When a "shim" is not a "shim"?

Subject: When a "shim" is not a "shim"?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 10:15:20 -0400

Kevin wonders: <<... a company puts out a product that includes software
libraries that work just dandy on several operating
systems and variants. Then, they expand support to a couple of previously
unsupported variants. To do so, the company finds
that they need to make some straightforward, yet far-reaching changes to
their libraries. In the short term, they opt instead
to create an add-on or shim library that handles the differences peculiar to
the new OS variants, without disturbing the stable
and tested performance of the main libraries on all the other OS variants.
They'll stick with this format for the next point-release or
three, then roll the shim functionality into the main library stream for the
full-integer release. Problem is that nobody at this (ahem) unnamed company
likes the term "shim".>>

Shim is a bad choice to describe this given the common meaning of the word
in English, but your question contains the answer: if these are "add ons",
call it the "add on" library. Apple, not being one to accept the simple
solution, used to call their hardware-specific software plug-ins "enablers",
so that might be a good solution too: "the KevinOS enabler", for example.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my
telephone."--Bjarne Stronstrup (originator of C++ programming language)

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