Finally peaking at the master list for the first time, and skimming it. I suddenly realize that im not sure “Platform” has a meaningful definition anymore.
Like it contains the Ximarian/Monodevelop Stack, which is basically a programming language+IDE+set of libraries. It contains whole desktop environments like KDE and Gnome, it contains Operating Systems. It contains Amazon Alexa shenanigans.
Is a platofrm anything with an API now?
Unlike our motley band of knowledge seekers, I don’t think they are particular about their broad categories. Part of the reason to do this is to find a sense of what this culture of git listing is about, and benefit from their curation… but their headings and sections are not very useful, I’ve found.
I opt to use them as rough guides, but to provide our own metadata.
I moved this to a new topic, as it is a much bigger question.
Aside from awesome lists, I’ve got a difficult time using platform consistently across contexts.
For some folks platforms are just really big conceptual buckets that all of a related thing go into. It is a network service, a building, the people that work in said building, their training, their materials, the results… it is all of these things at once.
Whereas most of the time I’m talking about platform, I’m trying to run software on something.
Oh… quick aside!
This seems kinda concrete to me. And kinda jives with what Wikipedia has to say about a computing platform (though not neccisarily a web platform).
A computing platform or digital platform  is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system (OS), even a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it.
Though im wondering how useful of a term it actually is then the longer I think about it. Knowing something IS a platform doesn’t tell you if it’s hardware, software, an operating system, a desktop environment, a browser, a virtual machine, a programming language or a collection of services; any such nonsense.
Going by that relatively solid definition, “platform” is just digital context something can be said to run in. In that sense everything Turing complete can be said to be a platform. Yet I am hesitant to say Conway’s Game of Life is a platform in the same sense that Amazon’s Alexa is a platform.
We seem to USE the word for much more than what it’s strict deffinition implies.
I bet the same way q doesn’t make sense after a while, if we think kinda hard, Life becomes a platform that runs Alexa…
Have a mentioned I’ve been reading a lot of Frank Herbert’s weird fiction…
Moving forward it might be easier, cognitively, to qualify “platform”. In our/my struggles to create database entries for things, rather than having one huge wikidata type thing describing concepts and objects, I’d focus on datasets that answer specific questions I have (with the added benefit that it is highly reusable).
Oh yeah… Search results for "platform" - Wikidata
Now, to answer specific questions, I can define what a platform means for particular data/contexts.
In my console games directory, platform will mean something slightly different from my jabber server directory, for instance. Clever humans with smart familiars will be able to infer across contexts.
In my experience people use platform beyond the strict definition to place themselves or others in a social group. Saying “I’m a developer working on the X platform” can be a useful shorthand for:
- The kinds of technologies you’re most familiar with
- The kinds of problems you’re professionally concerned with
- What sort of blogs, personalities, and news websites you follow
- The kinds of in-jokes you’re likely to be able to make and reciprocate
- How educated you are/How much experience you have
- How much you might be getting paid
- How likely people are to have encountered your work in the wild
- What other paraprofessional skills you might have
And so on.
If ya don’t know, now ya know, and it’s delightful: Tetris in Conway’s Game of Life