Re: Is there an "official" term for this process?

Subject: Re: Is there an "official" term for this process?
From: Brian Martin <martin -at- sodalia -dot- it>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 09:53:31 +0100

Hi gang,

I saw the following two replies and feel compelled to add my nasty
dispostion to the mix of opinions about what to call the field that
reduces the number of items in a list by way of their matching
characters typed in a field:

The first is a better solution because it tells users how the widget
works in a real world sense.

- I don't know whether it's "official", but for what it's
worth, I usually call this sort of thing a "filtered list" and
the process "filtering".

This next one is a worse solution because it forces users to learn the
developer's jargon and doesn't tell then what the field actually does.

- The term for the process that I have heard and used for many
years is called "Type ahead." I just checked with one of our
developers and he confirmed it. (For whatever that is worth.)

For the record, I called this a "Search" field in my last iteration of
documentation. I might have called it a Filter field, but this
conflicted with a far more sophistcated Filter facility that also
appeared in the same window. And frankly, searching is what the user is
doing when using the field to reduce the items that appear in the list
below it.

Here's how I described the functionality of the widget:

Click in this field and type one or more numbers or letters
(small or capital). The items in the list that follow are
filtered out accordingly. For example, if you type "C" only
items beginning with capital letter C will appear in the list
(such as CLLI01234456). If you type "c" only items beginning
with small letter c will appear in the list (but not
CLLI0123456. By emptying the field all the items in the list
reappear.

In conclusion, if you are developing an API guide, I recommend telling
the developer users the name of widgets as they use them. If it's an end
user manual for the guy on the street, don't use jargon, just tell them
what it means. What's the difference between a combo box and a button
that opens a list? Expressivity and natural language.

Thanks,

Brian







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