About a word - how busy are you?

Subject: About a word - how busy are you?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 11:55:08 -0400

As near as I can tell, "busyness" is a word. Not widely used, since it looks like simple confusion with "business".

We have a hardware-and-software product in the cryptography and data security industry.

A developer has called a customer-requested feature a "busyness" counter.

It's reminiscent of the CPU Usage and Memory Usage that you see at the left-hand side of the "Performance" tab window in Windows Task Manager... the instantaneous indications, not the history graphs. Also, this is command-line-only. Numbers are spit out every few seconds. No graphs, unless customer makes their own by importing the counter output file into (say) Excel.

Both the developer and PLM dislike "Usage counter" (or just Usage), because of the need to distance the measured entity from "performance" - given that Microsoft has already embedded the association in so many (Windows users) minds.

Performance, in our industry has a real, empirical meaning, and is expressed in standardized RESULT terms. That is, the trailing indicator "performance" is only vaguely and partially related to leading indicator "busyness" or "usage" (or whatever else I could call it).

I looked for some synonyms, and decided that it wouldn't really work to talk about a 'diligence' counter or a 'zeal' counter... :-)

I also tried antonyms for "idleness" and didn't get much joy there.

"Usage" itself, as a starting point, too quickly veers in other synonym directions that don't help here.

Any thoughts?

It's early enough that I could affect the naming of the feature, if I had something better than "busyness". Maybe there isn't.
Developer and PLM are not wedded to that. They are more concerned to not use other terms that would be misleading, and so have landed on this one by default.


- kevin

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