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Acronym Anarchy: Java Evolutions

  • By Bradley L. Jones
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Yes, this is the sequel to my previous article, Acronym Anarchy. In the previous article I contended that acronyms and abbreviations had gotten out of hand. In that article I presented a challenge. I provided a list of 100 acronyms and abbreviations being used by just one company—Microsoft. While this was listed was presented as an example of how the shortening of real words has gotten out of hand, it was also provided as a challenge for you to see how many you knew.

The list was not presented as a snub against Microsoft; rather it was against all the of those in the technology industry that are creating these "shortcut terms". At the reqest of a number of people, I am providing a second list — A sequel to the first.

With Java being the other big development area, I thought it worth seeing how difficult it would be to come up with another 100 terms; however, this time everything will center on Java and Sun's web site.

The results are in. The insanity is definitely within the Java community too! As such, I'm once again forced to say that words are not the enemy. Lower case is not bad. Multiple syllables can be used! The concept of "easily identifiable terms" has to be rekindled! Like a bad movie sequel, the evolution towards more and more abbreviations has to be stopped!

Before presenting the list, let me present a few statements that caught my attention. I offer these statements as proof as to why this madness has to stop. These abbreviations in these sentences do nothing but obfuscate the message being delivered:

  • "The PMO then closes the EG"
  • "At this point the PMO recommends you begin with the scheduling and planning of your RI and TCK."
  • "JAINTM TCAP JSR is a proposed Java specification for the TCAP layer".
  • "Because JAIN TCAP is based on ITU specifications, the API can be readily adopted in the European market."

Are these abbreviations a secret code, do we need to send in three box tops to Sun to get the secret decoder ring, or — like a bad movie sequel — is it assumed that we are aleady acronym gurus and thus automatically know what it all means?

It is an overuse of abbreviations and acronyms. It is like a secret handshake. Often, you will need to find a decoder in order to understand what is being said.

Luck is with you today. I've provided help. If you are going to be working with Java or Sun, then the following table contains 100 acronyms for you. These are all acronyms related to Java and Java technologies. Like the list in my last article, I challenge you to see how many you can expand out. Once you've given this a try, check the following page of this article where you'll find the list of each item expanded.

If you can get 75 of the 100, then you know your acronyms. Be aware though, while some are quite easy (J2EE), others are not! If you can get 90, then you are good. The question is, are you a Java Acronym Guru? Can you get all 100?

The list:


As I mentioned, these are all related acronyms. They are all acronyms that are used on Sun's web site. With the evolution of Java, it seems like there is a requirement to include even more acronyms. I wonder if Java is really an acronym as well; maybe it stantds for Justifying Another Vexing Acronym!

The following page contains the expanded acronyms and abbreviations in alphabetical order.

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This article was originally published on October 4, 2004

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