Re: Not even Newbe, Wantabe (long response-Instalment 1)

Subject: Re: Not even Newbe, Wantabe (long response-Instalment 1)
From: "D. Margulis" <ampersandvirgule -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 11:39:56 -0400

Wayne White wrote:
> Hello friends,
> At the risk of being forever ostracized from this great group of =
> Professionals

Wayne, if you follow the posting rules, you won't be ostracized. (You
might occasionally be flamed--oops, that's jargon, too, isn't it--by
some rude individuals; but that's just part of the price of admission.)

> for my lack of education in the last 23 years, I have compiled a list > of abbreviations and names in the posts of the last two days which are > unfamiliar to me.

> As part of a course on becoming a =
> technical writer, my first assignment was to read all the posts to
> learn about TWs. I was graduated with a degree in journalism in 1975
> and have been completely out of the field until now. I am offering
> this list for your amusement and to confirm to you that you know a
> language probably alien to the layman.

As with all other trades and professions, this one has developed an
argot that enables practitioners to communicate with each other in a way
that is usually (not always) more efficient and more precise--or in any
case easier--than standard English. In short order, you'll learn enough
to get along.

> A few I figured out, most I didn't. Enjoy:

You could look most of these up, but it's Saturday morning and I'm
procrastinating about doing what I should be doing, So here are the
glosses (most of them anyway):

NOTE: techwr-l rejected the full response because it was too long, so
this is now in two parts. This is Part 1.


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the protocol (set of rules) used to
describe, in a string of plain text characters, pages of text and images
that a web browser displays on your computer monitor. ALINKS is a
reserved word in HTML. By assigning a value to the ALINKS variable, a
page designer conveys to the web browser the color in which to display
hypertext links.


Application Program Interface, a protocol for a given computer program
that tells programmers of other programs how they have to format
messages to convey information to or obtain information from the program
in question.


Usenet, listserve, and email shorthand for "by the way."


The name of a popular programming language. Not an abbreviation for


Another programming language that is an extension of C. Pronounced
see-plus-plus but, again, not an abbreviation of anything.


Computer-based training.


George Mena's preferred variant on the smiley :) You'll see many clever
variants. Tilt your head ninety degrees to the left and look for a face.


Not sure, what was the context?

DICE, a website where tech writers find job postings.


Adobe Acrobat Distiller, a program that converts PostScript (PS) files
to Portable Document Format (PDF) files.


Disk Operating System (DOS) Version 3.0. The most current version is
6.22. The poster was putting a statement into a historical perspective.
DOS works behind the scenes on IBM-compatible personal computers to
provide low-level services for the programs you use. Microsoft claims
that Windows 95 is its own operating system and no longer relies on DOS
to do the dirty work. That isn't the sort of claim I'm willing to take
at face value and I'm not knowledgable enough to prove it or disprove


Desktop publishing, the trade of preparing camera-ready pages or
finished copies using a desktop computer and a laser printer.


Depends on the context. Using certain software technologies (varying
between platforms), you can embed an image created in one program, for
example, in a document created in another program. In hardware circles,
an embedded processor is a computer chip that controls a device (your
dishwasher, perhaps).


European Union


A list of what someone thinks are or ought to be frequently asked
questions about a subject, together with the answers.


File Transfer Protocol, a set of rules and procedures that permits
computers to send and receive files.


Usenet, listserve, and email shorthand for "for what it's worth."


GBC, formerly General Bindery [Binding?] Corporation, developer of the
plastic comb binding. Used informally to refer to any brand of plastic
comb binding (long row of closely spaced slots along one edge of the
paper, curley plastic teeth going through them to hold the pages

GIF. gifs

A file format (Graphics Interchange Format, I think, but I might have it
wrong) developed by CompuServe, used for certain types of images, mostly
on web pages.


Graphic user interfaces. A GUI is a set of conventions for displaying
information on a computer monitor using graphic devices. Window 3.1 has
a GUI that is different from the Windows 95 GUI, which is different from
the Macintosh GUI, which is different from . . .


You don't read the news much, do you, Wayne? H1-B is a category of visa
that allows people to come to this country to work based on their
special skills and a company's inability to find US citizens to fill
open positions.


I haven't the foggiest. Anyone?


Hypertext Markup Language. See "alinks," supra.


Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (an engineering
specialty/industry sector)


The simplest example is the blue text you click to jump to another
location (another page, perhaps) when you are viewing a web page.


Usenet, listserve, and email shorthand for "in my humble opinion."


Usenet, listserve, and email shorthand for "in my opinion."


Internet Protocol, a data-encoding format used for transmitting
information on the Internet.


A way of doing something or other on the Internet. I haven't used it and
don't know exactly what it is. Anyone?


Information Technology, a department in most large companies. Generally
responsible for mainframe computers, in-house programming staff (to
write programs to do business functions for the company, not to develop
software to sell to customers), support for desktop computers throughout
the company, maybe the company intranet, . . . ).


JPG files use a picture-compression technology developed by the Joint
Picture Experts Group, a standards committee.


Glitch or bug, perhaps? What was the context. I don't recognize it as an
HTML word (such as alink or vlink).


An operating system for the personal computer. One of its most
attractive features is that Microsoft didn't develop it.

Part 2 follows.

HTH ("hope this helps"),


I don't have any leads on jobs for tech writers, but if you know any
software developers looking for a great opportunity, send 'em to me.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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