Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive B11 - Wikipedia
How to use nebulous in a sentence. Example sentences with the word nebulous. nebulous example sentences. In the following examples, the adverb is italicized and the verb (or adjective in the second into informal writing (blogs, tweets, and fictional vignettes) meaning less than accurate but .. Put author, date of publication, and page number The research plan is nebulous, diffuse and not presented in concrete detail ( %). Tips: Nebulous is derived from the Latin nebulosus, meaning "misty." Ideas or concepts "their dating arrangement appeared quite nebulous".
Since last month there have been failures in the companies appointed to be reported. I am no longer using companies that spamcop indicates to abuse. I do my own research. The reason is obvious. Besides the spammer be hiding there is a profusion of ISPs behind a single spam that must be confusing the spamcop search system.
And that is premeditated. Contrary to Ronaldo, I am not at all concerned with identifying the spammer. The reason is simple, he is the least responsible for this naughtiness that torments the lives of billions of people. Without the complicity of ISPs and Registrars, spammers and scammers would not be noticed. And the growing number of spammers and scammers is fostered by ISPs, and I can prove that. Well, well, nobody needs help to known what is Blacknight Fox if you want to stay hidden, wear feathers.
Michele, you are certainly a clever and apparently competent person in your role, but my dear, do not stay trying to disqualify all complaints that are made against ISPs and Registrars because your position is uncomfortable - you are defending the indefensible.
I am architect and urban planner. My job is to create the most pleasant environments to the people, where they feel good. It is extremely difficult for me to understand a profession that has made efforts to irritate and defraud people.
If your hypothalamus is not producing oxytocin make a hormone replacement because without oxytocin you will be unable to empathize with people. In other words let sociopathy for companies like Volkswagen. If you do not change your attitude the next time I will ask you if you have killed, today, one refugee child or kicked one. Until Marilson Brian Nisbet This working group and the RIPE community work by consensus.
If people have specific suggestions or policies, then let's hear them and discuss them. That's not what we have here. It exists because there is network abuse, it exists because there are bad actors and those who actively profit from that abuse. However it is very wrong to think that just because someone may not agree with you that they are one of those bad actors.
If people have advice or technical solutions they wish to share, share them. If they have policies to propose, propose them.English Grammar: Sentence Patterns - What you need to know!
The Co-Chairs are here to help with that. However if your mails contain only attacks and accusations, then please send them elsewhere. Gratuitous ad hominem attacks which attempt to impugn a person's background, ancestry, religious or racial affiliation, or their fundamental honesty are inappropriate, both here and now, and at all places and at all times.
I myself never make such personal attacks. I do believe however that in the case of someone who himself or herself elects to actively engage in a debate about policy If Donald Trump, currently running for President of these United States, were to propose the elimination of all hotel related taxes, I doubt that anyone would see it as being an ad hominem attack to mention that such a policy might benefit his interests personally.
Re: [xmca] meaning potential and cultural artifacts
Neylon himself voluntarily entered into a discussion regarding the pressure that had been applied, by registrars, to insure that their contractual responsibilities for insuring WHOIS accuracy would be minimized and minimal. I pointed out that he might very well have a personal financial interest in that issue. I am not at all apologetic for having done so. It is a relevant fact which subscribers have a right to know. And I, for one, am perfectly willing to refrain entirely from doing so in future.
What questions will the viewer ask? What situations will she want to compare? What decision is she trying to make? How can the data be presented most effectively? The designer must start by considering what the software looks like, because the user is using it to learn, and she learns by looking at it. Instead of dismissing ink-and-paper design as a relic of a previous century, the software designer should consider it a baseline.
It seems that many software designers, in their focus on functionality, forget to actually present the data. Consider the information presented when searching a popular online bookstore. There are a number of graphic design criticisms one could make—the uniform text size and weight results in a solid, oppressive mass; the abundance of saturated primary colors gives a distracting, carnival-like appearance; the text is spread all over the page, giving the eye no well-defined path to follow.
However, the most egregious problem is simply that there is not enough information to make any sort of decision. Given that the books shown are presumably related to this topic, what questions does the user have? Is the book appropriate? That is, what is it about, and do I care? Is the book good? That is, what did other people think of it, and do I trust them? The answers will be used to compare the available books, and decide upon one to follow up on and possibly buy.
Unfortunately, these questions are completely unaddressed by the information provided. To see relevant information, the user must click on each listing individually. That is, she must navigate by hand instead of by eye, and must use her memory to compare information across time instead of space.
The problem is that this graphic was designed as an index into a set of webpages, but is used as a catalog for comparing a set of books. The purpose of this graphic should not be to return a list of query matches, but to help the user learn about books related to her topic of interest.
Is a book appropriate? Is a book good? A rating and reviews indicate popular opinion. Because all of this information is on a single page, it can be compared by eye, with no need for memory. The standard 5-star rating system is information-weak—it gives only an average.
It can be enhanced with whiskers underneath that indicate the distribution of ratings. This allows the viewer to differentiate between a book that was unanimously judged middling and one that was loved and hated —these are both 3-star ratings, but have very different meanings. The viewer can also see whether a highly-rated book got any bad reviews; in a sea of praise, criticism often makes enlightening reading.
As a whole, the whiskers give a visual indication of the number of ratings, which reflects the trustworthiness of the average. Text weight and color is used to emphasize important information and call it out when skimming.
Text in grey can be read when focused upon, but disappears as background texture when skimming. All critical information is contained in a column with the width of an eyespan, with a picture to the left and supplementary information to the right.
The viewer can thus run her eye vertically down this column; when she spots something interesting, she will slow down and explore horizontally. The user wants to see books related to a topic in her head. But ideas in the head are nebulous things, and may not translate perfectly to a concrete search term. For this reason, a mini-list of related books is provided for each book.
Conventional software designers will worry about functionality—how does the user interact with this graphic? What else could the user mean by clicking? This is a significant redesign over the original; yet, I consider it a conservative one.
A more ambitious design could surely show even more data, perhaps allowing the user to browse within the book or fully explore the space of related books. A world of possibilities opens up with a simple change of mindset. This is not a list of search results—it is an information graphic. It is for learning. Arranging the data Just as important as what data is shown is where it is shown.
Unlike the words in a paragraph, the elements in a graphic can be deliberately placed to encourage spatial reasoning. Unfortunately, most software graphics are arranged to maximize aesthetics, not to bring out useful relationships in the data.
That is, when any skilled thought is given to appearance at all. Consider this excerpt of a graphic for browsing nearby movie showings: If a person is in the mood for a movie, what questions might she have?
Nebulous | Definition of Nebulous by Merriam-Webster
What movies are showing today, at which times? What movies are showing around a particular time? Where are they showing? What are they about? The user will use the answers to compare the available movie showings and decide upon one to go see. Although the above graphic clearly has an information deficiency What are these movies about?
Understanding which movies are playing when involves scanning a pageful of theaters, extracting movies of interest and mentally merging their showtimes. As with the bookstore redesign, enough information is given about each movie to determine its content and quality, although films have enough external marketing that the intent is more to remind than introduce. Text weight is again employed to make critical information stand out and supplementary information disappear until focused upon.
More interesting is the chart on the right, which plots movie showings by time. To find all movie showings around a particular time, the viewer simply scans her eye vertically down the page.
The original design grouped movies by theater; this redesign groups theaters by movie. The assumption is that the viewer would rather see a particular movie at any theater than any movie at a particular theater.
However, to ease correlation of the various movies offered at a given theater, each theater is color-coded. If the viewer prefers to avoid the Gulliver Theater because of sticky floors, the consistent yellow background may help her filter out its showtimes. No theater addresses are shown. This demonstration and the previous one have attempted to illustrate the power of approaching information software as graphic design, instead of as styling the regurgitation of a database.
To design excellent software, however, this mindset is necessary but insufficient. Something major is missing. Very little in the above designs is software-specific. For the most part, the designs would work almost as well on paper. The answer lies with context. Context-sensitive information graphics Print has one supreme flaw: An ink-and-paper design is static—it must display all its data, all the time.
However, a reader typically only cares about a subset relevant to her current situation. The designer is faced with the challenge of organizing the data so that hopefully mutually-relevant subsets are grouped together, and the reader has the challenge of visually or physically navigating through the entire data space to find the group of interest.
For example, a rider consulting a bus schedule must comb through a matrix of times and stations to find the single relevant data point—the time of the next bus. And a reader consulting an encyclopedia must not only find the right entry on the page and the right page in the book, but even the right book on the shelf!
These are consequences of static graphics. Because ink is permanent, the reader must navigate through lots of paper. The modern computer system provides the first visual medium in history to overcome this restriction.
Liberating us from the permanence of publication is the undersung crux of the computer—the dynamic display screen. Its pixels are magic ink—capable of absorbing their context and reflecting a unique story for every reader. And the components surrounding the display—CPU, storage, network, input devices—are its peripherals for inferring context.
Information software design, then, is the design of context-sensitive information graphics. Unlike conventional graphics, which must be suitable for any reader in any situation, a context-sensitive graphic incorporates who the user is and what exactly the user wants to learn at the moment. All information software consists of context-sensitive graphics, whether the designer realizes it or not. For example, the list of query results from an internet search engine is a context-sensitive information graphic.
This is winnowed down to a dozen, using context that is inferred entirely from the search term contributed by the user. Despite its enormous data space, this software restricts itself to a meager scrap of context, impersonal and imprecise. There are, in fact, three sources from which software can infer context: Environment involves sensing the current state of the world. History involves remembering the past. Interaction involves soliciting input from the user. Inferring context from the environment A person determines her surroundings through the five human senses.
A person using a software bus schedule, for example, should never have to hunt for the next bus. Developers would then write software to take advantage of it, and other computer makers would follow suit.
Someday, a computer without GPS might seem as silly as a computer without a clock. Given a time and location, many details of the physical environment, such as the weather, are just a network connection away. Consider a travel guide that suggests parks when sunny and museums when rainy.
Other information software, such as open websites. By reading some information, the user is indicating a topic of interest. All other information software should take heed.
Consider a person reading the website of an upcoming stage play. When she opens her calendar, the available showings should be marked. When she opens a map, she should see directions to the playhouse. Documents created with manipulation software. Creating some information indicates an even stronger topic of interest. Names, addresses, and phone numbers in recent email clearly constitute valuable hints.
When she opens a map, addresses in the email should be marked. All software lives within an environment, rich with evidence of context. Implementation will be discussed later in the paper. On the other hand, the power of the environment is multiplied when it is correlated with the past—that is, when the software makes use of history. Software, too, can use its memory to understand the present.
The current context, or a good approximation, can often be predicted from a history of past environments and interactions. Last-value predictors represent the simplest form of prediction.
They simply predict the current context to be the same as the previous one. For example, if yesterday, the user looked for one-bedroom apartments in North Berkeley, she is is probably still interested in one-bedroom apartments in North Berkeley today. If nothing else, the software should present this information immediately, without asking for details. Last-value prediction is frequently thought of and implemented as manipulation of explicit state—that is, the context is a persistent object that remains as is unless changed by the user, so the software always appears as the user left it.
Often, not even this is bothered with. However, this is often not the case with information software, especially software that is consulted intermittently. On the other hand, you would be delighted if you often came back to find it on exactly the page you wanted to read.
By thinking of this as context prediction instead of state maintenance, the door is opened to more sophisticated predictors. Learning predictors attempt a deeper understanding of the user.
They construct a model to explain past contexts, and use the inferred relationships to predict the current context. For example, in a music library, as the user chooses several bluegrass songs in a row, the software can graphically emphasize other songs in this genre. With further confidence, it might consider de-emphasizing or omitting songs outside of the genre. In fact, information about Maya could be presented automatically. If a person asks a travel guide about the Grand Canyon on one day, and Las Vegas the next day, the following day the software might suggest attractions around Los Angeles.
As an example of general pattern modeling, consider a person who, as a byproduct of traveling to work, always checks the train schedule from Berkeley to San Francisco in the morning, and San Francisco to Berkeley in the evening.
If the software can discover and model this pattern, it can present the appropriate information at each time without the user having to request it. When she looks in the morning, she sees by default the San Francisco-bound schedule; in the evening, the Berkeley-bound schedule. New York Times, Jan. TiVo similarly uses a collaborative predictor to infer which television programs the user would be interested in. Amazon, iTunes, and an increasing number of other online retailers are currently incorporating similar schemes.
However, with the exception of the lowly junk-mail filter, non-retail information software that learns from history is still rare. Typically, users can only hope for last-value prediction, if that. Most software wakes up each day with a fresh case of amnesia. And repeat it they will—tediously explaining their context, mouse click by mouse click, keystroke by keystroke, wasted hour by wasted hour. This is called interactivity. Interactivity considered harmful Chris Crawford defines interaction as a three-phase reciprocal process, isomorphic to a conversation: Her partner then does the same.
For manipulation software, interaction is perfectly suitable: It mimics the experience of working with a physical tool. Information software, by contrast, mimics the experience of reading, not working. It is used for achieving an understanding—constructing a model within the mind. Thus, the user must listen to the software and think about what it says… but any manipulation happens mentally.
For information software, all interaction is essentially navigation around a data space. For a yellow pages directory, the data space contains all business listings; for a movie guide, all showtimes and movie information; for a flight planner, trips to and from all airports. This is simply navigation. Alan Cooper defines excise in this context as a cognitive or physical penalty for using a tool—effort demanded by the tool that is not directly in pursuit of a goal.
For example, filling a gas tank is done to support the car, not the goal of arriving at a destination. Cooper goes on to assert that software navigation is nothing but excise: Except in games where the goal is to navigate successfully through a maze of obstacles, navigation through software does not meet user goals, needs, or desires.
Unnecessary or difficult navigation thus becomes a major frustration to users. If all interaction is navigation, and navigation is the number-one software problem, interactivity is looking pretty bad already.
However, when compared with the other two sources of context, interactivity has even worse problems than simply being a frustrating waste of time: The user has to already know what she wants in order to ask for it. Purely interactive software forces the user to make the first move. The user has to know how to ask. That is, she must learn to manipulate a machine. However, Norman described this concept in the context of mechanical devices.
It only applies to software if the software actually contains hidden mechanisms that the user must model. A low-interaction, non-mechanical information graphic relieves both user and designer from struggling with mental models. Software that can be navigated is software in which the user can get lost. The more navigation, the more corners to get stuck in. Beyond these cognitive problems are physical disadvantages of interaction. The hand is much slower than the eye.
Licklider described spending hours plotting graphs and seconds understanding them. A user who must manually request information is in a similar situation—given the mismatch between mousing and reading speeds, most of her time may be spent navigating, not learning. Further, the user might prefer to learn information while using her hands for other purposes, such as writing or eating or stroking a cat.
Finally, the growing prevalence of computer-related repetitive stress injuries suggests that indiscriminate interactivity may be considerably harmful in a literal, physical sense. Unless it is enjoyable or educational in and of itself, interaction is an essentially negative aspect of information software. There is a net positive benefit if it significantly expands the range of questions the user can ask, or improves the ease of locating answers, but there may be other roads to that benefit.
As suggested by the above redesigns of the train timetable, bookstore, and movie listings, many questions can be answered simply through clever, information-rich graphic design. Interaction should be used judiciously and sparingly, only when the environment and history provide insufficient context to construct an acceptable graphic.
Interaction is merely one means of achieving that. The working designer might protest that interaction is unavoidable in practice, and may even consider my ideal of interaction-free software to be a scoff-worthy fantasy. This is only because the alternatives have been unrecognized and underdeveloped. I believe that with the invention of new context-sensitive graphical forms and research into obtaining and using environment and history, the clicking and dragging that characterizes modern information retrieval will be made to seem laughably archaic.
Reducing interaction When the user is forced to interact, the software assumes the form of manipulation software. However, unlike genuine manipulation software, the user does not care about this model—it is merely a means to the end of seeing relevant information. Assuming that graphic design, history, and the environment have been taken as far as they will go, there are a few techniques that can lessen the impact of the remaining interaction: Graphical manipulation domains present the context model in an appropriate, informative setting.
Relative navigation lets the user correct the model, not construct it. Modern GUIs may be easier to use, but they are not much different in that respect. The GUI language consists of a grammar of menus, buttons, and checkboxes, each labeled with a vocabulary of generally decontextualized short phrases.
For millennia, people have described these concepts with specialized information graphics. But much modern software abandons this tradition, as seen on the website of a popular moving company: These drop-down menus are awkward and uninformative. Geographical locations belong on maps, and dates belong on calendars.
Even this is not ideal. But until platforms that enable such a thing are widespread, software can at least provide temporary ones. As an example of more application-specific context, a prominent online flower shop lets the user narrow the view via a set of drop-down menus. Compare it with a simple visually-oriented redesign: Many types of context can be naturally expressed in some informative graphical domain, relieving the user from manipulating information-free general-purpose controls.
Several more examples will be given in the case study below. If the software properly infers as much as possible from history and the environment, it should be able to produce at least a reasonable starting point for the context model.
This is generally less stressful than constructing the entire context from scratch. For example, Google Maps offers both absolute navigation typing in an address and relative navigation panning and zooming the current map. However, it initially displays by default the entire continent; this effectively demands that the user type in an absolute location to get started.
A better design might start at the last place the user looked last-value predictionwith a nearby list of locations predicted by history recently visited or manually bookmarked and the environment addresses extracted from email, open websites, and calendar software. An even better design would recognize the prediction list as information software in its own right, and would take steps to show the data such as annotating the predictions with driving times to and from common locations, taking current traffic conditions into account and arrange the data perhaps spatially arranging the predictions on their own map.
Salen and Zimmerman offer a game design perspective on a principle that is crucial for all interactive software: If you shoot an asteroid while playing a computer game and the asteroid does not change in any way, you are not going to know if you actually hit it or not. If you do not receive feedback that indicates you are on the right track, the action you took will have very little meaning.
On the other hand, if you shoot an asteroid and you hear the sound of impact, or the asteroid shudders violently, or it explodes or all three! This principle is universal. If the user clicks a checkbox and nothing happens, her action is rendered ambiguous or even meaningless.
She cannot evaluate a response and let it guide her next action. For information software in particular, all interaction specifies context.
Thus, each interaction can and should result in a discernible change to a context-sensitive information graphic. Providing immediate feedback reduces the amount of manipulation the user must do before either reaching an adequate view or recognizing a wrong turn and backtracking.
Google Maps offers reasonable feedback during relative navigation, but none during absolute navigation, such as typing in an address. Because of the immediate feedback, the user can stop typing when she gets close enough, and use relative navigation from there.
How did we get here? Much current software is interaction-heavy and information-weak. I can think of a few reasons for this. First, our current UI paradigm was invented in a different technological era.
The initial Macintosh, for example, had no network, no mass storage, and little inter-program communication. Thus, it knew little of its environment beyond the date and time, and memory was too precious to record significant history. Twenty years and an internet explosion later, software has much more to say, but an inadequate language with which to say it.
Other words in the Negative Connotation category:
Today, their windows and menus are like buggy whips on a car. A second reason why modern software is dominated by mechanical metaphors is that, for the people who create software, the computer is a machine. The programmer lives in manipulation mode; she drives her computer as if it were a car. Thus, she inadvertently produces software that must be operated like a machine, even if it is used as a newspaper or book.
Worse, the people who design platforms and GUI toolkits are even more prone to this perspective, since they work at a lower level. The application software designer is then almost forced into a mechanical model by the design environment. Dynamic graphics, the cornerstone of information software, must be tediously programmed with low-level constructs. Even software that starts out information-rich and interaction-simple tends to accumulate wasteful manipulation as features are added over successive versions.
After ten versions, the software can grow into a monstrosity, with the user spending more time pulling down menus than studying and learning information.
The design has clearly been successful. Even though the target audience is fairly small SF bay area public transportation riders with the latest Mac OS and knowledge of how to customize ituser feedback has been wildly enthusiasticand the widget received the Apple Design Award, as well as Macworld magazine's rare perfect rating. If you are unfamiliar with the widget, you can watch a one-minute demo movie: As information software, the widget was approached primarily as a graphic design project.
I will discuss how its design exemplifies the viewpoints in this paper, and also point out where it falls short and could be improved. Thus, the widget does not reflect new ideas conceived while writing this. The BART widget was designed around three classical forms of graphical communication: Showing the data Information software allows the user to ask and answer questions, make comparisons, and draw conclusions. In the case of trip planning, some questions are: When is the next train leaving?
How long is that from now? When is that train arriving? Which line is that train on? Does that trip have a transfer? If so, when, where, and for how long? What about the train after that?