Re: synonym for "rollback"

Subject: Re: synonym for "rollback"
From: Ben Kovitz <apteryx -at- CHISP -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 17:25:19 -0700

Benzi Schreiber asked:

>The software has a rollback mechanism. In other words, if the process fails,
>all the steps that were performed are reversed, leaving us with the original
>state (the one we had before the process was invoked).
>However, the users of the document are not computer people. What can I use
>instead of "rolling back the process"?

Appending just one more thought to Malcolm Barnett's comment, another
option to consider is to explicitly define the term "rollback" both in an
introductory section and a glossary. Sometimes there's no getting around
the need to teach a technical term to non-technical users.

The more times the concept comes up in the document, the more value in
extending the reader's language instead of limiting yourself to the
reader's existing language.

If the idea of "rolling back" comes up only once or twice, though, then
your description above sounds excellent. (Well, maybe replace the passive
"are reversed" with some explicit mention that the system does the
reversing.) Sometimes the best solution is to write a couple sentences or
a paragraph in place of a technical term rather than to search for a
substitute word or phrase.

Ben Kovitz <apteryx -at- chisp -dot- net>
Author, _Practical Software Requirements: A Manual of Content & Style_

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