Re: WordPerfect 5.1 keys for ESL Students

Subject: Re: WordPerfect 5.1 keys for ESL Students
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994 16:10:42 CDT

> Perhaps this sounds grumpy, by why name the keys at all? Why not just
> say "Press F10 to save your document" or whatever? Asked another
> way: what advantage obtains to the Reader if a) you assign arbitrary
> names to keys (arbitrary in the sense that the keys are not labelled
> with those names), and b) in any event have to keep repeating both
> names to avoid confusion?

I agree with the "Press F10 to ....." type instructions. It allows
simple-minded, er, I mean "novice," users to match what's on paper to
something else. However, I use key names because I have to.

In our software, and on most UNIX- and VMS-based character problems, you
never know what kind of terminal people are using or how that terminal
is configured. Consequently, to get someone to press the key that
performs the XXX function, the only valid instruction is "Press the
XXX function key, whatever it is on your terminal." Hopefully (thankfully
in our case) there is a way for people to SEE function = keystroke.

For something like WordPerfect, where the keyboard configuration is
fixed in stone (at least for the PC version), tell them what you want
them to do: Press Shift-F7. Hopefully, people will understand what
that means. If not, I highly doubt that people who can't deal with
a keyboard can jump right into using WordPerfect, or any other piece
of software for that matter.

Maybe I'm just being pessimistic.

glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

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