RE: "Transparent to the User"

Subject: RE: "Transparent to the User"
From: "Spreadbury, David " <David -dot- Spreadbury -at- tellabs -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:45:59 -0500

"Transparent to the User" to me implies the system is going to perform a
task that I, the user, don't need to worry about.

I am entering information into a database.
I produce a report of the data.
The reports are canned, presentation of which has been pre-determined by
some database administrator.
I click the Reports button and select the type of report I want.
How the information is formatted in the report is transparent to me.

I don't know about transparent pencils, transparent ink, maybe.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-195991 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-195991 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
tech -dot- writer1 -at- verizon -dot- net
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 9:41 AM
Subject: "Transparent to the User"

I have come across this phrase in a system description I am editing:
"The creation of index files is transparent to the user."

I'll check with the SME, but I think his intent of the phrase is to
describe a process that is invisible or requires no user intervention.
But it seems to me that "transparent to the user" could also mean that
the user can "see" what is happening (if it were "opaque", it could not
be seen).

This web page uses the phrase
as such: "The goal is to make the computer transparent to the user, just
as a pencil is transparent to its user."

In what sense is a pencil "transparent" to its user?

If the intent of the phrase "The creation of index files is transparent
to the user" is to mean that this process is invisible to the user, is
this a correct or incorrect use of the phrase "transparent to the user"?

Thanks for shedding some light :-)
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