Ben Langhinrichs

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E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs






March, 2004
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Thu 25 Mar 2004, 11:44 AM
Fellow Penumbra Group member Carolyn Kraut has started a blog, and the very first post I read helped me out.  Carolyn described in her post how, in ND6 and above, when you want to get the server or filepath from @DbName, you can now access the array elements directly, so @DbName[2] replaces @Substring(@DbName; -1).  Her mentioning this got me to thinking about the direct accessing of array elements, and I realized that my Interesting Challenge Redux post from a few days back could be simplified using this approach.  The code I had was:

but using the direct access to the array elements in the Titles_Old field would save one line and greatly simplify another, thus:

The temporary variable "titles" is no longer needed, and the messy

@Subset(@Subset(titles; n); -1)

is replaced by a tidy and more easily read

Titles_Old[n]

Thanks, Carolyn, and welcome to the Domino blogosphere!

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 25 Mar 2004, 07:27 AM
Support Thoughts intro
I am doing some active thinking about support forums because I am actively working to bring up our new Support Forum and still retain all the content from the past seven years.  I am adapting the OpenNTF domBulletin template to my needs (using @Midas and such).  If you want to see the progress, go to Genii Support Forum (beta).  I hope to have the support forum fully functional in the next couple of weeks.

Multilingual Support
I am active in a number of user-supported support forums, most notably the R4&5 Gold forum and the ND6 Gold Forum on Notes.Net (or LDD for those who think that way).  One thing that bothers me about these forums is that they are all "English", all the time.  Now, before anybody jumps on me, I accept that the forums are a lot easier to understand for us English speaking people when the posts are in English, and I understand that English is an unofficial standard among computer people, so I accept the necessity of having English.  What I object to is the avoidance of anything else, and the active dissuading anyone from posting in any other language.  I wish there could be a native language translation provided when the author of a post was not entirely comfortable with English, not replacing the English, but augmenting it.  This could be informal, just by requesting it of the authors, or there could be a separate field for it and a designator if the post contained a separate language version.

I envision a field on each post which states the "Alternate language", and a separate field for that language supplement.  Let's imagine someone posts a post in English, but also specifies Spanish as the "Alternate language" and posts the post in Spanish, presumably their native tongue.  English speaking people can still read the English part, but when it is very confusing, those who read Spanish can try to see if the explanation there makes more sense.  There could be a view for "Alternate language" as well, so that those very comfortable with German, French, Spanish, or whatever else, can endeavor to provide a bit better support for people asking questions in those languages.

Now, I don't want this to be confused for support for different language forums.  There are forums in different places already which serve as native language support, but they sometimes lack the breadth of experience available in the English forums (not due to any failing on the part of the native language speakers, but because of that unofficial standard I mentioned).  This plan would probably fail if too many posts only contained the alternate language, but I think that would be a self correcting problem, since people would not get the responses they wanted.  On the other hand, some posts would get answered that are not now because the English of the author is simply not adequate to the task - sort of what would happen if I were to post in a German only forum.

What do you think?

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.