What's the difference between scheduling a (de)activation of an asset and scheduling an publish/unpublish of an asset? Why would an author want to use one option over the other since they appear to do the same thing?
Certain terms related to publishing can be confused:
Publish / UnpublishThese are the primary terms for the actions that make your content publicly available on your publish environment (or not).
Activate / DeactivateThese terms are synonymous with publish/unpublish.
Replicate / ReplicationThese are the technical terms describing the movement of data (e.g. page content, files, code, user comments) from one environment to another such as when publishing or reverse-replicating user comments.
Activate/Deactivate were the terminologies used in classic UI, you can see this on any version of AEM if you invoke the old screens - go tohttp://localhost:4502/siteadminor usecf#to edit the page (http://localhost:4502/cf#/content/app/en.html) and go to page properties in side kick, you'll notice Activate/Deactivate.
They both mean the same - moving data from author environment to publish environment. Taking it a step further, it can also mean moving data from author to the dispatcher(via the publisher), with an added flexibility of clearing cache for that page during publishing/activating.