Re: hierarchical terms

Subject: Re: hierarchical terms
From: Andreas Ramos <andreas -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 1994 09:51:37 -0700

On Mon, 18 Apr 1994, Jonathan Price wrote:
> Yes, class struggle reappears with client server. Reminds me of the old
> host, surrounded by dumb terminals; and the implications of uploading and
> downloading. (Who's on top?).

In Germany, the university scene was heavily marxist. Chess was the prime
example of feudalism: a king and other aristo flunkies (bishop, knights,
etc.) hide behind an army of pawns which get sent out to be slaughtered.

So some students made up Revolution Chess: the black and white pawns
unite, overthrow the kings, and then share the chessboard in a collective.

The idea of some people being upset at "abort" is at the point of some
people being upset at anything. Covering up the legs of tables, etc.

Instead of writing such cryptic short statements: abort, fail, retry,
(and there were many of these in DOS), why not just write out in clear
simple English:

Select by pressing a number:
1) Give up the process and return to DOS
2) Try it again

Explantory messages are especially useful when errors happen. The
advanced user can ignore it, but the newbie will need all the information
that's possible.

There's the further issue of translation into other languages. Abort in
German and Danish would be only of the pregnancy type. Sometimes, for fun,
programmers would use the word "Abtreibung" (in the pregnancy sense), as
an in-joke on English (it had nothing to do with right-to-lifers. The
whole pro-life/pro-choice movement is only American, predictably).

By writing longer explanatory statements, translators will have more room
to write appropriate translations in other languages.

Andreas Ramos, M.A. Heidelberg Sacramento, California

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