Talk:Wording

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If it proves difficult to decide between different alternatives to wording, then we may need to have some kind of voting. I'm not keen on that as it adds overhead and takes longer to sort out. Probably a better scheme is to assume that we will easily reach consensus in most cases, and just flag the difficult cases if they arise. James 13:59, 7 October 2007 (PDT)
Old discussions should probably be removed from the main page in time, and archived here, and later removed altogether. That's not the 'done' items, rather it's the items for which we decide wording after some discussion.

Menu changes suggested for sorting tracks

Robert Hänggi and Cliff Scott have proposed the following change to two menu strings. This change is out of scope of the current changes here on the Wording page, but could be considered at the same time as the changes requested above are made.
  • Peter 07Feb18: I prefer the current formualtion when I look at it in context on-screen in the app.
Robert wrote: "This is a point that bothers me at other places too. I've already given a nasty German example: "Ansicht"->"Werkzeugleisten"->"Werkzeuge-Werkzeugleiste", i.e. toolbars menu under view."
Existing menu string Proposed revised menu string
Tracks > Sort Tracks > by Start Time... Tracks > Sort By > Start time...
Tracks > Sort Tracks > by Name... Tracks > Sort By > Name...

References to audacity.sourceforge.net

James 23Jan18: These changes aren't ready to apply to Audacity code. For example, we haven't decided on changing the DTD.

The following files in our codebase contain one or more references to audacity.sourceforge.net:

  • \lib-src\FileDialog\configure
  • \lib-src\libnyquist\README.txt
  • \lib-src\libsndfile\ChangeLog
  • \lib-src\portmixer\configure
  • \src\export\ExportFFmpegDialogs.cpp
  • \src\xml\audacityproject.dtd
  • \src\Project.cpp
  • \tests\ProjectCheckTests\missing_aliased_and_auf_files.aup
  • \tests\ProjectCheckTests\missing_blockfile.aup
  • \tests\ProjectCheckTests\orphaned_blockfiles.aup

TCP buttons & sliders

Peter 14Jul17: My suggestions for mouse-over hovertext tooltips. Note carefully that there is no full-stop/period at the end of each descriptor (this is how Connie like things to be:

  • Close: Delete the track
  • Track name: Right-click for menu options
  • Mute: Click to silence this track when playing
  • Solo: Click to play just this track
  • Collapse: Collapse or restore the height of the track.
  • Expand: Collapse or restore the height of the track
  • Gain slider: Gain slider for adjusting the volume of the track
  • Pan slider: Pan slider to position the audio of this track in the stereo sound stage.
Yes, I know the mute/solo can be more complex - bt this covers the default mode now. More sophisticated users will not really need the tooltip as they will have already explored the preferences - and hopefully the Manual.


Just a wording change. Really?

  • cleaned (the output folder created by a Macro) should be renamed Macro-output
Warning icon This change of 'cleaned' is not a wording change. It is a change in behaviour as to where Audacity stores files. It does not really belong on this page any more than using or not using the documents folder does. I'll see about making it, but I don't want using this page for these kinds of changes to become a habit. (James, RM hat on, and looking fierce)
  • Peter 03Apr18: (with QA hat on - ignoring fierce looks - and shouting ...) sorry but what is suggested here is just a simple wording change to make the nomenclature a little more meaningful.

    This change request does nothing to suggest changes to where the folder is stored. There have been such requests on the Forum, but rightly, as you say James, that is not a topic for this page.

    But thank you for saying you may look at doing this :-)

  • James 04Apr19: This really is more than a wording change. It is like saying changing C:\Program Files (x86)\ to C:\Apps\ is 'just a wording change'. It does not just affect the UI, but affects program behaviour. As an example of the kind of potential problem, consider a Spanish translator who translates 'App' to 'Aplicación'. We now have a unicode character in a path name - which some systems throw a wobbly at. You can see too that the change entails not just a change to a string. So whilst I am OK with making the change, and have done so, I reiterate that it is not simply a wording change. As RM I do not want directory renaming changes, or changes to a file names or their extensions, or to file patterns (such as *.png|*.jpeg|*.gif) or to names of external programs to invoke, to be classified as 'wording changes'.

Modernization: program to application

Warning icon The 'Program' to 'Application' change is almost agreed
(a) because there may be more places not yet identified where it needs to change.
(b) because there are still alternative suggested wordings being suggested.

RM for 2.1.3 (James) is OK with this change being made, but believes that 'Program' includes 'Application' so the current wording does not have to change.
Gale 01Nov16: Replying to James's "alert", I did search the code and I think all instances of "program" are listed here. I don't know when the freeze is but I'm prepared to commit my take on this, leaving out the few that are unclear. We can always change those others later. I think this change is moderately important in making Audacity look less dated.
  • JC: Invitation to go ahead, so that we can clear this item off this page and demote the wording bugzilla item from P2.
  • Gale 02Nov16: There is no implied Bugzilla rating for items on this page as far as I know, unless P2 is assumed unless stated otherwise. An embarrassing typo could be P1.
  • James 03Nov16: Ideally the Bugzilla bug's rating is the 'highest' of the rating for any of the agreed wording changes on this page. A P1 embarrassing typo should either be fixed immediately, or Bug 1427 should be raised to P1. Clearly a P1 typo should block release! If we've only got unagreed changes in this queue, Bug 1427 should drop to P4 (or be marked DEVEL-FIXMADE). That tells RM that QA sees no Wording changes serious enough to block on. Generally RM would want this page 'empty' and Bug 1427 DEVEL_FIXMADE or P4 before translation freeze.

Following recent QA discussion on email it was decided to modernize Audacity by changing Program to application as more contemporary usage throughout the documentation. Most of the changes in the Manual have been done, but there remain places in the code that need to be changed before we can update their associated pages in the Manual.

  • Gale 12May16: Where is that discussion on http://audacity.238276.n2.nabble.com/audacity-quality-f7561562.html ? I only see an offlist discussion. There are more places in the interface than you mention:
    • src/AboutDialog.cpp:215 "Audacity is a free program..."
    • src/AboutDialog.cpp:524 "Program build date"
    • src/effects/nyquist/Nyquist.cpp:2056 "Current program has been modified"
    • src/effects/vamp/VampEffect.cpp:622 "Program"
    • src/export/Export.cpp:636 "Normally these files end in \".%s\", and some programs will not open files..."
    • src/prefs/ThemePrefs.cpp:101 "when the program starts up"
      • Peter 13May16: Not on nabble because a limited Quality Assurance discussion (DL: Gale, Steve, Peter, Bill - as active Manual editors. And yes I realized that there might well be other places in the code that I had not been able to discover, thanks for that digging.

Export Audio dialog

The "Save as type" dropdown

Current text:

"(external program)"

Suggested replacement:

"(external application)"

  • Steve 18May16: An "application" usually refers to a computer program with an interface. At the least, an "application" usually refers to a computer program that has interactive input and/or output (usually a "GUI" but may be an "application command line interface"). In this case we are referring to a "command line program" that takes parameters only from the initial command. To simplify this point "C-Dex", "RazorLame", "WinLame" and similar are "applications", whereas "LAME" is a "program".
  • Gale 18May16: When saving/loading VST presets these are called "programs" in our interface, but I think "program" is correct there. I am less sure "(external application)" is wrong. After all it can be used in a terminal window, it's Audacity's choice not to do so. And it is an EXE file on Windows. If it was my choice I would allow "(external application)". That apart, is there any consensus for these changes? Steve had not spoken before, so I've done nothing about it. I'm about +0.8 - users on older Windows may be confused - but that problem will decline.
  • Peter 18May16: My understanding was that on the limited DL of Gale, Steve and myself we had consensus on this, Bill was included too but made mo comment. The basic problem started when I discovered a few weeks ago that the Manual was inconsistent a few weeks ago using both forms in different places. I wrongly assumed it was confined to the Manual (hence the limited DL) and started work on the changes to bring it into line with "application". Part way through I realized that it affected the Audacity application itself with "program" used in some dialogs. Like Gale I would opt for "(external application)" in this dialog. I was, and am still, loath to widen this out to a Team vote or a devel list discussion over such a relatively trivial issue.
    • Gale 18may16: I am unsure in what context Nyquist.cpp:2056 "Current program has been modified" and VampEffect.cpp:622 "Program" appear. I guess Steve knows the answer about Nyquist. Otherwise, those two look as if they could be left as is.
      • Steve 01Feb17: Re. Nyquist.cpp: "Current program has been modified", "program" is appropriate as it refers to the Nyquist script code.

Export Multiple dialog

The "Format:" dropdown

Current text:

"(external program)"

Suggested replacement:

"(external application)"


Interface Preferences

The checkbox "Show 'How to Get Help' dialog box at program startup"

Current text:

"Show 'How to Get Help' dialog box at program startup"

Suggested replacement:

"Show 'How to Get Help' dialog box at application startup" or "Show 'How to Get Help' dialog box at startup"

The second alternative is consistent with the Welcome message


Warning dialog

Low disk space

Current text:

"Low disk space at program startup"

Suggested replacement:

"Low disk space at application startup"


Manual pages affected by these proposed changes


Old Discussions