What resources are available to learn basic Linux terminology? [on hold]

I am a long time user of Ubuntu and with every new iteration of Windows/Apple charging ports, I am ever more dedicated to making it my own. However, I feel like my Linux literacy is very low and the solutions I apply to the problems I have are often piecemeal and I don’t understand what I’m doing, only that it works. Where can I find a resource to get me up to speed on the basic terminology and structure of Linux so that I can better participate in the conversation and feel like I have more control over what I do with my machine?

Terminology: Difference between decision variables, features and attributes?

Could there be a difference between the words “feature”, “attribute”, and “decision variable” when used in the same paper? The one I am specifically thinking about is about an optimization method for clustering, but I am also wondering if there generally are any scenarios for which it could be.

I can’t manage to google up an answer that either confirms or denies that these are the same thing, and I have no formal training in data science.

Terminology for reduced brute-force attack?

Many security algorithms today have such a large key length, that there’s just no use in trying to brute-force a key. For example to find one AES-256 key you would have to try 2^128 keys on average.

My question is, if there’s a special name for a brute-force attack where you would somehow know that a key “lies” in a specific range, which would reduce the amount of calculations so drastically that a brute-force attack suddenly becomes feasible.


An example about simple brute-force RSA-factorization might make it more clear:

We have a 2048-bit RSA key. Way too large to just try one number at a time to brute-force it.

But we assume now that I have a special algorithm that doesn’t directly return one of the factors, but can tell us that one of the factors lies in a certain range k (plus / minus 1,000,000,000). Then we would only have to try the possibilities from k – 1,000,000,000 up to k + 1,000,000,000 and this is probably quite possible to brute-force.


No matter if such algorithms exist or not, is there a special name for this specific attack (reducing the possible key range to make a brute-force attack feasible)?

Terminology: Blue-Green deployment

Let’s say your organization uses a blue-green deployment model. Simple question:

  • After Blue has gone live, do you rename it to Green, and the server(s) formerly known as Green now becomes Blue?

Or to put it another way:

  • Are “Blue” and “Green” the names of the physical environments? Or are they logical names, i.e. synonyms for “current primary” and “current secondary”?

Correct terminology for if-blocks

I am using lex/yacc to parse a simple language which allows ‘if blocks’:

IF something    something   [ELSE IF something][ELSE] END IF 

and also other nested logic under a ‘DEFINE’ statement:

DEFINE something   something   something else END DEFINE 

I am in need of a common term to refer to these blocks (as the name of a container class). I have thought of Flow Control but it does not seem to correctly capture the intent…?

What is known about tabaxi language and terminology, particularly the word “tabaxi” and the name of the Cat Lord?

According to this Dragon+ article, the term tabaxi originates with the race of cat people (at least in the Forgotten Realms setting as of D&D 5th edition):

Tabaxi with a capital T is the ancestral name of one of a number of human tribes that traveled east to Faerûn from across the ocean…

…although having both tabaxi and Tabaxi in the canon of the Forgotten Realms is confusing, it makes sense for tabaxi to originate from Maztica. This provides the in-world explanation for the similarity of their names: the human Tabaxi named their tribe after the mysterious cat people of Maztica and Katashaka. Also, establishing them as native to that distant land explains why tabaxi are rare across Faerûn in both the past and present.

But nothing further is explained about the name beyond that. I haven’t found any other information about the name of the race, but I am curious what other information there is, e.g. whether the word “tabaxi” ultimately originates from the cat people, and whether it has any meaning other than “this specific race of cat people”.

Likewise, it seems as if the tabaxi should have their own name for their figure of worship, aside from the plain phrase “Cat Lord” in Common. This answer explains that the first Cat Lord in D&D was named Meerclar, but that pre-dates the creation of the tabaxi and the Fiend Folio doesn’t mention any figure of worship. (and the 2nd edition books seem to indicate that tabaxi religion is largely animistic.) Likewise, it’s mentioned that the corresponding figure in Greyhawk is named Rexfelis, but there don’t seem to be cat people in Greyhawk and the Latinate name seems like a poor fit for the tabaxi.

One might presume that “tabaxi” means something like “cat people”, and that the Cat Lord could have some related name in the tabaxi’s language, but is there any established information about these subjects in any official D&D publications?

Terminology for explaining a limited range of values encoded into bits [on hold]

It’s been incredibly difficult to do searches and write essays on subjects like these without knowing the proper terminology.

Here’s an example, to clarify what is being discussed here:

The four nucleotides – the base units or “letters” of DNA – are Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, and Thymine. 4 different possibilities means you can store each nucleotide in 2 bits.

  • A – 00
  • C – 01
  • G – 10
  • T – 11

It took forever to find again, but ASN.1 is the kind of “encoding” I’m talking about. Layman’s Guide to a Subset of ASN.1, BER, and DER.

Elusive terms:

  • The general name for this.
    • A search for “byte encoding” returns only UTF-8 and ASCII stuff.
    • The term “serialization” includes string formats like JSON and XML, which are not what is being discussed.
    • The Wikipedia page for serialization even has to refer to this as “the more compact, byte-stream-based encoding”.
  • Term to generally refer to one of these non-human-readable streams of data, in a specific format.
    • “File format” describes what I’m talking about, but it’s difficult to convey the difference between an FTP JSON file and a “custom-serialized” BLOB on an SQL server.
    • “Codec” describes it well, but it is referring almost exclusively to video and audio.
  • Term to refer to a domain of possible values to be encoded into bits.
    • For the DNA example above, this would refer to the 4 unique letters; the members of an enum.
    • For a numeric value, the range would determine how many bits are required to represent the number.
    • For a string value, the range of characters available would determine how many bits are required per letter. Variable vs fixed-length string would also be a part of it (covered in the ASN.1 guide).
  • This field as a whole.
  • Any others that potentially would be helpful in the future.

And if there aren’t specific terms available, then provide alternative ways to convey these concepts.