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Old 25th September 2012, 08:43   #1681
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

I have lost count of the times I have corrected people using transparent, when they meant opaque.

"We are making a change in our software, users will not see any difference in the results, the changes are transparent to them."
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:00   #1682
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
I have lost count of the times I have corrected people using transparent, when they meant opaque.

"We are making a change in our software, users will not see any difference in the results, the changes are transparent to them."
I, for some reason think the usage of transparent is right, or at least more apt that opaque in that sentence. The change, being transparent, doesn't alter the way the user sees the software.
Would love to read other's opinions as well
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:23   #1683
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
"We are making a change in our software, users will not see any difference in the results, the changes are transparent to them."
This is very common usage in the software world. And I have seen it used around the world. And I think the usage is correct.
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:32   #1684
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

^^It is correct. It means the user will not encounter any difficulty or notice anything amiss because of the change being made. This was told by my late uncle who was a systems manager from IBM days.

He also told me the word computer "Virus" is an acronym! It stands for "Valuable Information Resources Under Siege"!

Last edited by Gansan : 25th September 2012 at 09:35.
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Old 25th September 2012, 13:16   #1685
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

We'll be on to steep learning curves soon! Isn't it true that people always visualise the curve the wrong way?

Anyway, I think there are two equally valid ways in which transparent can be used, and both are valid.

Glass is transparent: we do not see the glass, we see through it. We do not have to understand glass to do that.

On the other hand, if we say that the workings of an organization are transparent, it means that they are open and on view to all.

On the other hand... could we not say that a long CLI string or script, which we can read, see the options and change them if we want, is transparent whereas a graphical interface to a compiled program is a black box.

Gansan, I don't know --- but I do wonder if your Uncle's virus might not have been an "acronym after the event." There are quite a few of those around the techie world.

Computer lore has it, by the way, that the first bug was a dead moth ---which was preventing a relay from working.

Techies have their own way of creativity and imagination with language. It is often creative and pertinent. Marketing people, on the other hand, often appear to have received no schooling other than an MBA (how can that happen? in theory one needs to pass some exams to get into a university, or even a business school) and misuse the language through their ignorance.

Please see The Jargon File for a discussion of techie/hacker culture and jargon origins as well as the jargon itself

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 25th September 2012 at 13:29.
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Old 25th September 2012, 13:49   #1686
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Computer lore has it, by the way, that the first bug was a dead moth ---which was preventing a relay from working.
But couldn't resist...

Name:  FirstBug.jpg
Views: 905
Size:  93.6 KB
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Old 25th September 2012, 14:37   #1687
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Ahha, thanks, that's great! The immortal bug itself

But "first actual case of a bug being found" could suggest that this is a humorous reference to already used jargon.
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Old 25th September 2012, 18:29   #1688
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Let me fall back to TEG's blackbox theory. If an exe gives you output Y when input of X is given, and then you make a change to it, it still gives you the same output, it's working as a blackbox without letting the users see what's happening inside. is it opaque or transparent?

What would be transparent is if you added a layer on top of it for data communication (or whatever) that doesn't alter the way user sees it. But that is rarely the case described in such situations.

@Gansan, The acronym is funny, but not accurate. It describes the state of an infected system, not a virus.

But I agree, industries have changed things beyond recognition. Bandwidth used to be a range of frequency with upper and lower bounds between which an algorithm (for example) was applicable.

In law, "Assault", the way I have been taught, is defined as a threat, but not an actual bodily harm. Makes me chuckle every time when I read a news that says the victim was assaulted.
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Old 25th September 2012, 18:38   #1689
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
^^It is correct. It means the user will not encounter any difficulty or notice anything amiss because of the change being made. This was told by my late uncle who was a systems manager from IBM days.

He also told me the word computer "Virus" is an acronym! It stands for "Valuable Information Resources Under Siege"!
A search on Google throws up Vital Information Resources Under Siege. But thanks for sharing. Never knew VIRUS is an acronym.
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Old 25th September 2012, 19:15   #1690
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Misunderstanding of assault has always been the same. In English law, you have assault and battery. What is assault? It is making a person reasonably fear that battery is about to happen! Probably every law teacher has to explain that assault is not what the students think it is.

This transparency/black-box thing: I remember patiently explaining this to a new boss in about 1992. He was telling a supplier what he wanted ...and getting it wrong.

Trouble is, I can't remember now! But I think he was asking for transparency, when he wanted a black box. He wanted, reasonably enough, not to need to know anything about the actual processing, but just to get the right results.
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Old 25th September 2012, 19:27   #1691
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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What is assault? It is making a person reasonably fear that battery is about to happen!
Yeah, Now try to visualize a sexual assault as reported in a news.
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Old 25th September 2012, 21:55   #1692
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

OFF TOPIC: This is yet another great thread started by our dear Yeti. He loved BHPians so much that he initiated this thread to improve our grammar. Why would anyone take so much trouble? If we joined a class for advanced spoken English, how much would have been the rates of it? This post has made me speak better in English. Period. I always wanted to meet him whenever I formally become a BHPian. I kept waiting for my 25 post's limit to get over and now when I'm here, he's gone. Smileys can't show the sorrow I have. R. I. P. Dearest Sam Kapasi Sir. Teach the God some grammar. Teach him what humanity means. Teach him to punish the cruel and protect the good. Remind him of his own duties. He is not doing his job well. Enjoy the drive in Heaven. Take care.
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Old 25th September 2012, 23:47   #1693
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

He loved English. He didn't just pick it up on the street, from colleagues, enough to get by, etc, he studied it with enthusiasm, which is why he could answer technical points that I, 60 years native English speaker, cannot.

A few more years, he might have being doing the same in German.
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Old 26th September 2012, 13:05   #1694
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
I have lost count of the times I have corrected people using transparent, when they meant opaque.

"We are making a change in our software, users will not see any difference in the results, the changes are transparent to them."
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
Let me fall back to TEG's blackbox theory. If an exe gives you output Y when input of X is given, and then you make a change to it, it still gives you the same output, it's working as a blackbox without letting the users see what's happening inside. is it opaque or transparent?....
It is up to interpretation. As far as I am concerned I would call the "change" transparent, which means I am not aware of the change unless I am told. This is like trying to walk through a glass door, which I was not aware of. However the "system" can be called opaque since you cant see anything inside. But then that is what a black box is all about.

Last edited by vasoo : 26th September 2012 at 13:06.
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Old 4th October 2012, 20:16   #1695
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
I have lost count of the times I have corrected people using transparent, when they meant opaque.

"We are making a change in our software, users will not see any difference in the results, the changes are transparent to them."
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayded View Post
I, for some reason think the usage of transparent is right, or at least more apt that opaque in that sentence. The change, being transparent, doesn't alter the way the user sees the software.
Would love to read other's opinions as well
Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
This is very common usage in the software world. And I have seen it used around the world. And I think the usage is correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
^^It is correct. It means the user will not encounter any difficulty or notice anything amiss because of the change being made. This was told by my late uncle who was a systems manager from IBM days.

The word "transparent" is an adjective. Adjectives can be used in two ways - attributively and predicatively.

For example:
Transparent changes - here the adjective "transparent" is used attributively. It comes before a noun and modifies it.

Changes are transparent - here the adjective "transparent" is used predicatively, i.e., it comes after the verb "are".

Some adjectives can be used only predicatively.
For example, the adjective "afraid":
She is afraid of heights.

The adjective "transparent" predominantly has two interpretations - literal and figurative.

Literal meaning: characteristic of something that allows light to pass through so you can see things beyond. For example: transparent glass/container. In the sentence we are discussing, this is not the meaning that is implied. Hence, we can ignore the literal meaning of the word "transparent".

Figurative meaning: the adjective "transparent" also means that something is obvious, easy to notice, and readily understood.
For example:
Transparent motives - attributive adjective
Motives are transparent - predicative adjective

Both the above sentences imply that someone's motives are obvious, easy to notice, and readily understood.

So, when you say "Changes are transparent", it means the changes are obvious, easy to notice, and readily understood, which is exactly the opposite of what is meant to be conveyed.

"Opaque" is not the right word to use in this context. Instead, we can use the simplest of words "invisible" to convey what we mean. Hence, the original sentence ...

We are making a change in our software, users will not see any difference in the results, the changes are transparent to them.

... can be edited as follows, for example:

We are making a change to our software and this will not affect the user experience as the change is invisible.
(or)
We are making a change to our software. The change is invisible and will not affect user results.
(or)
We are making an imperceptible change to our software and users will not see any difference in the results.
(or)
We are making changes to our software. As these changes are imperceptible, users will not notice any difference.

Note: When we analyze a sentence for language accuracy, we confine ourselves to studying the correctness of the sentence. We are not bothered by how someone interprets it. A sentence means what it means; therefore, you cannot govern its interpretation and claim that the sentence means what you say it means. Whether the sentence comes from IT or some other field like banking, hospitality, or fashion is of no importance.
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