Re: Focus & proc'd?

Subject: Re: Focus & proc'd?
From: Isaac Rabinovitch <isaacr -at- mailsnare -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 13:36:27 -0800

Hart, Geoff wrote:

Neither word should ever appear in documentation unless the audience is
entirely composed of programmers, and even then, I'm not sure "proc'd" would
be obvious. ...

Think of what you're trying to say from the user standpoint, and if no one
word works to communicate that concept, then don't try too hard to find a
single-word solution. Describe what the user sees and what it means to them

Sound advice, and I agree with your prejudice in favor of plain language. But you can carry the principle too far. In the case of "focus", this is a concept that basic to GUI usage, and not one you can avoid. If you try, you have to do a *lot* of paraphasing. Not a formula for clear writing!

Sometimes jargon is unavoidable, because there's no practical way to talk without it. If you have to use a word your reader might not know, then you provide a definition. If you're writing a tutorial, you put the definition inline before the first usage. If you're writing a reference book, you provide a glossary.



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