Learning Revolution

Dan Shafer revdan at danshafer.com
Tue Mar 8 13:50:33 CST 2005


It might be a useful idea for people who know other languages -- 
RealBASIC, VB, C++, C#, Java, (JavaScript?) -- to come up with a sort 
of list of equivalents that would enable at least a sort of basic 
cross-language cross-reference into the Transcript docs.

My guess is that the total number of such links isn't huge for each 
language.

Dan

On Mar 8, 2005, at 10:51 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> Mark Wieder wrote:
>> Absolutely spot on. Example: in topics, searching for "static" (as in
>> "static text") brings up a handful of entries, at least one of which
>> talks about label fields. However, filtering on "static" brings up a
>> total of nothing. Nada. Zilch.
>
> This must be "static text" week, as the subject has come up frequently 
> in multiple venues. I believe there may be two cognitive issues at 
> play, both of which may be addressible in the docs and UI:
>
>
> 1. Implied object types
>    --------------------
> This issue could be seen as arising from a mismatch between an object 
> model inferrable from the Rev IDE UI and the far simpler one in the 
> underlying language itself.
>
> Given the myriad icons in the IDE's tool pallete, and reinforced 
> through descriptions which suggest a different native object type like 
> "label field", it's understandable that one might infer that this is 
> somehow a different object from an ordinary field, and indeed in many 
> (most?) other languages static text is implemented as a different 
> class from editable text fields.
>
> The actual Transcript object model is much simpler:
>
>   Text is displayed in fields.
>   The lockText property governs whether that text can be edited.
>
> I respect the apparent design initiative of the IDE's toolbar, which 
> allows you to create buttons and fields with a great many properties 
> preset for greater convenience.
>
> But maybe the core question here for learning is:  Could design 
> enhancements be made which would provide the same level of convenience 
> enjoyed currently but also make more it more clear that most of the 
> "object types" are actually variants of a much simpler set of objects 
> merely with varying property settings?
>
>
> 2. Accomodation of common nomenclature
>    -----------------------------------
> "Static text" is a widely-used term in a great many languages and 
> tools.  Although there is no need for a separate object type to 
> provide that since Transcript's fields do it well today, it would be 
> tremendously helpful to have such terms indexed in the docs so that 
> they point to the corresponding Transcript term/object.
>
> Such indexing is difficult, as it requires a significant time 
> committment from the subset of available resources who understand 
> multiple tools/language intimately enough to anticipate such 
> conceptual overlap.
>
> So maybe an interim process to start work on such index expansion 
> might be an extension of the "user notes" facility, which would allow 
> ad hoc additions to the search endex.  As related terms become 
> evident, anyone could log them into a pool which is queued for the 
> next release.
>
> It may also be useful to see a reinstatement of the old Getting 
> Started info, which included specialized orientations for new users 
> coming from experience with a variety of other tools.  If that were 
> extended with a reference of common terms and methods from other 
> popular languages pointing to their Transcript counterparts it could 
> play a strong role in flattening the learning curve for those picking 
> up Transcript as a second language.
>
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World Media Corporation
>  __________________________________________________
>  Rev tools and more: http://www.fourthworld.com/rev
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