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Do people not realize that "real-time" actually means something specific, you can't just claim something is "real-time" because it's fairly fast?

Nothing against this project, specifically, but I've seen this a lot lately (especially among Javascript programmers).




Yes, it has a specific meaning in computer science, but it also has a plain-English meaning, as well as different specific meanings in other domains. For example, in gaming "real-time" means "not turn-based", which I think is close to what web developers mean when they use it for web pages that do two-way interactive communication.

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Real time, in web technology, means that the client communicates with the server through a socket instead of repeated HTTP get requests. This is exactly what this project is describing.

You probably hear this a lot lately, especially from javascript programmers, because this is one thing node.js could be really good at.

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If it's fast enough to make the user feel like they are interacting with the system in real time, I think it's a fair label.

At the end of the day, what is real time anyway? The sounds I hear and the light I see have taken time to get to me... all of experience is touched by some form of latency ;)

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But the term has a very specific technical meaning [1], not just 'very fast'. This is analogous to when people say that 'NP-complete' is synonymous with 'very hard'. If I posted a problem to HN that I solved and that I found very difficult, but was not np-complete, and said "look at my solution to this np-complete problem" people would certainly (hopefully) complain.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-time_computing

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I don't think all software needs to meet that specific definition to be considered "realtime" in some aspect of the word. Google agrees:

http://www.google.com/realtime

Does that meet the criteria of realtime computing? If not, is Google wrong?

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Not really. The term actually refers to a specific (and in some cases crucial) characteristic, at least until a bunch of people dilute an important distinction to the point of meaninglessness.

"Event-driven" or "non-blocking" is probably a better fit, here. Or "web scale", because then people know you're just making up crap about the new hotness.

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Didn't you lose this battle back when the original Warcraft came out, seventeen years ago or so? Real time is not a technical term anymore in most of the conversations where it appears; it's popular jargon and it means "the opposite of turn-based".

However, I wish you and L'Académie Française the best of luck. ;)

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