GUI Terminology (was Re: Re[2]: Key-whacking)

Subject: GUI Terminology (was Re: Re[2]: Key-whacking)
From: Andrew Shires <andrews -at- HARLEQUIN -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 11:16:08 GMT

Sue Gallagher writes:

> I argue against the use of "select" for screen buttons for
> the very reasons you describe, Michael. "Select" means
> "move the focus to", not "activate". It follows, therefore,
> that selecting a button does not perform the action that the
> button initiates.

> In the user manuals I write at work, we "select" items from
> listboxes or options from radio buttons. To accept the
> change or initiate the action, we press the Enter key or the
> OK button.

I would say "selection" is the complete act of making a choice. This
may involve keypresses or mouse gestures, but in the end, you have
_selected_ something. If I remember rightly, the style guides* for
Windows and Motif both use the word "select" in that way. Moving the
focus is just a part of that action.

* There is a style guide for Motif in the first manual of the
OSF/Motif manual set, as I recall. The Windows guide is the _The
Windows Interface: An Application Design Guide_ which comes with
the Windows Software Developer's Kit. Neither of these are writing
guides, but they use terminology consistently enough for us to
guess what is intended.

> As long as we are explicit and consistent, our users will catch on! %-)


Andrew Shires andrews -at- harlequin -dot- co -dot- uk
Technical Author andrews -at- harlequin -dot- com

Previous by Author: Re: Homophones and perils of email format
Next by Author: Re: Colons, lists, and periods
Previous by Thread: Re: Briticisms and Americanisms
Next by Thread: Re: GUI Terminology (was Re: Re[2]: Key-whacking)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads