(Solved)Linux Glossary of Terminology

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Portreve
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by Portreve » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:53 am

BoDill wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm
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.
I'm not being unintentionally duplicative by either posting two separate successive posts nor in re-quoting a part of the same post I quoted previously. I felt this needed to be addressed separately.

In any given area of general knowledge, when one attains sufficient exposure (also experience, but exposure is the true prerequisite) one is able to more readily apply inferential deductive reasoning to a "new" topic and draw useful conclusions. It's not a matter, therefore, BoDill, of "being a computer whiz" but simply having sufficiently broad and deep exposure. It's actually a matter of being, in this particular context, a technology enthusiast.

I can only truly speak for myself here, though I suspect there's others on this forum who are much the same, when I say that I am a technology enthusiast. I know lately I've expressed burnout and frustration, and that's still as true now as it was when I wrote the posts lately that I have, but it's not as though my "enthusiast" nature has vanished. I'm also a very odd bird: I've never really had both feet in any one camp. I'm definitely a language arts type person, an academic at heart, and I love technology while also desiring to be precise.

I grew up in the 1980s when there had yet to be established a definitive and dominant computer platform. Because my extended interests were what they were, even when Microsoft was in its ascendancy and attained industry dominance, it was not a significant player in the areas of technology in which I lived or was interested in: namely, multimedia production and graphic design and print (what everyone would eventually come to refer to as "desktop publishing"). Therefore, I have lived long enough in an environment where computer platforms were a choice, and there were always several options. As a consequence, I never fell into the trap of thinking "there is only Microsoft".

I mention all of this to say: exposure is the single biggest net positive you can do for yourself if you really want to understand something, simply because knowledge of the thing is not enough. You must also learn the context in which it exists if you want to have sufficient independence.
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by Flemur » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:01 am

I guess the taskbar (list of workspaces/running programs) is in the Cinnamon panel,
and the Desktop Pager (list of workspaces/running programs) is in the lxpanel,
like the fluxbox iconbar (list of running programs) is in the fluxbox toolbar.
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=289142&hilit=taskb ... 0#p1602039
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by Portreve » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:09 pm

In preparation for writing this post, I have spent about 15 minutes trying to do a Google image search so as to jog my memory, but to no avail.

Sometime between roughly 1998 and 2001, I bought a boxed copy of SuSE Linux from my local BestBuy, when they actually had a "Linux" software section. I know, I know, it's hard to believe, but there had been an on-going attempt from about 1997 or so to take GNU+Linux mainstream. Of course, it failed horribly because it was in no way ready for prime-time. Anyone looking for an alternative to MS-DOS or Windows at that time would have been sorely disappointed by the state of development. This was a time, for example, which pre-dated package management and the way we presently handle updates.

Anyhow, the reason for this particular trip down memory lane was that whichever version of the boxed copy of SuSE I bought (educated guess is it would have been one of the 5.x releases, perhaps as new as 6.0) had the most incredibly well-written manual I have ever read for ANY piece of software — program or OS. It was clearly the product of a writing staff which contained English majors.

The reason I bring this up is I think there's a LOT of opportunities for distros and software projects alike to improve their user documentation as well as on-screen-displayed text (for example, within a dialog box). Naturally, I don't have unlimited free time, of course; however, I wouldn't mind taking a crack at helping out in those areas if the opportunity presented itself.
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:16 pm

Portreve wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:09 pm
The reason I bring this up is I think there's a LOT of opportunities for distros and software projects alike to improve their user documentation as well as on-screen-displayed text (for example, within a dialog box). Naturally, I don't have unlimited free time, of course; however, I wouldn't mind taking a crack at helping out in those areas if the opportunity presented itself.
You are more than welcome to, and the opportunities are everywhere The lack of unlimited free time goes for everybody and when it's the choice for the developer between improving the software or improving the documentation it's only natural the documentation often takes second place. The world is your oyster here, pick a project and start contributing. :)

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:58 pm

To All,

When I started this post, I did not know about the complexity of Linux Terminology among the various disciplines. I had started trying to make a “Beginner's List” of my own before I found out that I was on a fool’s errand.

A sample of the definitions that I gathered from various places on the internet are shown below. Naturally some are shortened slightly so that I could understand them. Does anyone think it would be possible to create a “Living Glossary” of such terms so that anyone who has the time and inclination to contribute could do so when their time allotted? Also, I assume that such a thing would need someone to watch it; someone who knows Linux very well, and would willing to screen definitions to prevent abuse. Also, such definitions might include some sort of qualifier that tells what versions of Linux the terms and/or definitions apply to, as noted by “Smurphos” a few posts above this one.

Desktop – The working area of a computer screen, containing icons representing items such as files and a wastebasket.

Desktop Environment – A bundle of programs running on top of a computer operating system that share a common graphical user interface, usually consisting of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpaper, widgets, etc. and usually provides drag and drop capabilities.

Panel – Similar to Widows Taskbar, will contain items such as menus, quick launch icons, minimized applications and a system tray.

Icons – clickable figures that provide instant access to applications.

Now, if you think this is a workable idea, let us (not just me) know. If it falls outside of the realm of possibility, tell me that and I’ll shut up.

BoDill
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by lexon » Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:01 pm

I cannot say it has ever been an issue for me. Google has been my best friend for many years.
Generally the term is quite obvious, well to me, anyway.


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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:28 pm

To anyone who may be watching these posts,

What I am driving at in this endeavour is a SIMPLE glossary to help people like me to get along with Linux a little more quickly and easily by giving them (I mean us) a little break in understanding the terminology, and therefore the function of some basic things.

In my post a above this one I gave a few definitions of some basic things to give an idea of what I mean, but I think they are too basic to make the point. So, to step it up a bit I Googled “Linux widget”. If you do that, an look at the various stuff that comes up, you should get an idea about why I want a simple "Glossary".

Among the selections under "Linux widget" was a link to Linuxquestions.org, under the heading; “Widgets for the Linux Desktop” and the fourth one down at that website was the the easiest for me to understand; “Some widgets are just apps that run under Linux”. And by the way, the second one down in that same heading starts out with, “There is no such thing as a Linux Desktop”.

Over the few years that I have been using Linux, occasionally something stumps me a little, and I can usually find answers or solutions by looking around on the Internet, and if that fails I can turn to the Linux forum.

However, much of the information is written for people who are a LOT more experienced with computers than I am. Fortunately I have found most people who “work” the forum are patient and understanding, and I think that a “Tool” like the list of Linux terminology might help some newbies in getting started. And heaven forbid, it might inspire whoever authors the Linux stuff to try to make the various platforms (if that’s the right word?) a little more homogeneous.

Honestly, if I had any idea of what I was doing, I would probably launch such an effort myself, but I sincerely don’t know what I am doing….

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:49 am

BoDill wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:28 pm
What I am driving at in this endeavour is a SIMPLE glossary to help people like me to get along with Linux a little more quickly and easily by giving them (I mean us) a little break in understanding the terminology, and therefore the function of some basic things.

In my post a above this one I gave a few definitions of some basic things to give an idea of what I mean, but I think they are too basic to make the point. So, to step it up a bit I Googled “Linux widget”. If you do that, an look at the various stuff that comes up, you should get an idea about why I want a simple "Glossary".
But what is basic terminology? Even I wouldn't be able to give you a definition of "Linux widget". I could give you an explanation of what a "widget" is but I have no idea what you mean with the "Linux" qualifier in this context. Where do you even encounter such terminology as a new user? I don't think I ever had to know what a widget was to use Linux Mint.

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by Portreve » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:37 am

On The Subject of Widgets

I just this moment executed this search on Google and it produced a result which is probably as useful as anything.

"Back in the day" Apple and others used to produce mini-programs called "desk accessories". These included things like calculators, clocks, the system Control Panel, and so on. Here's a really interesting article on the origins of desk accessories in Classic Mac OS. It's my contention that they are the forerunners of modern day widgets, and give a good working and practical explanation, if perhaps not a dictionary definition, of what is meant by the word "widget".

Because computers of the modern era have thousands of times the RAM of computers of that era generally, and the Macintosh 128 specifically, as well as many hundreds of thousands of times the processing power, it can be easy to blur the line between a program and a widget. It's also perfectly possible to write a full-blown stand alone program and treat it as a widget.

Does this help you at all, BoDill?
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:44 am

Portreve wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:37 am
On The Subject of Widgets

I just this moment executed this search on Google and it produced a result which is probably as useful as anything.
If using Google you can specifically search for word definitions by using the define: prefix:
https://www.google.com/search?q=define:widget

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by Portreve » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:48 am

gm10 wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:44 am
Portreve wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:37 am
On The Subject of Widgets

I just this moment executed this search on Google and it produced a result which is probably as useful as anything.
If using Google you can specifically search for word definitions by using the define: prefix:
https://www.google.com/search?q=define:widget
Interesting! I hadn't thought about passing that sort of parameter, but now that I know, I'll use it and look for others. Thanks!
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:24 pm

Hello again,

To answer a post above, by gm10, I picked the word "Widget" because somewhere I read that it was the name applied to icons (if that's the right word) when they are copied or moved from the desktop down onto the Panel in Linux Mate (although I now read that "Linux desktop" is a misnomer)..

Apparently, my mission to make Linux a little more friendly to newbies is doing more harm than good. Obviously, I like Linux more than Windows, and am content to fumble along in my own little way to use it. I am indescribably grateful for the help I have received over the years in the forum, and do not want to try your patience with this subject any more if it is going to cause aggravation.

With that, I'll shut up for awhile, keep an eye on these posts, and mark it (Solved) in a few days if nothing consequential transpires.

Also, I REALLY, REALLY appreciate the patience and help from people like "gm10", "smurphos", and ALL who have been so helpful to me in spite of my lack of expertise.

BoDill
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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by gm10 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:33 pm

BoDill wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:24 pm
Apparently, my mission to make Linux a little more friendly to newbies is doing more harm than good. Obviously, I like Linux more than Windows, and am content to fumble along in my own little way to use it. I am indescribably grateful for the help I have received over the years in the forum, and do not want to try your patience with this subject any more if it is going to cause aggravation.
If you got that impression it wasn't intentional, I did not mean to express aggravation. I was genuinely surprised that you considered that term the most basic terminology, that's all. And mind you, I'm not faulting you for that, you did clearly encounter that terminology so from your perspective it's entirely normal to inquire about the meaning.

I also have no problem at all with attempts at making Linux more newbie friendly, naturally. I'm just not sure a glossary is the best way here because - as this discussion probably shows - the terminology you'll encounter will be different for everybody and so are the contextual meanings. But that's just my opinion, you are more than welcome to prove me wrong and create such a glossary.

What I can offer from my end is that if you encounter difficult to understand terminology in one of Mint's own tools (i.e. those maintained by the Mint development team) or other Mint documentation then I can work with you at simplifying and/or better explaining said terminology in the respective tools or documentation.

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Re: Linux Glossary of Terminology

Post by BoDill » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:55 pm

To All,

Thank you all for your responses, logic, and advice. It is my intention to close this of list posts with a positive comment, as I am impressed with the calibre of your answers and recommendations. I am a retired engineer whose career has taken me all around the world in a very high-tech industry dealing with, literally, rocket scientists. During my travels, I came to appreciate peers who could discuss things without reverting to esoteric language for the sake of their own aggrandizement. With that in mind, I thought that I might contribute to this fine enterprise by suggesting a sort of glossary for beginners, to help them get started. Actually, I thought that making the "language" more clear cut might make all communications a little easier.

That being said, I sincerely had no idea of the complexity of this stuff, as I am obviously in-over-my-head here.

When discussing "Computer stuff" with others, any suggestion of trying Linux is met with the lament that it is too complicated. Well, I have figured out what I need to operate with Linux (with your help and support in the forum), so as the less articulate are known to say, "To hell with them".

I can't say it enough, thanks for your help.....

BoDill
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