Re: [Nautilus-list] GNOME user environment brainstorming

on 5/25/01 7:57 AM, Calum Benson at calum benson ireland sun com wrote:

> Bastien Nocera wrote:
>> Windows uses "Execute...", not "Start".
> For that specific feature, yes, you're quite right... I was just
> referring to the fact that M$ spent who-knows-how-much money on a whole
> advertising campaign that revolved around the "Start" button!
>> Execute is a fine wording for it, because it's exactly what it does.
> It does, if you know what "execute" means.  However, some people
> (especially women, at the risk of sounding sexist!) have been shown to
> be really uncomfortable with these sorts of words that carry other
> aggressive connotations-- "execute", "abort", "kill" etc., which are all
> in common usage, especially on *NIX systems.  It would be nice if we
> could find some nicer, cuddlier, fluffier words instead so we didn't
> alienate half our potential audience before we started  :o)

There are at least three problems with the "execute" terminology.

1) It is not the standard meaning of "execute", so people not already
familiar with the lingo are unlikely to understand it. (I think the only
other scenario in which "execute" is used this way is in the military sense:
"execute that order, private!")

2) The standard meaning of "execute" is, of course, "kill". As Calum points
out, this is not at all nice or cuddly or fluffy. Some people don't like
using death metaphors lightly.

3) The standard meaning of "execute" is, of course, "kill". In unix lingo,
"kill" means the opposite of "execute". That is very confusing.

However, it is true that "execute" is the standard terminology, and we can't
just ignore that fact. In Nautilus we tried to use it in combination with
terminology that explains its meaning in context. For example, if you
double-click a text file with the executable bit set, you get a dialog like

    %s is an executable text file. Do you want
    to run it, or display its contents?

    (Run)     ((Display))     (Cancel)


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