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Re: [Dragora-users] dragora-installer: Message improvement proposal I

From: Michael Siegel
Subject: Re: [Dragora-users] dragora-installer: Message improvement proposal I
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 00:25:02 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.3.0

Am 28.12.19 um 22:33 schrieb Matias Fonzo:
> […] 
>> ## III
>> “Use the arrow keys […] to move through the installer's menus.”
>> The problem with putting it this way is that it suggests you could
>> browse through all dialog windows just by using the arrow keys. But
>> that's not the case.
>> So, this sentence should rather read:
>> “Use the cursor keys to move around in the installer's menus.”
> Right, it is more clear.
>> Let me provide a rationale for what I did here:
>> # 1
>> “move through” -> “move around in” should be clear
> No problem.
>> # 2
>> “arrow keys” -> “cursor keys”
>> I think that “cursor keys” is the adequate term here, for the following
>> reasons (Bear with me.): First, there are quite some other keys on a
>> standard keyboard that might be labeled with nothing but arrows. On my
>> keyboard, these are Backspace, Return, Tab, Shift and Caps Lock. Second,
>> „cursor keys“ would also include the Home/Pos1 and End keys as well as
>> Page Up and Page Down, which are not or not necessarily labeled with
>> arrows, but work as expected in the installer (I've just tested this.).
>> Third, you can generally use other keys than the “arrow keys” for doing
>> the same thing, notably 8, 6, 2 and 4 from the numeric keypad. I haven't
>> been able to verify this actually works in Dragora's installer (keyboard
>> lacks numpad…), but it should.
> Yes, Page Up/Page Down are useful to scroll up or down.  dialog(1) has
> alternative keys, like + or -.
>> # 3
>> I would omit the visualization of the cursor keys from the sentence. The
>> current form wouldn't be adequate anyway (see # 2 above). If someone
>> really shouldn't know what cursor keys are, Wikipedia or a simple web
>> search will reveal that instantly.
> For this reason I used "arrow keys" and not "cursor keys".  But if you
> want to go with "cursor keys", the visualitazion of the arrows can help
> (since we try to be obvious); It's not a good idea to assume that the
> user or person will look up in Wikipedia.

I see what you mean. But I kind of disagree. My point really is that,
one, “cursor keys” is the correct term for the keys the text is
referring to and it should therefore not say “arrow keys”. And, two,
someone using a computer keyboard should actually know what the cursor
keys are, or learn it, just like they'd learn what the Enter or Return
key is. Mentioning looking that up in Wikipedia or somewhere else on the
web was just meaning to say that it is really easy to find out. IMO, the
right place to provide an explanation of what the cursor keys are would
be Dragora's yet-to-be-written installation guide.

If you still think that making the meaning of “cursor keys” explicitly
explicit in the installer is a good idea, I would mention all standard
cursor keys, not just the “arrow keys”. And I would use actual arrow
symbols to represent the “arrow keys”, even though that means going
beyond ASCII. But you'd have to do that anyway once the installer gets
translated into a language that needs glyphs beyond that. So, what you
could do, is this:

“Use the cursor keys ([←][→][↑][↓], [Page Up]/[Page Down], [Home]/[End])
to move around in the installer's menus.”

Or better:

“To move around in the installer's menus, use the cursor keys
([←][→][↑][↓], [Page Up]/[Page Down], [Home]/[End]).”

However, this would likely create more problems than it would help
anyone. People who know this stuff would perceive it as unnecessary
clutter. And people who really don't would likely be out of luck if they
use a non-English keyboard because the labels for [Page Up]/[Page Down]
and [Home]/[End] will likely be different. For example, on my German
keyboard, both [Page Up]/[Page Down] are labeled [Bild] (“screen”), one
with an upward and one with a downward arrow. The [Home] key is named
[Pos1] and I think I have never used a keyboard on which that key was
labeled “Home”.

Well, maybe you could get away with the following variant:

“Use the cursor keys ([←][→][↑][↓] etc.) to move around in the
installer's menus.”

Or, as above:

“To move around in the installer's menus, use the cursor keys
([←][→][↑][↓] etc.).”

I wouldn't recommend this. But it wouldn't be wrong either.


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