Category Jargon

CategoryJargon is a category for things which explain the jargon of computing. Which, since this Wiki is still largely preoccupied with computing, could apply to almost every page. (...and Wa-hooty for that!!)

Might better be named CategoryDefinition.

Maybe 20-30% of the pages in CategoryJargon would fit into a CategoryDefinition. CategoryJargon seems a bit more general. Some day one will sort this out and will be able to do this for perhaps 300 pages in a day.

I don't think this category is useful. The dictionary says jargon is "The specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group." Jargon is a vocabulary with special meaning in a particular context, but this category doesn't specify that context, without which this category is just noise. Perhaps CategoryJargon could be replaced with XPJargon, ProgrammingJargon, and the like. Personally, I'd rather remove the category altogether and just give a good definition on the pages in question. The term "jargon" feels insulting when applied to an area of interest to me. -- IanOsgood

P.S. The dictionary also tells me jargon is "Speech or writing having unusual or pretentious vocabulary, convoluted phrasing, and vague meaning." Again not of use because we'd have to tag every page on the wiki. ;)

Somebody had started to define fairly elementary terms which most experienced people would already know, so it seems a good idea to provide an index. -- JohnFletcher

Why? If I want to know what an AlexandrianCenter is why wouldn't I just do a search for it? Jargon terms aren't generally related to each other so the ability to see a big list of all of them put together isn't terribly useful. I don't think that this is an appropriate category. This is exactly the sort of thing that lead me to write PleasePleaseDontCategorizeEveryPageOnWiki. -- PhilGoodwin

What would you suggest in this special case?

What about those that just want to learn the jargon and do not search for a special term? -- HelmutLeitner

I would strongly suggest that every page doesn't need a category. People need categories to find pages in some cases. But pages don't need categories in order to be found -- that job is done primarily through links. Categories are a secondary structure for gathering like things so that they can be viewed as a whole. CategoryJargon isn't a coherent whole: it's just a bunch of pages whose titles are hard to read for the uninitiated. It doesn't help people who are confused about some piece of jargon because it doesn't help them find the page that contains the jargon -- it only helps them find more jargon. -- PhilGoodwin

I have decided to put into this category anything I come across on Wiki which is unknown jargon and not explained at that point. e.g. YAGNI (YouArentGonnaNeedIt). Otherwise Wiki becomes a closed community only for those initiated into obscurity. -- JohnFletcher

Will that help? Suppose I don't know what YAGNI means and so I click on your link and find all the pages that contain jargon. Then what? If I'm smart I might be able to figure out the YouArentGonnaNeedIt fits the acronym, but then again I might not. What I do in the same situation is to turn YAGNI into YouArentGonnaNeedIt. Then, if someone is confused, they can just click on the link. -- PhilGoodwin

Suppose I don't know what YAGNI means ... it could be that you don't know for two different reasons.

1. it's an obscure proper noun or foreign word whose meaning is unrelated to its representation, or 2. it's a word with a definite meaning, albeit known only to a particular subculture (ie. its jargon).

A CategoryJargon is useful, because it gives you an immediate index of terms which have definite meanings, as different from (say) proper nouns. Having such an index is handy for the tourists, looking for a quick introduction to the local language before diving in. Its also useful when certain words in certain context have a certain specialist meaning, like SpikeSolution does.

I develop an understanding of jargon in three ways -- exploring specific terms when found (by clicking the link), by seeing them referenced in many locations in the same way, and by picking up a local guide book which explains the localised strange things. CategoryJargon is that guide book. I recognise jargon (as different from other obscure word tokens) in at least two ways -- when it explicitly declares itself, independently; and by seeing it as a member of a jargon collection. I may not bother to read the definitions of every entry in such a collection, but I may well remember that I saw a particular term (eg YAGNI) on a jargon list previously, and thus realise that it is jargon.

As to the importance of being able to differentiate between jargon and other obscure terms ... jargon usually has meaning and definitions relevant to the usage context, while proper names (etc) usually don't. Clicking on the link to (eg) PhilGoodwin probably won't provide signal relevant to this page. "PhilGoodwin" is a deceptively bad example by the way, since it's also recognisable as a person's name (and not jargon). YAGNI however could either be a jargon acronym, or it could be an acronym for some obscure literature appreciation society.

Often, I find myself searching for jargon. As a WikiLurker, I'm not looking for truth. I'm looking for cooooool.

Me, too.

Reading the JargonFile saved me a lot of CultureShock. A list of jargon is useful because it exposes the usage subtleties of those who speak the jargon in question.


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