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Re: [Lingo] Workflow vs. Jobflow

David Blomberg writes:
 > On 5/17/12 4:49 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

 > > "Workflow" means "how a task is done",
 > > while "jobflow" would almost certain mean "rate at which a series of
 > > tasks is done."

 > Funny I have always used workflow to describe how a project is done, 
 > while jobflow comes up in how smaller portions of a project (tasks) are 
 > done.

I guess a more accurate expression of what I tried to say is that for
me the difference is in point of view: "work" refers to a composite of
tasks, so is an internal view of the activity, while "job" is an
atomic or external view.  For example, when referring to an activity,
I would never use an indefinite article or other counter.  "A work"
refers to a product, not to an activity.  "A job" refers to an
activity, not to a product.  (Use of "job" to refer to a product is
Japlish, though.)

In (approximate) software engineering terms, "job" refers to the
interface, "work" to the implementation.

An interesting reference to such nuances is in Fred Brooks's Mythical
Man-Month, 20th Anniversary Edition, where he discusses how reusable
component libraries can be considered a "language" of complexity that
starts to compare to natural language.  He then uses that analogy to
argue that (1) people can master such libraries and use them to
dramatically increase productivity, but (2) they aren't a "silver
bullet" that will give an order of magnitude increase in productivity
all by themselves.

 > I have never used it in context as to the rate of work.... I am 
 > starting to wonder if this word may have a regional meaning change....

I still don't acknowledge "jobflow" as an English word.  It certainly
is not one in my experience (zero occurances until this thread), while
(at least in my hobbies[1]) I encounter the word "workflow" daily. ;-)

Have you ever heard it used outside of Japan?  Maybe it's British
and/or Commonwealth usage?

N.B. A quick Google check suggests that (1) Japanese use it as a
synonym for "workflow", (2) Eurocrats use it to describe employment
opportunities for workers, (3) Amazon uses it as an API in EC2, and
(4) seems to offer a product *called* "JobFlow"
which it *describes* as a "work flow manager" (ie, the exception that
proves the rule).  (Heck, it might even be trademarked and illegal to
use it except in reference to that product. ;-)

[1]  If you want to know why higher education sucks as hard as it
does (at producing educated citizens), I can answer in one word:
"workflow".  More precisely, the absence of one.

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