ETA : Java Glossary


ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). Airline speak for how long till the plane lands. It is used in computing to mean the estimated time left for a program to complete. Many program do a terrible job of this with estimates that wildly fluctuate or are orders of magnitude wrong. To do this properly, the program needs to keep some history about the current machine’s rate of processing. It should also refrain from giving an ETA until it can give something that won’t wildly fluctuate.

ETAs (Estimated Time of Arrivals) of 99% complete that seeem to spend 98% of the time doing the last 1% are infuriating. The other error is giving the ETA for the next phase of the job to complete. This in general is of no interest to the end user. All he cares about is the completion of the entire job. He wants to know if there is time for a coffee, or a bathroom break or should he go home for the day. Progress meter thermometers that measure completion of ten substeps are useless to the end user. Again he wants percent total complete, or better, still, accurate time in minutes/seconds as a countdown.

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