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The definition of production seems to contradict what web developers consider an application in production to be. Why is the term in release or published not used instead? I have been in professional web development for ~4 years and we've always used the terminology (development, QA, and production) when referring to the different states of an application. It seems it would be correct to actually refer to development as production and production as release or publish.

  • The needle that you're trying to thread here is entirely inconsequential. That this word is used in a slightly different way in different shops is not going to impact your development efforts in the least. – Robert Harvey Feb 11 '18 at 22:46
  • "Published" is appropriate for content (e.g. an article is published) and "release" is appropriate for making software available (e.g a new browser version is released). "Production" means the software is running as part of your business processes. – JacquesB Feb 11 '18 at 22:50
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You are misinterpreting the word production. It does not refer to the software itself being produced, it means it is being used to produce whatever the company using it produces.

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  • That makes sense. Can you provide a source that supports your claim? I don't think I'm misinterpreting the word production. I understand the definition. I think you meant that I am applying the word production to the wrong entity(ies). Meaning the software is not in a production state but it is being used to operate on data that is in a production status. – JohnOsborne Feb 11 '18 at 22:34
  • en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Martin Maat Feb 11 '18 at 22:36
  • Ahhh.. I see the word production applies to the environment and not the software itself. Thank you @MartinMaat – JohnOsborne Feb 11 '18 at 22:38
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Software in itself does not have value. Software can do something that has value. Don't think of software as some kind of widget that pops out of a factory. Instead, the software is the machines in this factory producing the widgets.

Calling it a “production environment” in contrast to a “development” or “testing” environment then appears fairly sensible to me. Of course, this analogy is not helpful for all kinds of software. But it seems very fitting for SaaS offerings.

Or maybe software developers are just prone to redefining perfectly fine words to mean something completely different.

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