Note! Caution! Warning!

Ag. D. Hatzimanikas a.hatzim at gmail.com
Fri Aug 3 00:35:19 PDT 2007


On Thu, Aug 02, at 07:06 Randy McMurchy wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> Lately I've been noticing in the book that there is a huge amount of
> Note Warning and Caution boxes on the various pages. Some of them for
> rather trivial things.
> 

> 2. worried too much that the average reader would think it is "babyish",
>    or "lowly" to have such trivial points displayed in a separated box
>    instead of just in a following sentence of the previous thought (some
>    of the notes would be converted to a stand-alone paragraph where
>    the box currently is).
> 

Ah, that is a good idea, I mean the separate paragraphs; and yes is possible
to convert some of them, if not the most of them.

But I will try to open the discussion a bit.

Another matter I see, is that editors has their own style to express themselves
(this is natural), and although in life (generalization) I don't like so much
the unification, in a technical book like ours, is better to try to use just 
one style to write things.

For instance and in the case of rxvt-unicode, I've used the phrase:
"In order to do that add", which it corrected to "Accomplish this by adding",
which looks a little better indeed.
It would be good if any editor could use the same phrase again and again when
its needed, so the reader could not be surprised.

Its the same thing, with the established Unix tradition, for what various 
programs switches might be expected to mean when you execute them.

So what I mean is. You can start to convert some boxes to paragraphs
(with a way) and then is a matter for the editors to be consistent with
that way. I know I will try.


And a similar note which is a little bit out of subject, but just a little
a bit. Maybe it would be useful if we can place some common used phrases (for
different situations) in the editor's guide.


> 3. just plain come to dislike them because I feel they are too gaudy.
> 

This is a matter of Personal aesthetic, and it differs from person
to person or from culture to culture.
Personally I like the boxes. But again this is just personal.

> I know that #3 is an issue with me. Thoughts from others would really
> be appreciated.
> 
> (note that I do think some of the boxes are needed due to the potential
> harm a mistake could create, and/or time spent fixing if you goof)
> 

Yes, that is have to be our concern and maybe that is where lies the root of
the problem. The editors seems to have a deep (inner) worry to protect
the readers from mistakes so they are overdoing it sometimes.
And yes it looks like babysitting.
Personally I don't find something wrong with that :), I mean is long time I used
to be a baby, although my wife sometimes sometimes says to me I am more baby
than our little baby girl. :)

> I just think we're overdoing it a bit.
> 

Yes, we do, but it's a little boring work to fix all these boxes.
Whops... I said the wrong words in here.

/me running

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