tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue May 19 12:24:10 2009
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Re: Klingon Anti-Virus
David Trimboli (email@example.com)
> The menu names are confusing, for example: are they supposed to be
> commands to the computer, options for the user to choose, or
> something else? I read them as actions "accomplish computer", "see",
> "establish", and "help". Only the last one means something I recognize.
Computer interface metaphors and terminology have evolved over the years
into familiar forms, even when they no longer make any literal sense.
"File" and "Edit" often have nothing to do with the options under them,
for instance. (E.g., if "edit"ing has to do with editing the content of
a document, why do some programs also include Preferences under Edit?
Because of the phrase "Edit Preferences," a function that has nothing to
do with the general meaning of Edit in a menu.)
This is why people have such trouble finding options in programs: the
option they're looking for isn't "discoverable"; you have to hunt for it.
Translating interface jargon into a constructed language sucks because
of this frequent dissociation of text and meaning. To solve the problem
one would have to design and promote one's own Klingon interface, get
the Klingon-speaking, computer-using population to use it, and probably
convince a major corporation to accept your standard—in other words, it
ain't gonna happen.
naHqun was stuck with the English form of Sophos. If one were to
redesign the interface to make literal sense, the translation would be
easier, but it wouldn't act like all other standard-interface programs.