Forum OpenACS Q&A: Terminology questions

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Posted by Joel Aufrecht on
I want to document and lay to rest these terms which confuse me on a daily basis:
  • Package
  • Instance
  • Install (verb)
  • package id
  • Mount (verb)
  • Alias
  • Module
  • Application
  • Service
  • package-aware
  • Now I present all of the concepts, so that you can play at matching the words to the concepts:
    • A Concept1 is a collection of files in a specified format, including web pages, database creation and upgrade, translation, etc. It is distributed as a zipped tarball or through a CVS checkout.
    • Concept2 is the act of putting a Concept1 onto your computer in a place where OpenACS is aware of its existence (but nothing more)
    • Concept3 is the act of putting a Concept1 into a running OpenACS site, so that the data model is created and functions are registered.
    • Concept4 is a concept1 that has been concept3'd.
    • Concept5 is the ACS object id of a concept4.
    • Concept6 is the act of associating a concept4 with a specific URI within an OpenACS website.
    • concept7 is a concept4 that has been concept6'd.
    • Concept8 is the ACS object ID of a concept7.
    • Concept9 is a second concept7, with the same concept5 as the first, at a different URI, but with the same data
    • Concept10 is a third concept7, with the same concept5 as the first and second, a different URI than either, and different data than either.
    • concept11 is the term for concept1's that support having a concept10
    • concept12 is the term for concept1's that don't support having a concept10
    • Okay, that ought to be enough for now.
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2: Re: Terminology questions (response to 1)
Posted by Torben Brosten on
Hi Joel,

I'm glad you're addressing this. I thought I was the only one dealing with this. Documentation needs consistent use of terminology to be really concise and practical.

Here's my perspective's best fit using above framework:

package = concept 1
instance = concept 4
install = concept 2 (includes concept 3 for service packages)
package_id = concept 5
mount = concept 6 (includes concept 3 for application packages)
alias = concept 9
module = a procedure or set of procedures external to openacs (a guess)
application = concept 7 and 10
service = concept 7 and 12
package aware = concept 11

Depending on how these concepts are mapped, concept11 and concept12 could create another level of ambiguity.

A "service" is a package that does not get mounted, but is package-aware, essentially providing services to other packages.

An "application" is a package that gets mounted, but is not (other) package-aware by default, unless it provides service(s) to other packages.

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3: Re: Terminology questions (response to 1)
Posted by Peter Marklund on
1) Package
2) Copying package onto server
3) Installing a package
4) An installed package
5) An installed package doesn't have an ACS object id. It is not an ACS package, rather it is a record in apm_package_types identified by package_key.
6) Instantiating and mounting a package.
7) Mounted package instance
8) Package ID (package_id)
9) The same package instance mounted at a different URL (unusual).
10) A different package instance mounted at a different URL.
11) Mountable package
12) Non-mountable package.