#2140 Issue closed: Use "medium" (instead of "media") for a single data carrier or use "ReaR rescue/recovery system"

Labels: enhancement, documentation, cleanup, minor bug, no-issue-activity

jsmeix opened issue at 2019-05-09 07:32:

We use currently at many places in the documentation the word media
when we usually mean only a single piece of data carrier
e.g. one ISO image that is burned onto one DVD.

E.g. rear help shows (excerpts)

 mkbackup        create rescue media and backup system
 mkbackuponly    backup system without creating rescue media
 mkrescue        create rescue media only

I wonder if we should use the word medium consistently
when we usually mean only a single piece of data carrier like

 mkbackup        create rescue medium and backup system
 mkbackuponly    backup system without creating rescue medium
 mkrescue        create rescue medium only

According to what I read for the English word medium at

medium  - pl.: mediums, media  [TECH.]

it means in German

das Medium pl.: die Medien/die Media

But for French (I do not speak French) what I see at
there also the English media seems to mean more than one data carrier
but for the English medium the results at
seem to not show something that means "a single data carrier"
but I do not speak French so I do not really understand it.

I also wonder if the word media or medium is actually correct
because I think ReaR cannot create the actual data carrier but
instead ReaR creates some kind of image of an actual data carrier.
At least that is true for OUTPUT=ISO while for OUTPUT=USB
I think ReaR creates the actual data carrier (i.e. the ready-to-use
USB stick with the bootable ReaR recovery system on it).

Therefore I wonder if the term rescue media or rescue medium
should be used at all because the word media or medium is
actually misleading.

Perhaps a more generic term like rescue system
or a bit more specific term like ReaR rescue system
or what I personally prefer ReaR recovery system
should be used?

Reasoning why I prefer
[ReaR] recovery system over [ReaR] rescue system:

From my point of view the meaning of rescue system is
a static bootable generic minimal system that can be used
to do generic and basic things to "revive" an existing system.

But a normal rescue system is usually insufficient to fully recreate
a system from scratch on bare metal.

Perhaps by luck all nedeed tools are included in the rescue system
to recreate the storage layout and perhaps by even more luck a tool
is included to restore the backup provided by even more more luck
one can access the backup that might be located on whatever
server in whatever complicated (enterprise) network environment
(virtual LAN, teaming, WTF... ;-)

In contrast the most important value of ReaR is that its
ReaR recovery system is exactly there to fully recreate
a system from scratch on bare metal because intentionally the
ReaR recovery system is not just a static generic rescue system
but a specifically made bootable minimal system to fully recreate
a particular system in its particular network environment with
its particular backup/restore software from scratch on bare metal.

Simply put:
A ReaR recovery system is so much more than a usual rescue system
that it deserves a specific proper name

ReaR recovery system

where its name matches ReaR's ultimate purpose rear recover.

As a backward compatible compromise I use often initially ReaR rescue/recovery system
(and in subsequent text parts I use ReaR recovery system or only recovery system)
so users who are used to use rescue system for the ReaR recovery system
will not get confused that ReaR recovery system may mean something new and different
and new users get a hint that the ReaR recovery system is a special kind of rescue system.
It also explains why the command is rear mkrescue to make the ReaR rescue/recovery system
(if that command was named e.g. rear mkrecovery its name would conflict with rear recover).

github-actions commented at 2020-06-27 01:33:

Stale issue message

(unknown) commented at 2020-10-05 16:59:

@jsmeix asked on the SUSE internal #susedoc RC channel, so:

  • "media" can be either a regular plural or a singular mass noun. However, this appears to very much depend on what is meant by the word "media."

  • In the SUSE doc team, we use the Merriam-Webster dictionary as our reference. The relevant parts of the definitions for medium and media are:
    (cf. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medium)

medium [...]

  • 2 : a means of effecting or conveying something: such as
    • b. (plural usually media)
      • (1) : a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment — compare mass medium
      • (4) : something (such as a magnetic disk) on which information may be stored

media (Entry 1 of 4) [...]

  • 2 : a medium of cultivation, conveyance, or expression Air is a media that conveys sound.
    especially : [medium sense 2b]

While the back reference to medium-2b at the end of the definition for media makes the situation a bit mushier, I think the general and more accepted advice is to use "medium" (sing.), "media" (pl.) in this case.

(To be honest, I think the back reference in the definition for media is a mistake and should actually go to medium-2a which has a very similar example sentence.)

Ftr--I have no power to reopen this issue, as I am not a member of the ReaR org on GitHub.

jsmeix commented at 2020-10-06 08:40:

thank you so much for your explanatory and helpful contribution to ReaR!

Don't worry - I have the power to reopen issues and even to fix things in ReaR ;-)

github-actions commented at 2020-12-06 02:07:

Stale issue message

[Export of Github issue for rear/rear.]