This subject came to mind as I read this article by John C. Dvorak. He puts it that Facebook and Twitter are publishers and not platforms. In the the last show, @jonobacon referred to one of these as a “platform”, so I thought it worth discussion here.
According to The Book Of Knowledge a platform, regarding to computing, is described as "the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system (OS), even a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage on which computer programs can run.
A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions; and as an assistance to the development process, in that they provide low-level functionality ready-made. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network."
Technopedia defines it as "A platform is a group of technologies that are used as a base upon which other applications, processes or technologies are developed.
In personal computing, a platform is the basic hardware (computer) and software (operating system) on which software applications can be run. Computers use specific central processing units (CPUs) that are designed to run specific machine language code. In order for the computer to run software applications, the applications must be in that CPU’s binary-coded machine language. Thus, historically, application programs written for one platform would not work on a different platform."
So, is this a case of an evolution of the meaning of a word or the misapplication of a word?