Acceptable synonym needed (properties)?

Subject: Acceptable synonym needed (properties)?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 13:15:45 -0400

Joyce Fetterman is documenting an application that has <<...a tab labeled
"object properties". Over the past couple of years, the developer has added
a number of object properties that apply only for a limited number of
customers in unique
situations. There are now so many of these additional properties that
they're crowding the "real" properties. We want to move these limited-use
properties to another tab. Question is, what do we call that new tab? I
prefer to stay away from "Advanced" properties, because I don't want users
getting interested and poking around in there, getting themselves in
trouble. "Custom" properties doesn't quite fit either, although that's the
best alternate I have right now.>>

I don't have the same problem you do with calling them "advanced"
properties: if the tab is visible and the user is inclined to tamper, it
doesn't matter what you call it--they'll still tamper and get themselves in
trouble. My problem with that name is that it doesn't really say what those
properties relate to. Ideally, the tab should be named to reflect its
function: "Administrator-only properties", "Dangerous properties that only
techwhirlers should set", or something more prosaic that reflects the
purpose of these options. Adopting this approach could involve some minor
user-interface redesign, since it's likely that you'll have to regroup the
properties onto tabs based on similarities in their function rather than
simply moving the latest options to their own tab simply because they came
later in the development process*.

* This is the real reason functions seem to have been assigned with no rhyme
or reason to specific F-keys in Word and WordPerfect. "You're finished the X
module? Let me see... I'm getting bored with single-digit F-keys. Let's skip
1 through 9... okay, Control-Alt-F12 is available... Why don't you use
that?" <g>

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
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