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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.


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.


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 ;)


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


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


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


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.


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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