Server vs. server?

Subject: Server vs. server?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000 12:43:16 -0500

John Bell must describe several software products designated as
<<..."servers". These products are meant to be installed on computers
designated as servers. Thus in my install instructions I have to write such
nonsense as "load the <product name> server on a server"... I tried to use
the terms "server software" and "computer" to distinguish between the two
entities. Both the product management folks and the engineers resisted

I'd vote with your solution as my first cut at the problem, but since they
powers that be don't like it, additional thought is required. To me,
defining the type of server may actually be attacking the wrong problem: the
real problem is likely that you really don't need to keep belaboring the
point that the software is a server. Once you've defined this (to provide
context for the reader), simply refer to the software by its own name
thereafter. (That ought to keep the marketing geeks happy.) Nobody refers to
"the Word 97 text processing and formatting and mangling software", we just
say "that damned Word". <g> The same logic applies to servers, including
assumptions about their likely spiritual status.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."--Goethe

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