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From Stanley Bradbury <Stan.Bradb...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Terminology question - are dblook, ij, and sysinfo Tools or Utilties?
Date Fri, 08 Jun 2007 22:49:34 GMT
Laura Stewart wrote:
> On 6/8/07, Kim Haase <Camilla.Haase@sun.com> wrote:
>> In my experience, "tool" and "utility" are synonyms and can be used
>> interchangeably. Of course, if we follow the elementary tech writing
>> rule "Always use the same word to mean the same thing," we ought to
>> choose one of them and use it consistently, but that may be too much to
>> ask in community-generated docs. The merger of the GS and WWD books does
>> give you a chance to do it right for these, though!
>> Which you use I think depends on whether you prefer Anglo-Saxon
>> monosyllables or Latinate polysyllables.
>> HTH,
>> Kim
> Since we have an entire guide "Derby Tools and Utilities Guide"
> devoted to these, it seems to me someone, somewhere felt that there
> was a difference for Derby. I have seen them used interchangably too
> (and don't have a preference since I can claim heritage from both the
> Anglo-Saxons and Latins :-) but we should be consistent and use 1
> term.
> Since we are so close to the release candidate, I am going to just
> leave things as they are and open a separate JIRA issue for changing
> this and making it consistent in the Derby docs.  I just need some
> feedback from derby-dev before I open the issue.
> I'm hoping that someone will provide me with a rational for each term :-)
> Laura
>> Laura Stewart wrote:
>> > I'm trying to be accurate in the Derby documentation when discussing
>> > dblook, ij, and sysinfo.
>> >
>> > Are these "tools" or "utilities"?  Is there a difference between a
>> > "tool" and a "utility"?
>> >
>> > Should one term apply to all of these or should we use different terms
>> > depending on what it does?  For example, one of these simply dumps
>> > info to the screen (sysinfo). Is that different than opening up a mini
>> > application (ij)?
>> >
>> > I'd appreciate your options on the correct term to use to describe
>> > each of these.
>> >
I wouldn't worry about this for the 10.3 release but here is my two-cents. 

I think of a TOOL as something with broad functionality that you 
interact with and can be used, most times, to accomplish a variety of 
things.  Hence I think of IJ as a tool because it allows you to do any 
number of things within the database.  This seems consistent with the 
Dictionary definition of:   "something (as an instrument or apparatus) 
used in performing an operation"

I think of a UTILITY as something you have little interaction with but 
performs a task or operation, often providing information or simplifying 
a specific task.  Since SYSINFO and DBLOOK are executed by issuing a 
single command and then they do-what-they-do then stop (no interaction) 
I think of them as Utilities.  This kind of fits what the dictionary 
says:  "a program or routine designed to perform or facilitate 
especially routine operations (as copying files or editing text) on a 


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