(Solved)Linux Glossary of Terminology

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BoDill
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(Solved)Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm

I have been using Linux for a few years, not because I'm a computer whiz but because I like it, and the terrific support I get when I'm stumped about something.

Sadly, whenever I write a post, I know that I am probably NOT using the correct terminology. Recently someone told me that what Windows calls a "Tray" is called a "Panel" by Linux. I can only imagine the frustration of people who want to discuss things, and/or help someone, when terminology prevents one from making oneself clear.

Is it possible to get someone who knows Linux very well to create a glossary, or dictionary if you want, that defines and describes Linux terminology? Honestly, I spent something like 15 or 20 minutes trying to find something that told me what an "applet" is. In actuality, I found and read a few things and still am not real sure I get it. As I said above, I am NOT a computer whiz. In looking at other posts, which I do for some time before I post a problem, I have seen other people using the wrong words, so I know that I am not alone.

Perhaps it would be possible to have a glossary (its the right word; I looked it up) that once written, could be added to by users who find a confusing term, definition, etc. etc. They could send in their questions, or their new definitions, to a sort of "Gatekeeper" who could decide whether or not their contribution belongs in the glossary.

If this turns out to be possible, and someone starts to do it, PLEASE send me a message that tells me where to find it!!!!

Thank you for listening,

BoDill, still a newbie after all these years.
Last edited by BoDill on Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by kyphi » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:11 am

What a great idea, BoDill. If only we could get people to read it. But first things first - you asked about applets. To me that means a small application.

Although there are Forums (within this Forum) that cater for speakers of languages other than English, the English used to communicate here is, at times, not really communicative, especially if your ear is attuned to a different form of English. Folks here are very polite though and you don't see communications corrected very often, after all, we can make a guess as to what is intended, even if that guess occasionally misses the mark. I saw the word "walla" being used recently, I figured that the respondent meant "voilà". Greek and Russian use phonetic spelling but that was a new one for me.

In short, BoDill, I sympathise. (There is that pesky Forum autocorrect again letting me know that a word is not spelled in US-English.)

Shouldn't this post be in "Suggestions & New Ideas" or "Chat" or "?" rather than Tutorials.
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by catweazel » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:05 am

kyphi wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:11 am
the English used to communicate here is, at times, not really communicative, especially if your ear is attuned to a different form of English.
Do you hear voices when you read?

:mrgreen:
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by catweazel » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:09 am

BoDill wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm
Perhaps it would be possible to have a glossary (its the right word; I looked it up) that once written, could be added to by users who find a confusing term, definition, etc. etc. They could send in their questions, or their new definitions, to a sort of "Gatekeeper" who could decide whether or not their contribution belongs in the glossary.
It's possible but the problem is people have different meanings for words, and maintaining such a list would probably be both frustrating and time consuming. I certainly wouldn't volunteer for it :)

That said, we're a genuine community here, and we (most of us) recognise that we too were once a green newcomer, so if you don't understand something then you should ask. There are a lot of threads here where people ask exactly that, and the beauty is, since we're a community and were all one green, you don't get railed at for asking.

Cheers.
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by kyphi » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:19 am

catweazel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:05 am
Do you hear voices when you read?
Only when I read out loud - and I am told that at times I have an incomprehensible accent. :D

Don't you know what a figure of speech is? :mrgreen:
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by catweazel » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:23 am

kyphi wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:19 am
catweazel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:05 am
Do you hear voices when you read?
Only when I read out loud - and I am told that at times I have an incomprehensible accent. :D

Don't you know what a figure of speech is? :mrgreen:
Yes, but you left the door wide open.
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by lsemmens » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:05 am

catweazel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:23 am
kyphi wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:19 am
catweazel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:05 am
Do you hear voices when you read?
Only when I read out loud - and I am told that at times I have an incomprehensible accent. :D

Don't you know what a figure of speech is? :mrgreen:
Yes, but you left the door wide open.
Thanks, mate, made me smile. I knew what you meant. :D
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Re: Linux Gossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:28 am

BoDill wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm
Sadly, whenever I write a post, I know that I am probably NOT using the correct terminology. Recently someone told me that what Windows calls a "Tray" is called a "Panel" by Linux.
Sadly they were misinformed. A panel in Linux is the equivalent of the Windows' taskbar, not the tray. The Windows' system tray (or officially the "notification area") is an applet running on the taskbar. On Linux Mint's panel there is a similar notification area applet, but this is an optional thing and not guaranteed to exist in every Linux environment (you can even remove it in Mint).
BoDill wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm
Is it possible to get someone who knows Linux very well to create a glossary, or dictionary if you want, that defines and describes Linux terminology?
[...]
If this turns out to be possible, and someone starts to do it, PLEASE send me a message that tells me where to find it!!!!
Of course it is, and any search engine could have told you that. Second Google result for "linux glossary":
https://www.tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Dictiona ... ionary.pdf
Last edited by gm10 on Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:22 pm

To All,

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you; I think you have put me on the right track.

First, for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t dealt with me yet, I barely know what I’m doing, and I chose Linux for my OS because I like it more than Windows.

Now, I went to the dictionary through the link provided above by “gm10” and it is a 1761 page dictionary that appears to me to be for people way more knowledgeable about computers than I. I looked up “widget” and found four definitions that I barely understood, and it does NOT have a definition for the word “icon” (it defines words with “icon” in them, but not “icon”).

For my own benefit I have started a folder marked “Linux” for notes, pictures, and sketches that I have made in an attempt to clear up my communications about, and my own understanding of, the Linux OS, and it sits next to my computer. Sadly, I have no idea how to put a picture in a post. For that matter, I don’t know how to put a “quote in a box” in a post either, as you have done in most of the responses above.

I feel that a simple “Starter Set of Linux Terms” would help newbies. Perhaps a picture of a computer screen with arrows pointing to various parts and giving names and basic functions of the parts. I certainly don’t have such a picture of my own, but a couple of examples to clarify my point can be found by entering “BoDill” into the search box at the top of the page and scroll down in the results to;

RE: Panel icons size or shape, Mar 22, 2019, 5:19 PM, by “Moem”, or
RE: New to Mint 19.1 Tessa, Mar 16, 2019, 3:28 AM, by “smurphos”

These are posts that these gentlemen gave me to help me understand a problem where the computer jargon was over my head.

I could go on and on about this, but I’m sure you get the idea by now. Let me know if have opinions or suggestions.

Thank you,

BoDill
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by smurphos » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:15 pm

BoDill wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:22 pm
RE: Panel icons size or shape, Mar 22, 2019, 5:19 PM, by “Moem”, or
RE: New to Mint 19.1 Tessa, Mar 16, 2019, 3:28 AM, by “smurphos”

These are posts that these gentlemen gave me to help me understand a problem where the computer jargon was over my head.
One of them is not a gentleman.... :mrgreen:

One of the problems with this type of glossary is that many words used have their generic dictionary meaning, but are used in slightly different contexts between different desktop environments or in different contexts.

E.g Cinnamon has a panel which holds applets that provide various functions

XFCE has a panel and has plug-ins that provide functions.

MATE has a panel and has objects/items that provide functions

Are plug-ins applets? Well they are not Cinnamon applets but they are 'small applications' which is the dictionary definition of applet. And ultimately they do the same job as applets in Cinnamon. Same for MATE's objects
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:34 pm

BoDill wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:22 pm
I feel that a simple “Starter Set of Linux Terms” would help newbies.
No doubt your search engine will turn up multiple such lists, blog posts and wiki entries as well. ;)
smurphos wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:15 pm
MATE has a panel and has objects/items that provide functions
Good post but actually they're also mainly called applets in MATE: https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-applets.

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:20 pm

Thank you smurphos, gm10, and all,

For some reason, your responses make me feel a little smarter rather than stupid. Since I have only used a couple of versions of MATE, I had no idea that there were such differences in versions of Linux. With that, I will no longer feel idiotic if I refer to a graphic activator simply as an icon, or even as a picture, because I am probably not the only one who doesn't use the proper terms all the time.

Now am going to go back to loading the black bar across the bottom of my screen with little pictures.

Always grateful,

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:49 pm

BoDill wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:20 pm
With that, I will no longer feel idiotic if I refer to a graphic activator simply as an icon, or even as a picture, because I am probably not the only one who doesn't use the proper terms all the time.

Now am going to go back to loading the black bar across the bottom of my screen with little pictures.
That's the spirit, it's all just made up names, anyway. In that context I have to say I do like "graphic activator" quite a bit. :D

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by smurphos » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:39 am

gm10 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:34 pm
Good post but actually they're also mainly called applets in MATE: https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-applets.
It's the Mate add to panel GUI (in en_GB at least) that refers to them as Items.

In the Mate Offline Help it refers to Panel Objects - with Applets as a subset of Objects along with Launchers, Menus, Buttons and Drawers.
I guess the MATE devs are distinguishing between a slightly more complex small program as compared to a single action Launcher or Button.

They probably should decide whether they are Items or Objects as a collective though and stick to to one term.
BoDill wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:20 pm
With that, I will no longer feel idiotic if I refer to a graphic activator simply as an icon, or even as a picture, because I am probably not the only one who doesn't use the proper terms all the time.
:D If you refer to graphic activator's as launchers we will all think you are a seasoned pro. I do like graphic activator though as launcher can mean at least two slightly different things in linux depending on context - ether the individual launcher buttons or icons, or an application that provides a way to launch other applications :roll:
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by RIH » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:14 am

Never forget..
A picture is worth a thousand words
:D :D
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:15 am

smurphos wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:39 am
In the Mate Offline Help it refers to Panel Objects - with Applets as a subset of Objects along with Launchers, Menus, Buttons and Drawers.
I guess the MATE devs are distinguishing between a slightly more complex small program as compared to a single action Launcher or Button.
Sure, but doesn't everybody make that distinction? I don't think launchers are referred to as applets in Cinnamon, either?

See OP, nobody really knows the terminology, you're good. ;)

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by smurphos » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:27 am

gm10 wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:15 am
Sure, but doesn't everybody make that distinction? I don't think launchers are referred to as applets in Cinnamon, either?
Yes and no.

Panel launchers in Cinnamon aren't stand-alone - they are contained in a Panel launcher applet.
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:57 am

Oh, sure, I thought we were just talking user facing terminology. If we're talking tech, in MATE you do indeed add "objects" to the panel, and those objects can be of types drawer, menu, launcher, applet, action, menu-bar or separator- each of those gets handled by the panel directly without the need for a container.

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by smurphos » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:04 am

gm10 wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:57 am
Oh, sure, I thought we were just talking user facing terminology. If we're talking tech, in MATE you do indeed add "objects" to the panel, and those objects can be of types drawer, menu, launcher, applet, action, menu-bar or separator- each of those gets handled by the panel directly without the need for a container.
Hence the room for confusion - the equivalents of all of those objects in Cinnamon are called Applets or in the case of Launchers require an Applet to be added/present on the Panel first, and the GUI to manage them is called Applets as-well.
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by Portreve » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:24 am

Hey BoDill!

The parent categorical topic to which this thread belongs — that is, technical knowledge — is a subject very near and dear to my heart. That's because it's part of an even higher-level superset topic, and that is education.
BoDill wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm
Sadly, whenever I write a post, I know that I am probably NOT using the correct terminology. Recently someone told me that what Windows calls a "Tray" is called a "Panel" by Linux. I can only imagine the frustration of people who want to discuss things, and/or help someone, when terminology prevents one from making oneself clear.
For some reason, this reminds me of something my photography teacher told the class in high school during the first class: the button you press on the camera to take the picture is called the "shutter release" button. It's not the "go button", the "clicker", or anything else. It has a proper name, and you're expected to know that and what the correct names are for the rest of the parts of a camera, of film, processing chemicals, darkroom equipment, etc.

This goes to the overall concept of there being correct knowledge data to be had, and then making it a societal value to have actual knowledge, and not approximations or someone's opinion or half-understood concept distributed as "fact".
Is it possible to get someone who knows Linux very well to create a glossary, or dictionary if you want, that defines and describes Linux terminology? Honestly, I spent something like 15 or 20 minutes trying to find something that told me what an "applet" is. In actuality, I found and read a few things and still am not real sure I get it. As I said above, I am NOT a computer whiz. In looking at other posts, which I do for some time before I post a problem, I have seen other people using the wrong words, so I know that I am not alone.
If there is to be such a glossary, in my opinion it would also likely need to include other "surrounding" terminology, too. After all, if you're dealing with people who don't know the difference between a computer and a modem (how many of us here have heard people point to the tower of a desktop computer and think the monitor was the computer and the box was the modem?) then it matters little if they get some of the other facts right.

To that end, and I will leave it up to this community, but if I may lend a strong arm or hand to this effort, it would be my absolute pleasure.
catweazel wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:05 am
kyphi wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:11 am
the English used to communicate here is, at times, not really communicative, especially if your ear is attuned to a different form of English.
Do you hear voices when you read?

:mrgreen:
Doesn't everybody?
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