The Oxford English Dictionary is THE final word on a word and a word's history in the English Language, used by writers and professors worldwide. Trust the OED for all your definition needs. Thank you.
Now, let's get back to the business discussion please.
There is no such thing as an authority on words. Language is descriptive, not prescriptive.
I've known people who worked for the OED and I'd be highly skeptical of anyone in academia who uses a dictionary as an authoritative source. In many respects, wikis are preferable.
How about naming the live shard "Holodeck" and the test shard "Tribble?"
***My personal assistant whispers in my ear.***
Oh, they're already named as such! Carry on, then.
Hmm, like the other MMO's "realms" were individually named and the test "realm" was named "the PTR".
/sigh + /facepalm
Obviously no one gets the joke that, while it could be called a shard, server, realm, galaxy, universe, bubble, lampshade, toilet seat, or whatever you'd want to REFER to it (not NAME it), they chose to refer to it as a "shard". Even though "shard" is valid in IT-speak, in normal plain non-IT English it has a funny and applicable humorous meaning considering the ongoing state of the STO shard and the frequent crashes/downtime.
While you're rebooting your emotion SHARDS... The server is frequently broken and STO refers to it as the "shard" which means "broken" in plain non-IT English. There. That's the joke. At least you didn't wait 7 years to get it...or maybe...oh, nevermind.
<muttering> ...the things to do when the SHARD is down...
Hmmm.... it still lists Cryptic and NcSoft. But as you say. I've been away from both games for some time.
I was going to post this in another thread but it closed. Shoving the flaming and geek-love aside for a moment....
These problems stem from issues that we aren't aware of, but we can guess with some fair degree of accuracy.
There's the obvious hardware and software issues. Understandable at times, but repeated occurences prove a problem in the management and process of finding a solution (this includes being too cheap to buy the necessary components to build a stable, solid network).
There could be business issues stemming from the purchase by Perfect World that are crippling efforts by Cryptic staff. I can't think of anything positive that an Asian FTP developer and publisher could add and be worthwile to the Star Trek universe. Maybe that's a bit of nationalism peeking through, but Star Trek is inclusive. It's for everyone. But, Perfect World's other games are totally unappealing to me. Totally asian in design and content.
But, the #1 problem I see is inside the walls of Cryptic itself. Someone isn't being given the ability to do their job correctly. Someone necessary to the STO universe is being hampered and hamstrung from applying a viable solution to these problems. What does that mean?
Someone doesn't want to spend the money to fix the problems.
Here's a shocking law of business.... taken from my experience in advertising, business management, and broadcasting....
You must spend money to MAKE money.
You cannot make a car go without gas. And you cannot make a business work without economically filling the gas tank with the resources for the business to function. Someone in charge needs to clear their head and understand a solution may take investment either PEOPLE or TECHNOLOGY to solve these issues.
Cryptic has an infrastructure problem. Let's hope it gets solved before the company fails and STO dies.
It reminds me of the darkest days of Verant Interactive/SOE and that company's horrific customer service and support.
I believe the STO staff when they say they care. I just don't believe the right people and the right equipment is in the right place. THAT REPONSIBILITY LIES AT THE TOP! But, I'm sure this will never be read by anyone that could make a difference. You, the player understand.... at least some of you that aren't into geek flaming and nerd repellant.
Cryptic has had over two years to show how much they care...
what you are playing is evidence of how much they care.
The free to play launch of STO was supported by a substantial upgrade to the hardware used to run the live game, and that hardware is more than adequate to support our current user load, which is substantially higher than before f2p launch.
We have had 6 database crashes, which have brought the game down, over the last month. In 3 of those cases we deployed an already scheduled patch and were able to cancel a scheduled downtime.
The crashes are occurring because of a software bug which is corrupting a data structure used to keep track of large chunks of memory that are being kept around for future use (the term of art among programmers is "Heap Corruption"). These types of bugs are often the most subtle and difficult to track down in large software systems. The crash only occurs after 3-4 days of running under heavy load, and despite our best efforts we have been unable to reproduce it in the lab.
We have had a dedicated team working on this problem since the first crash, including most of our infrastructure programming team, myself, Stephen D. (back in the CTO chair!) and other programmers we pull in as needed. We have been trying to reproduce the crash, studying all code changes from the last couple of months, spending days examining crash dumps, and adding new code to help diagnose the problem in every patch.
With every crash we gather more information and get closer to a solution. The reason for the extended downtime today was that we decided to debug the live database when it crashed, rather than examining a crash dump after the fact. This allowed us to get more information and test some theories in ways we could not do when examining a dump after the fact, so it contributed to getting us to a solution faster.
I just wanted to let you all know that we are working hard on the problem (it is almost midnight here!) and are making progress towards a solution. We have the resources we need, namely the people who know the code the best.