Re: homophones, also some opinions and a question

Subject: Re: homophones, also some opinions and a question
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 09:14:20 -0500

Judith Grobe Sachs poses a few questions:


> We used to
> use upper case for parts of command that had to be entered as is,
> and lower case for the parts of commands that the user needed to
> choose for themselves.
> But we're
> getting into Unix now, so that will not work any longer. I refuse
> to use brackets or the like to indicate variables (for fear that
> they'll think they're required and type them), and italics
> don't show up online, ... Any ideas?

Brackets are common in Unix man pages (check 'em out), so they may be
more familiar to your audience than you think. Reconsider using them.

You may want to reverse the order of capitalization, and use descriptive
names for optional arguments, then list them. For example



a list all entries
b force printing of non-graphic characters

and so on. But brackets (or angle brackets <>) are easier.


> In the same vein, sort of, I have a question. On our campus we
> have PCs, Macs and various sorts of workstations. What term can I
> use to refer to all of them without making anyone think that I've
> left them out?

Just say "your platform", or "all platforms". I think the term
"platform" to indicate a generic hardware system/operating system
combination is a common usage. Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong,
but I don't think I am.

> I just began reading the list recently too. The volume of mail is
> almost overwhelming, but it's been very interesting.

Ain't *that* the truth. Welcome aboard, and I hope this helped.

|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer |"That's a, I say, that's a JOKE, |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| son." - Foghorn Leghorn |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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