I want to explain how data on a server is only there for a short period of time. So I'd like to use the following sentence:

The data transients the server.

Is this usage correct?

EDIT #1: The actual sentence I used: "System that client data transients." I guess a better way to state this would be "System that client data transverses." This sounds awkward to me.

EDIT #2:

I discussed with my workmates and everyone agrees that: "the data makes a transitory pass through the server" is the best way to explain the situation.

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    You probably don't mean to say "system that client data transverses" (since transverse is an adjective and not a verb) but rather "traverses", as @Dan-Ray suggests. Traverse is common in computing, but usually means to explore thoroughly. I can see why you want to use transient —if you wish flowery language, perhaps try "the data makes a brief, transitory pass through the server". Your wording "is only there for a short period of time" is perfectly clear, if more wordy than you desire. – aedia λ Sep 20 '11 at 19:38
  • @aediaλ - I disagree that "traverse" implies thoroughness. I think it implies through-ness. A moving across or through something. "Transit" implies it's moving somewhere by way of the server. "Traverse" describes its movement through the server. – Dan Ray Sep 20 '11 at 20:16
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    One problem with verbing "transient" is that it's not clear what it means; it might be taken to mean "make transient" rather than "makes a transitory pass through the server". – Peter Shor Sep 20 '11 at 20:31
  • @DanRay — In some computing contexts, like tree traversal, "traverse" is used almost exclusively with the meaning of visiting all of the nodes or parts of something. That is, if I say I traversed the graph, you wouldn't usually ask me which part? I certainly agree that it has the through connotation as well, and in normal speech you need not thoroughly traverse everything - you can traverse just one traverse ;) – aedia λ Sep 20 '11 at 20:32
  • @DanRay - The issues with traverse are exactly why I was reluctant to use it in, it has connotations of being used more with tree traversal and visiting all the nodes, at least in my experience. – slm Sep 21 '11 at 11:16

To transit might be the closest verb to what you're saying here. Or to traverse.

Or the question might have fixated me on "tr" verbs....

  • Transit is quite good but I would be puzzled by traverse if I came across it in a manual. – Wudang Sep 20 '11 at 19:53

It is incorrect. Transient is never a verb. You could instead use transferred:

The data is transferred through the server.

  • The data is never on the server, it's flowing through the server. – slm Sep 20 '11 at 18:58
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    @slm: Then why not use “flows through”? Or, if that seems too fanciful for formal usage, how about “The data passes through the server”? – PLL Sep 20 '11 at 19:11
  • Or is transferred through? ;) – Daniel Sep 20 '11 at 19:11
  • I was trying to find a way to denote that the data is technically accessible while in transit through the server but the data is never actually exposed on the server in a way that it could be modified, as physical files. – slm Sep 20 '11 at 19:29
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    If it's flowing through the server, isn't it still on the server for the duration of the transfer? A person in a fire line is generally holding a bucket the majority of the time, but it's only being held long enough to pass to the next person in line. And not generally the same bucket. Same thing with server. – aslum Sep 20 '11 at 19:29

If you're looking for an answer for the IT literate I'd say that the data is non-persistent on the server, for something like a temporary global table in DB/2. If you mean something like say the short lifetime of the data on an MQ tranmission queue it would be different, likewise if you're referring to an ETL process. Can you clarify please?

Perhaps "the data is non-persistent outwith the staging process"? What's your audience?

eta: Never, ever "transient" as a verb.

  • Thinking some more, and specifically of KISS, "the system the client data passes through". To my mind acceptable to both technical and non-technical readers. – Wudang Sep 20 '11 at 19:55
  • The server in question is an sftp server, and the sftp clients are connecting to the server, but the data they are sending/receiving is actually stored on a file server, not local to the system. – slm Sep 20 '11 at 19:58
  • In that case I'd probably go with Dan's transit. – Wudang Sep 20 '11 at 20:01

To preclude any misinterpretation or misunderstanding, to ensure the situation is correctly projected, you must state it as:

The data is transient on the server.

This is because of the way the word transient is readily and clearly understood in this particular context. Any other literary variation, though grammatically correct, is likely to set the reader wondering what exactly you mean by it.

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