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Prism

Definition

In technology, Prism commonly refers to a surveillance program launched by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). It collects internet communications from various U.S. internet companies. The program gathers detailed information about users, including search history, the content of emails, file transfers, and live chats.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation of the word “Prism” is /ˈprɪzəm/.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Prism is a cross-platform framework aimed for building modular, maintainable, and testable XAML applications in WPF, Windows 10 UWP, and Xamarin Forms.
  2. It provides an implementation of a collection of design patterns that are helpful in writing well-structured and maintainable XAML applications, including MVVM, dependency injection, commands, EventAggregator, and others.
  3. Prism’s core functionality is a shared code base in a Portable Class Library (PCL). Features that need to be platform specific are implemented in the respective libraries for the target platform.

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Importance

PRISM is vital in the world of technology because it refers to a surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). This program collects internet communications from various U.S-based technology companies. Started in 2007, it is a significant tool for counter-terrorism and foreign intelligence in the digital era. It operates under laws permitting the gathering of information related to non-U.S citizens located outside the U.S. However, it also stirred a global debate about privacy and surveillance since it can inadvertently collect data from U.S. citizens, therefore making it a crucial part of any discussion concerning digital privacy and security.

Explanation

The term “Prism,” in the context of technology, refers to a design framework developed by Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices team, primarily for building scalable and maintainable Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Silverlight and Windows Runtime (WinRT) applications. Prism provides an implementation of a collection of design patterns that are beneficial in ensuring a structured and modular approach to development. It lays a robust foundation for applications to manage complexity leveraging key design patterns such as composite designs, commands, dependency injections, and event aggregations.The most critical purpose of Prism is to help developers build flexible and loosely coupled applications. In a loosely coupled application, components can evolve independently, lead to reusability and are less likely to affect the functionality of other parts, which enhances application testing and extensibility. Additionally, Prism provides a rich set of features used for separating concerns in an application, such as navigating and presenting dialogs. Therefore, Prism is widely used to produce applications that display a high level of maintainability, testability, and composability, ensuring developers create structurally sound, well-engineered, and high-quality applications.

Examples

1. Prism Surveillance Program: The PRISM program is a surveillance initiative launched by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to collect and analyze internet data from major tech companies. The program was exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013. Under PRISM, the NSA collects data including e-mails, videos, photos, social networking data, and other information from companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple to track foreign nationals suspected of terrorism or spying.2. Prism in Optics: A prism is a piece of transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light. They are used in various technological devices such as binoculars, cameras, microscopes, and periscopes. In addition, prisms are applied in telecommunications technology where they are used in fiber optic cables to guide light along the cables with minimal loss of signal quality.3. Prism in Data Visualization: Prism is also a name of a software platform developed by GraphPad which is widely used by scientists, researchers, and engineers for statistical analysis and data visualization. The software offers an array of features to represent complex scientific data graphically and is a critical tool in various fields including biotechnology, pharmacology, and physics.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is Prism in technology?A: Prism, in technology, often refers to a framework created by Microsoft which is used for building flexible and maintainable Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Silverlight and Windows Store applications.Q: What is the main purpose of Prism?A: The main purpose of Prism is to aid developers in creating complex, enterprise-level Windows applications by providing an architecture framework for separating the application’s business logic from the user interface.Q: Is Prism only applicable for Microsoft or Windows Developers?A: Primarily, yes. Prism was created by Microsoft specifically for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Silverlight and Windows Store applications. However, certain principles such as modularity, loose coupling, and separation of concerns which it endorses can be applied universally.Q: How does Prism help with the modularization of an application?A: Prism offers guidance and reusable library code (often referred to as the Prism Library) for the creation of modular and dynamically configurable applications. It allows developers to divide applications into modules so that each part can be developed and tested separately for more efficient coding.Q: What is a Prism module?A: A Prism module is a functional unit within a Prism application. This can be independently developed, tested, and deployed without affecting other modules. It’s an ideal way to manage the division of large applications.Q: Is Prism a free or paid tool?A: Prism is a free, open-source framework. It’s accessible for everyone and anyone can contribute to further developing it or tailoring it to their specific needs.Q: How steep is the learning curve for Prism?A: While the basics of Prism can be learned rather quickly, the full utilization of all its capabilities, especially in the case of large, complex applications, may present a steep learning curve for developers who are not familiar with modular application architecture.Q: Does Prism support MVVM design pattern?A: Yes, Prism provides strong support for the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) design pattern. MVVM pattern helps developers in achieving separation of concerns, where the business logic is kept separate from the user interface, making it easier to test and maintain the applications.

Related Tech Terms

  • Optical Prism
  • Light Dispersion
  • Prism Theory
  • Angular Refraction
  • Prism Spectrometer

Sources for More Information

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