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 Post subject: New Terminology Chapter (Getting Started in VISTA)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 49
Location: Seattle, WA
Real Name: Kathy Ice
Other than a short Orientation, this is the first chapter of Getting Started in VISTA. The original (1992) version had a lot of "welcome to the wonderful new world of computers" stuff, which I took out. My main question now is whether this chapter is still too elementary.


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 Post subject: Re: New Terminology Chapter (Getting Started in VISTA)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:22 pm
Posts: 7
Real Name: Duglas Kilbride
I wouldn't say that it is too elementary... it's pretty terse as is. Since we are assuming the reader's basic grasp of computer terminology, though, it probably strikes the right chord.


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 Post subject: Re: New Terminology Chapter (Getting Started in VISTA)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:03 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Watsonville, CA (USA)
Real Name: Greg Woodhouse
Began Programming in MUMPS: 01 Oct 1992
I use the term cursor in the manner you describe all the time, but pedants will insist that the proper term is caret, reserving the term cursor for the visual representation of the mouse position. Unfortunately, some people call the character "^" the caret (because of the visual similarity to the diacritical mark).

I'm not sure it belongs here, but it would be good to cover some of the characters that tend have special meaning somewhere (e.g., the slash or forward slash "/", the at-sign "@", the up-arrow "^", the arrow keys on a VT100 keyboard, and the "gold key" or PF1) as nomenclature can vary, and they all come up all the time. It's also important to distinguish between the backspace and delete keys. As a matter of routine, when you configure VT100 emulation, you always have to map the backspace key to delete or you'll get incorrect results. This isn't as well known as it should be.

Another thought, why not include ASCII, control characters and modifier keys (control, shift, ALT and meta) here? The meta key is not used (and is not present on a VT100 keyboard), but the ALT key is sometimes needed in VISTA. Finally, most laptops do not have a PF1 key, so it is necessary to map some other key or key combination to PF1 in order to use ScreenMan or a full-screen editor.

Okay, those are not necessarily things that should go in the terminology chapter, but are the things that came to mind on a first reading.


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 Post subject: Re: New Terminology Chapter (Getting Started in VISTA)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:06 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 49
Location: Seattle, WA
Real Name: Kathy Ice
I think that a subhead called "Some Important Keys on Your Keyboard" or something along those lines would be entirely appropriate for this chapter.

With regard to "cursor," both Random House and Merriam-Webster agree with us, so I say bring on the pedants. :)

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