has Broader
information system
Has Narrower
database
Has Related
hypermedia

information system

An information system can be understood as a system (a whole made of mutually-interacting parts) for storing, operating over, and moving information. While specific information technologies may influence the behavior of the system, how the information system does what it does is secondary to what it does.

Has Narrower
information infrastructure

interface

An interface can be understood as a junction between two or more systems or media. Interfaces are closely related to protocols, with a possible distinction that an interface is biased toward space, while a protocol is biased toward time.

Has Narrower
application programming interface
user interface

isomorphism

An isomorphism can be understood as a perfect, 1:1 relation between two sets, such that every element in one set has exactly one counterpart in the other. In computing, an isomorphism is the pair of operations that transform the elements from one set to the other. For example, the "zip" and "unzip" algorithms, together, form an isomorphism.

Also known as
bijective function
isomorphic
lossless transformation
structure-preserving transformation
Has Related
pure function
Referenced By
Local Symmetries
Positive Space

L

Levels of Scale

Levels of Scale are one of the fifteen fundamental properties and transformations Christopher Alexander described in his magnum opus, The Nature of Order.

Has Broader
Fifteen Properties
Has Related
specificity gradient
Referenced By
Boundaries
Good Shape
Levels of Scale
Positive Space
Strong Centers

linguistics

Has Broader
social science
Has Narrower
semiotics
Has Related
cognitive science

M

machine-actionable

When a piece of content is machine-actionable (computable), it means that either is or contains formal syntax and semantics that can be directly accessed by a computer program without any additional processing or interpretation.

Also known as
computability
computable
machine-actionability
Has Broader
machine-readable
Referenced By
Positive Space

machine-readable

All digital data segments are in principle machine-readable, the question is to what extent can the machine do anything meaningful with it. A CSV file, for example, is machine-readable such that it can be read into a spreadsheet program, but contains no embedded semantics beyond the fact that the lines signify rows in a grid, and the commas signify columns. In other words, it can be displayed, but the actual contents of the CSV are meaningless without some outside cue.

Also known as
machine-readability
Has Narrower
machine-actionable

management

Has Broader
process
Has Narrower
project management

monad

Referenced By
Levels of Scale
Local Symmetries

N

nearly-decomposable system

A nearly-decomposable system (Simon 1969) is one whose network of components, and the interactions between them, are almost sparse enough—but not quite—for the system to be decomposable into a strict hierarchy of parts. This means that work on or around the system can be mostly partitioned, but there may be some surprises.

Also known as
near-decomposable system
Referenced By
Levels of Scale
See Also

O

open data standard

An open data standard is a specification for a content type or network protocol that has the principal characteristic that you don't have to pay to use or even see it. Specificatons for open data standards are therefore freely available and almost always online.

Has Narrower
Extensible Markup Language
Hypertext Markup Language
RDF Vocabulary
Resource Description Framework
Has Related
Resource Description Framework

P

pattern

A pattern (of software development) is a repeatable strategy or tactic for solving particular classes of well-defined problems. A pattern is more abstract than a software module. Whereas a module is implemented in a particular language and exposes functionality, patterns can be implemented in any language and govern behaviour.

Referenced By
Local Symmetries

PHP

PHP is a popular interpreted programming language for making web pages.

Also known as
PHP
Has Broader
programming language
software development
Referenced By
Positive Space

post-industrial

Post-industrial activity (economic or otherwise) is that which is concerned chiefly with organizing, disseminating, and manipulating information, in contrast to industrial activity which is concerned with doing the same with matter.

Has Narrower
post-industrial process model

post-industrial process model

Once upon a time I considered modelling a process for working with strictly post-industrial (i.e. symbol-oriented) media.

Has Broader
post-industrial
Has Narrower
fitness variable
form

process

Has Narrower
development
management
project

programming language

A programming language is a formal language in which software is written.

Has Broader
data format
Has Narrower
C
PHP
R
SQL

project

Has Broader
process
Has Narrower
project management

project management

Has Broader
management
project
Has Narrower
Agile software development

pure function

A pure function—a necessary distinction in computing, as in mathematics, a function is just a relation, and inherently “pure”—is a procedure that takes an input and returns a value without causing any side effects. This makes them very predictable and well-behaved development targets. Pure functions, like their mathematical counterparts, are therefore composable.

Also known as
function
Has Broader
subroutine
Has Related
isomorphism
Referenced By
Local Symmetries
Positive Space

R

R

R is both a language and programming environment designed for statistical computing.

Has Broader
programming language
Referenced By
Positive Space

RDF Vocabulary

An RDF vocabulary is a set of terms specifying classes of resources, properties those resources exhibit, and value ranges for those properties. An RDF vocabulary can either be represented in RDF Schema or OWL (Web Ontology Language), which has additional features.

Also known as
RDF vocabulary
Has Broader
Resource Description Framework
controlled vocabulary
open data standard
Has Narrower
Description of a Project

RDFa

RDFa (RDF in Attributes) describes a set of markup attributes that carry RDF data, which can be embedded in HTML or an XML host language. This enables the semantic data to piggyback on the markup structure and often reuse the same content.

Has Broader
Resource Description Framework
Referenced By
Boundaries

Resource Description Framework

RDF is a W3C open standard framework for the encoding of data semantics. RDF uses URIs to uniquely identify information resources and the semantic relations between them. It is important to understand that RDF is not a syntax; there are many syntaxes available that will encode RDF.

Also known as
RDF
Has Broader
data interchange
open data standard
Has Narrower
RDF Vocabulary
RDFa
Has Related
Uniform Resource Identifier
open data standard
See Also

S

science

Has Narrower
cognitive science
social science

semiotics

Semiotics is the study of signs.

Has Broader
linguistics
Has Narrower
affordance

social science

Has Broader
science
Has Narrower
linguistics

software

Has Broader
digital media
Has Narrower
software development

software development

Has Broader
development
software
Has Narrower
Agile software development

software development

The making of software, which I trust the audience is familiar with.

Has Narrower
PHP
subroutine
user interface

specificity gradient

A specificity gradient is the idea that a conceptual structure can be organized by increasing detail and specificity, from plain language to highly specialized concepts, until they can ultimately be operated over by a computer.

Has Related
Levels of Scale
Referenced By
Levels of Scale
See Also

SQL

Structured Query Language is a standardized fourth-generation programming language for accessing and manipulating relational databases.

Has Broader
database
programming language
Referenced By
Local Symmetries
Positive Space

state (computing)

In computing, state can be understood as the sum total of all the information needed to reconstruct a process at a particular instant. This in principle makes state an observable, describable, quantifiable object, and potentially an addressable information resource in its own right.

Also known as
representational state
state
Referenced By
Local Symmetries

subroutine

In programming, a subroutine is a procedure that has been demarcated from the rest of the program somehow, often (but not exclusively) by giving it a name.

Has Broader
software development
Has Narrower
pure function

SVG

Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML vocabulary for doing what it says on the tin.

Also known as
Scalable Vector Graphics
Has Broader
Extensible Markup Language
Referenced By
Boundaries

U

Uniform Resource Identifier

A uniform resource identifier is exactly what the name says: an identifier (text symbol) for (information, chiefly) resources which is (syntactically) uniform.

Also known as
URI
Uniform Resource Identifier
Has Broader
identifier
Has Narrower
Uniform Resource Locator
Has Related
Resource Description Framework
Referenced By
Boundaries

Uniform Resource Locator

A uniform resource locator is a subset of URI which specifies a protocol-specific network resource which can be de-referenced, that is to say accessed.

Also known as
URL
Uniform Resource Locator
Has Broader
Uniform Resource Identifier
Referenced By
Local Symmetries
Positive Space

Universally Unique Identifier

The UUID is a 128-(actually 122, after you remove the control bits)-bit identifier that is particularly useful for naming things when you don't want to spend time coming up with a name for them. By various mechanisms, not the least of which being their size, UUIDs are all but guaranteed to be unique. Hence the name.

Also known as
UUID
Universally Unique Identifier
Has Broader
identifier
Referenced By
Strong Centers

user experience design

UX design, erstwhile called interaction design, is the strategic discipline of crafting the process of using a (often but not exclusively software) product. It is closely related to information architecture and content strategy.

Has Narrower
user interface

user interface

A user interface is an interface that comes in direct contact with a human.

Also known as
UI
user interface
Has Broader
interface
software development
user experience design
Referenced By
Local Symmetries