Acronym Anarchy

It has gotten out of control. The insanity has to be stopped. Words are not the enemy of programmers. Lower case is not bad. Programming languages such as C++ and C# respect lowercase letters! Multiple syllables can be used! In a need for brevity, it seems that the concept of easily identifiable terms and concepts has been lost!

While I have no evidence to back it, it seems like the use of acronyms by software companies is as prevalent as it has ever been. The number of acronyms that a developer runs into in an any given day seems to be increasing.

Following is a table containing 100 acronyms. These are all acronyms related to computer terms and products. I challenge you to see how many you can expand out. Once you’ve given this a try, check the remaining pages of this article. I’ve gone ahead and listed what each one is on the following pages.

If you can get 75 of the 100, you are most likely a developer and you definitely know your acronyms. Be aware though—while some are quite easy (VB), others are not! If you can get 90, you are good. The question is, are you an Acronym Guru? Can you get all 100?

The list:

VB ADO VSA BPC
VI IIS VSIP CDO
VS DHTML WCSDK DTL
VFP MDAC XML DLC
AD KB (not kilobyte) ASP DCOM
BTS ACT IDL DTS
CS MSVM TSQL DSO
MMC MSDN CHTML DLL
CMS VSTO EVB DMO
WSH PSDK EVC DBCS
PDB CTS MOD EDK
FFC SMS MASM GDI
MMC ZAW MIS GP
MMS NGWS MSAA HIS
EVT COM ADSI IME
ETK VBA CIS ICS
STL VBS ATL IE
WAS NT MFC ISA
WTE VCM BITS IrDA
WSS VSM CRT JAFC
SSPI OFC MSDE LSA
SSDK OSD MSI MCI
SAPI SNMP MTS MSMQ
SMO SDO MSVM MAPI
LDAP SBSCS NLB SPPLAT

If you cruise through the 100 acronyms above, here are a few bonus ones (I threw a few easy ones into this list):

  • BCL
  • CIM
  • CLR
  • FCL
  • IL
  • IM
  • JIT
  • OWA
  • WFP
  • WIA
  • WQL

It is also worth pointing out that all of these acronyms are for technical terms or products. Additionally, all were found on Microsoft’s sites. Although all have been used within the content found there, this is this kind of Acronym Anarchy that can also be found from other company’s as well. If you add companies such as Sun (Java) and IBM, you could create an entirely different set of acronyms. Throw in the work done by standards groups such as W3C, ANSI, ISO, and ECMA (yes, acronyms for names!), and the acronyms start flying everywhere!

It is no wonder that a lot of programming languages use single letters or symbols in their names. How else can developers keep from confusing them with all these other terms!

Did I mention J2ME, J2EE, JDO, JRO, StAX, WML, WAP, GIF, CSS, DHTML, …

You will find the expanded acronyms on the following pages is in alphabetical order, based on the acronym.

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