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 a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
Slashdot is a social news website that billed itself as "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters", it features news stories on science and politics that are submitted and evaluated by site users and editors. Each story has a comments section attached to it; the website was founded in 1997 by Hope College students Rob Malda known as "CmdrTaco", classmate Jeff Bates known as "Hemos". In 2012, they sold it to DHI Group, Inc.. In January 2016, BizX acquired Slashdot Media, including SourceForge. Summaries of stories and links to news articles are submitted by Slashdot's own users, each story becomes the topic of a threaded discussion among users. Discussion is moderated by a user-based moderation system. Randomly selected moderators are assigned points. Moderation applies either −1 or +1 to the current rating, based on whether the comment is perceived as either "normal", "offtopic", "insightful", "redundant", "interesting", or "troll"; the site's comment and moderation system is administered by its own open source content management system, available under the GNU General Public License.
In 2012, Slashdot had around 3.7 million unique visitors per month and received over 5300 comments per day. The site has won more than 20 awards, including People's Voice Awards in 2000 for "Best Community Site" and "Best News Site". At its peak use, a news story posted to the site with a link could overwhelm some smaller or independent sites; this phenomenon was known as the "Slashdot effect". Slashdot was preceded by Rob Malda's personal website "Chips & Dips", launched in October 1997, featured a single "rant" each day about something that interested its author – something to do with Linux or open source software. At the time, Malda was a student at Hope College in Holland, majoring in computer science; the site became "Slashdot" in September 1997 under the slogan "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters," and became a hotspot on the Internet for news and information of interest to computer geeks; the name "Slashdot" came from a somewhat "obnoxious parody of a URL" – when Malda registered the domain, he desired to make a name, "silly and unpronounceable" – try pronouncing out, "h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slashdot-dot-org".
By June 1998, the site was seeing as many as 100,000 page views per day and advertisers began to take notice. Slashdot was co-founded by Jeff Bates. By December 1998, Slashdot had net revenues of $18,000, yet its Internet profile was higher, revenues were expected to increase. On June 29, 1999, the site was sold to Linux megasite Andover.net for $1.5 million in cash and $7 million in Andover stock at the Initial public offering price. Part of the deal was contingent upon the continued employment of Malda and Bates and on the achievement of certain "milestones". With the acquisition of Slashdot, Andover.net could now advertise itself as "the leading Linux/Open Source destination on the Internet". Andover.net merged with VA Linux on February 3, 2000, which changed its name to SourceForge, Inc. on May 24, 2007, became Geeknet, Inc. on November 4, 2009. Slashdot's 10,000th article was posted after two and a half years on February 24, 2000, the 100,000th article was posted on December 11, 2009 after 12 years online.
During the first 12 years, the most active story with the most responses posted was the post-2004 US Presidential Election article "Kerry Concedes Election To Bush" with 5,687 posts. This followed the creation of a new article section, politics.slashdot.org, created at the start of the 2004 election on September 7, 2004. Many of the most popular stories are political, with "Strike on Iraq" the second-most-active article and "Barack Obama Wins US Presidency" the third-most-active; the rest of the 10 most active articles are an article announcing the 2005 London bombings, several articles about Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, Saddam Hussein's capture, Fahrenheit 9/11. Articles about Microsoft and its Windows Operating System are popular. A thread posted in 2002 titled "What's Keeping You On Windows?" was the 10th-most-active story, an article about Windows 2000/NT4 source-code leaks the most visited article with more than 680,000 hits. Some controversy erupted on March 9, 2001 after an anonymous user posted the full text of Scientology's "Operating Thetan Level Three" document in a comment attached to a Slashdot article.
The Church of Scientology demanded that Slashdot remove the document under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A week in a long article, Slashdot editors explained their decision to remove the page while providing links and information on how to get the document from other sources. Slashdot Japan is an official offshoot of the US-based Web site; as of January 2010 the site was owned by OSDN-Japan, Inc. and carried some of the US-based Slashdot articles as well as localized stories. An external site, New Media Services, has reported the importance of Online Moderation last December 1, 2011. On Valentine's Day 2002, founder Rob Malda proposed to longtime girlfriend Kathleen Fent using the front page of Slashdot, they were married on December 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Slashdot implemented a paid subscription service on March 1, 2002. Slashdot's subscription model works by allowing users to pay a small fee to be able to view pages without banner ads, starting at a rate of $5 per 1,000 page views – non-subscribers may still view articles and respo
Open-source software is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. Open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration. Open-source software development generates an more diverse scope of design perspective than any company is capable of developing and sustaining long term. A 2008 report by the Standish Group stated that adoption of open-source software models have resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year for consumers. In the early days of computing and developers shared software in order to learn from each other and evolve the field of computing; the open-source notion moved to the way side of commercialization of software in the years 1970-1980. However, academics still developed software collaboratively. For example Donald Knuth in 1979 with the TeX typesetting system or Richard Stallman in 1983 with the GNU operating system.
In 1997, Eric Raymond published The Cathedral and the Bazaar, a reflective analysis of the hacker community and free-software principles. The paper received significant attention in early 1998, was one factor in motivating Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software; this source code subsequently became the basis behind SeaMonkey, Mozilla Firefox and KompoZer. Netscape's act prompted Raymond and others to look into how to bring the Free Software Foundation's free software ideas and perceived benefits to the commercial software industry, they concluded that FSF's social activism was not appealing to companies like Netscape, looked for a way to rebrand the free software movement to emphasize the business potential of sharing and collaborating on software source code. The new term they chose was "open source", soon adopted by Bruce Perens, publisher Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, others; the Open Source Initiative was founded in February 1998 to encourage use of the new term and evangelize open-source principles.
While the Open Source Initiative sought to encourage the use of the new term and evangelize the principles it adhered to, commercial software vendors found themselves threatened by the concept of distributed software and universal access to an application's source code. A Microsoft executive publicly stated in 2001 that "open source is an intellectual property destroyer. I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business." However, while Free and open-source software has played a role outside of the mainstream of private software development, companies as large as Microsoft have begun to develop official open-source presences on the Internet. IBM, Oracle and State Farm are just a few of the companies with a serious public stake in today's competitive open-source market. There has been a significant shift in the corporate philosophy concerning the development of FOSS; the free-software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open-source software as an expression, less ambiguous and more comfortable for the corporate world.
Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open-source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition; the most prominent and popular example is the GNU General Public License, which "allows free distribution under the condition that further developments and applications are put under the same licence", thus free. The open source label came out of a strategy session held on April 7, 1998 in Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator. A group of individuals at the session included Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, Tom Paquin, Jamie Zawinski, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Sameer Parekh, Eric Allman, Greg Olson, Paul Vixie, John Ousterhout, Guido van Rossum, Philip Zimmermann, John Gilmore and Eric S. Raymond, they used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to clarify a potential confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word "free" in English.
Many people claimed that the birth of the Internet, since 1969, started the open-source movement, while others do not distinguish between open-source and free software movements. The Free Software Foun
Ultima Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, released on September 24, 1997, by Origin Systems. Ultima Online is a fantasy role-playing game set in the Ultima universe, it is known for its extensive player versus player combat system. Since its release, it has added eight expansion packs, a booster pack and dozens of free content updates; the release of Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn in 2007 brought a new game engine with upgraded visuals. Ultima Online continued the tradition of previous Ultima games in many ways, but due to advancing technology and the simple fact that it was Origin's first persistent online game, many new game mechanics appeared. Designed as a social and economic experiment, the game had to account for widespread player interaction as well as deal with the tradition of players feeling as if they were the center of attention, as had been the case in single-player games. Ultima Online began with a single world, with specific expansion packs adding additional territory and new worlds.
The second world was the "Lost Lands", with additional land, dungeons and terrain. The third was Trammel; this led the developers to distinguish the original world by making the environment more grim, naming it "Felucca". The two kinds of servers were "normal" servers with both Trammel and Felucca ruleset and "siege" servers with non-consensual PVP and no item insurance. Siege servers support one character slot on an account, limits to ways of traveling and other limits; the worlds in Ultima Online include: Felucca — The original world, which evolved to include dead trees and tombstones to distinguish. It has a harsher rule set. Trammel — Supported a rule set that does not allow non-consensual PVP and additional open land for player housing. Ilshenar — Added dungeons and monsters and evolved to include new land, as well as more than 30 new creatures. Malas — Included a Player versus Player arena and space for 1500 new homes, it featured Dungeon Doom, the then-largest dungeon, two cities: Luna and Umbra.
Malas is a series of islands floating in a starry void and is distinguished by a darker artistic style. Malas was praised for its variety of geographic features. Tokuno — Group of islands based on Feudal Japan. Ter Mur — Land of the Gargoyles; the capital, Ter Mur, features space for player homes. Valley of Eodon - A primitive, prehistoric style land-mass with dinosaurs and giant apes. Ultima Online is the product of Richard Garriott's idea for a fantasy game involving several thousand people who can all play in a shared fantasy world. Prior games allowed hundreds of people to play at the same time, including Habitat, The Realm Online, Neverwinter Nights and Meridian 59. Garriott commented that "it was important to us that Ultima Online be a game with a theme, story, quest - and support larger, grander activity. We don't want it to be just player dominated. Ultima Online will be, I believe, the first completely virtual world for the mass public to go live out alternate lives in." The goal was to offer the player as much freedom as possible.
The initial team was composed of Garriott, Starr Long, Rick Delashmit, Scott Phillips and, a bit Raph Koster, who became the lead designer. Koster wrote public "designer letters" and went by his nickname of Designer Dragon. Koster drew inspiration from prior online games, such as DartMUD; the project started in 1995 and was presented to the public at E3 as "Ultima Online: Shattered Legacy" in May 1996. Origin claimed to have more than 3,000 participants in the preliminary alpha testing; the development cost was much greater than traditional computer games. Ultima Online's initial features included persistent player housing, skill-based character progression, a craft-based and player-driven economy, unrestricted player-versus-player combat. An artificial life engine was supposed to be implemented into the game. A preview announced that ecological events in the game would affect animal behavior creating new adventure possibilities in an organic manner. However, this feature never made it beyond the game's beta stage.
Richard Garriott explained: We thought it was fantastic. We'd spent an enormous amount of effort on it, but what happened was all the players went in and just killed everything. And so, this thing that we'd spent all this time on no-one noticed – – and we just ripped it out of the game, you know, with some sadness. Lord British was Garriot's in-game alter ego, killed during an in-game appearance at Ultima Online's beta test on August 9, 1997. During a server population stress test, a player character known as Rainz cast the "fire field" spell, killing Lord British. Producer Starr Long blamed it on human error: Lord British's character, like others, had been made invulnerable to this kind of attack, but by design the invulnerability did not persist over several game sessions; when the server crashed shortly before the incident, Garriott forgot to reset his invulnerability status. Shortly after, administrators banned Rainz's account from the beta test for exploiting, rather than reporting, bugs.
According to Origin, he was not banned for the assassination but rather for prior complaints against his
GNU General Public License
The GNU General Public License is a widely-used free software license, which guarantees end users the freedom to run, study and modify the software. The license was written by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation for the GNU Project, grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the Free Software Definition; the GPL is a copyleft license, which means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses and the MIT License are widely-used examples. GPL was the first copyleft license for general use; the GPL license family has been one of the most popular software licenses in the free and open-source software domain. Prominent free-software programs licensed under the GPL include the Linux kernel and the GNU Compiler Collection. David A. Wheeler argues that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of Linux-based systems, giving the programmers who contributed to the kernel the assurance that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have to give anything back to the community.
In 2007, the third version of the license was released to address some perceived problems with the second version that were discovered during its long-time usage. To keep the license up to date, the GPL license includes an optional "any version" clause, allowing users to choose between the original terms or the terms in new versions as updated by the FSF. Developers can omit it; the GPL was written by Richard Stallman in 1989, for use with programs released as part of the GNU project. The original GPL was based on a unification of similar licenses used for early versions of GNU Emacs, the GNU Debugger and the GNU C Compiler; these licenses contained similar provisions to the modern GPL, but were specific to each program, rendering them incompatible, despite being the same license. Stallman's goal was to produce one license that could be used for any project, thus making it possible for many projects to share code; the second version of the license, version 2, was released in 1991. Over the following 15 years, members of the free software community became concerned over problems in the GPLv2 license that could let someone exploit GPL-licensed software in ways contrary to the license's intent.
These problems included tivoization, compatibility issues similar to those of the Affero General Public License—and patent deals between Microsoft and distributors of free and open-source software, which some viewed as an attempt to use patents as a weapon against the free software community. Version 3 was developed to attempt to address these concerns and was released on 29 June 2007. Version 1 of the GNU GPL, released on 25 February 1989, prevented what were the two main ways that software distributors restricted the freedoms that define free software; the first problem was that distributors may publish binary files only—executable, but not readable or modifiable by humans. To prevent this, GPLv1 stated that copying and distributing copies or any portion of the program must make the human-readable source code available under the same licensing terms; the second problem was that distributors might add restrictions, either to the license, or by combining the software with other software that had other restrictions on distribution.
The union of two sets of restrictions would apply to the combined work, thus adding unacceptable restrictions. To prevent this, GPLv1 stated that modified versions, as a whole, had to be distributed under the terms in GPLv1. Therefore, software distributed under the terms of GPLv1 could be combined with software under more permissive terms, as this would not change the terms under which the whole could be distributed. However, software distributed under GPLv1 could not be combined with software distributed under a more restrictive license, as this would conflict with the requirement that the whole be distributable under the terms of GPLv1. According to Richard Stallman, the major change in GPLv2 was the "Liberty or Death" clause, as he calls it – Section 7; the section says that licensees may distribute a GPL-covered work only if they can satisfy all of the license's obligations, despite any other legal obligations they might have. In other words, the obligations of the license may not be severed due to conflicting obligations.
This provision is intended to discourage any party from using a patent infringement claim or other litigation to impair users' freedom under the license. By 1990, it was becoming apparent that a less restrictive license would be strategically useful for the C library and for software libraries that did the job of existing proprietary ones; the version numbers diverged in 1999 when version 2.1 of the LGPL was released, which renamed it the GNU Lesser General Public License to reflect its place in the philosophy. Most "GPLv2 or any version" is stated by users of the license, to allow upgrading to GPLv3. In late 2005, the Free Software Foundation announced work on version 3 of the GPL. On 16 January 2006, the first "discussion draft" of GPLv3 was published, the public consultation began; the public consultation was planned for ni
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world. As in all RPGs, the player assumes the role of a character and takes control over many of that character's actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player online RPGs by the number of players able to interact together, by the game's persistent world, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is offline and away from the game. MMORPGs are played throughout the world. Worldwide revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005, Western revenues exceeded a billion dollars in 2006. In 2008, the spending on subscription MMORPGs by consumers in North America and Europe grew to $1.4 billion. World of Warcraft, a popular MMORPG, has over 10 million subscribers as of November 2014. World of Warcraft's total revenue was $1.04 billion US dollars in 2014.
Star Wars: The Old Republic, released in 2011, became the world's'Fastest-Growing MMOG Ever' after gaining more than 1 million subscribers within the first three days of its launch. Although modern MMORPGs sometimes differ from their predecessors, many of them share the same basic characteristics; these include several common features: persistent game environment, some form of level progression, social interaction within the game, in-game culture, system architecture, membership in a group, character customization. The majority of popular MMORPGs are based on traditional fantasy themes occurring in an in-game universe comparable to that of Dungeons & Dragons; some employ hybrid themes that either merge or replace fantasy elements with those of science fiction and sorcery, or crime fiction. Still, others draw thematic material from American comic books, the occult, other genres; these elements are developed using similar tasks and scenarios involving quests and loot. In nearly all MMORPGs, the development of the player's character is the primary goal.
Nearly all MMORPGs feature a character progression system, in which players earn experience points for their actions and use those points to reach character "levels", which makes them better at whatever they do. Traditionally, combat with monsters and completing quests for non-player characters, either alone or in groups, are the primary ways to earn experience points; the accumulation of wealth is a way to progress in many MMORPGs. This is traditionally best accomplished via combat; the cycle produced by these conditions, combat leading to new items allowing for more combat with no change in gameplay, is sometimes pejoratively referred to as the level treadmill, or "grinding". The role-playing game Progress Quest was created as a parody of this trend. Eve Online trains skills in real time rather than using experience points as a measure of progression. In some MMORPGs, there is no limit to a player's level, allowing the grinding experience to continue indefinitely. MMORPGs that use this model glorify top ranked players by displaying their avatars on the game's website or posting their stats on a high score screen.
Another common practice is to enforce a maximum reachable level for all players referred to as a level cap. Once reached, the definition of a player's progression changes. Instead of being awarded with experience for completing quests and dungeons, the player's motivation to continue playing will be replaced with collecting money and equipment; the widened range of equipment available at the maximum level will have increased aesthetic value to distinguish high ranking players in game between lower ranked players. Colloquially known as endgame gear, this set of empowered weapons and armor adds a competitive edge to both scripted boss encounters as well as player vs player combat. Player motivation to outperform others is fueled by acquiring such items and is a significant determining factor in their success or failure in combat-related situations. MMORPGs always have tools to facilitate communication between players. Many MMORPGs offer support for in-game guilds or clans, though these will form whether the game supports them or not.
In addition, most MMOGs require some degree of teamwork in parts of the game. These tasks require players to take on roles in the group, such as protecting other players from damage, "healing" damage done to other players or damaging enemies. MMORPGs have Game Moderators or Game Masters, who may be paid employees or unpaid volunteers who attempt to supervise the world; some GMs may have additional access to features and information related to the game that are not available to other players and roles. Relationships formed in MMORPGs can be just as intense as relationships formed between friends or partners met outside the game, involve elements of collaboration and trust between players. Most MMORPGs provide different types of classes. Among those classes, a small portion of players choose to roleplay their characters, there are rules that provide functionality and content to those who do. Community resources such as forums and guides exist in support of this play style. For example, if a player wants to play a priest role in his MMORPG world, he might buy a cope from a shop and learn priestly skills, proceeding to speak and interact with others as their character would.
This may not include pursuing other goals such as wealth or experience. Guilds or similar groups with a focus on roleplaying may develop extended in-depth n
LWN.net is a computing webzine with an emphasis on free software and software for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. It consists of a weekly issue, separate stories which are published most days, threaded discussion attached to every story. Most news published daily are short summaries of articles published elsewhere, are free to all viewers. Original articles are published weekly on Thursdays and are available only to subscribers for one week, after which they become free as well. LWN.net is part of Inc.. LWN caters to a more technical audience than other Linux/free software publications, it is praised for its in-depth coverage of Linux kernel internals and Linux kernel mailing list discussions. The acronym "LWN" stood for Linux Weekly News. Founded by Jonathan Corbet and Elizabeth Coolbaugh and published since January 1998, LWN was a free site devoted to collecting Linux news, published weekly. At the end of May 2002, LWN announced a redesigned site. Among the changes was a facility for readers to post comments about stories.
On July 25, 2002, LWN announced that due to its inability to raise enough funds through donations, the following issue would be its last. Following an outpouring of support from readers, the editors of LWN decided to continue publishing, albeit with a subscription model. New weekly editions of LWN are only available to readers who subscribe at one of three levels. After a 1-week delay, each issue becomes available to readers who are unable or unwilling to pay. LWN.net staff consists of: Jonathan Corbet, who oversees the front and kernel pages, as well as overall "executive editor" functions. LWN.net purchases a number of articles from freelance authors. DistroWatch Slashdot Phoronix Official website Timeline page - Also includes the site's own history at the bottom 2007 Subscribers survey, showing demographics and what sections of the site are liked