camgusmis' Essay On Computer Terms

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Author's Note, April 2010

This was written by me, camgusmis, years ago. I don't know exactly when. I don't necessarily agree with everything in here (in particular, I'm a much bigger fan of fu'ivla than I was at the time), but it seemed worth posting for others to use.

This is basically just a bunch of ideas on computer-related terms in Lojban.

Short Notes

jaspu needs "credential"

datni needs s:du'u:du'u/quote/string of letters or numbers:

liste - s/physical object/actual, enumerated list (as opposed to a description of a sequence, which is porsi, or an unenumerated grouping of items, which is cmima)/ - otherwise you can't use liste even for verbal lists!

tadji - deserves a rafsi

jbovlaste voting in error: mutpaprylu'a, ckulu'a, rejlu'a all usefull, all words for same type off "reference". Is "reference;with author and audience" useful/good? Except do any of them have different place structure anyways? Yes; places of document word should be associated with target.

General Comments

Theory Of Minimal-Length Word Use

This document attempts to, where possible, develop jvajvo that completely and rigorously match the meaning of various computer terms as viewed by computing experts. As such, many of them are very long (although c.f. German) with baroque place structures. Before you object to this, please understand that they are mostly not meant to be used.

It is my belief that a Lojban speaker should use whatever word has the place structure needed and does not introduce confusion given the context. There are not going to be very many times where it is necessary to say samterlutselmutpapri instead of se mutpapri. {la'o zoi zoi samterlutselmutpapri lu la .lojban. mo li'u .e so'i drata la'o zoi zoi fa'u la'o zoi zoi lu .e'u ko dunda li'u fa'u lu gubni datni la .camgusmis li'u la'o zoi zoi fa'u la'o zoi zoi} is a contrived but reasonable use of samterlutselmutpapri because the whole place structure is being used. In everyday usage, though, things like {la'o zoi zoi cu cinri mutpapri} is much, much more likely. If you only need on place, and inspeficity about the exact nature of the item you're discussing isn't likely to be a problem, use the shortest word that fits!

This is especially hard, I expect, for English speakers. English has a ridiculous amount of words, and (much worse) defines "good writing" at least partly in terms of using the most specific word for the job. An English author would almost never say "A attacked B" if A is using a gun; they'd use "shot" instead. This is why my current draft (as of 1 Aug 2006) of {la nicte cadzu} has many instances of {xumjimcelxa'i} that need to be replaced with xarci or gunta.

With fu'ivla, some of this doesn't apply, but there the likelyhood of the audience being unfamiliar with the fu'ivla imposes a similar constraint: if a more-well known word that is (at worst) not much longer will do well enough, use it!

In summary, I assert that good Lojban writing uses the shortest, (usually) *least* specific word that doesn't introduce confusion, in the same way that good English writing uses the most specific word available.

About mutpapri

xorxes and I have had a long, running discussion over the years about some of these terms, with "web page" at the forefront of our arguments.

xorxes has asserted that papri has the place structure we want, that is x1 is a web page in web site x2. I've eventually come to agree, *however*, the actual definition makes papri sound like a physical page specifically, and I can't get past that. If the BPFK wants to tweak the definition to make it mean something more like "document" and less like "page", I'll stop using mutpapri.

About kliki

I consider kliki the wrong word for many English uses of the word "click' in a computer context, because most of them suck in English, too. I don't click on a link when I'm using a text-only browser, for example.

However, sometimes click/kliki really is the right term, as when a user is being instructed in the use of a GUI and you really do want to tell the user not just to activate a widget but *how*.

Having said that, though, I don't use kliki here for two reasons: (1) I'm unclear on whether it's supposed to be a word for general widget activation (for which I think pilno is fine) or for specifically using the button of a pointing device and (2) I'm rather attached to the gismu algorithm, and am not terribly interested in gismu (experimental or otherwise) that don't use it, except for the Lojban-specific ones of course.

Document Terms

document - mutpapri (papri, with def'n changes) to focus on relation to other, superset works; vreji to focus on work's subject; cukta to focus on auther and audience

mutpapri - mucti papri - document - smallest contiguous part of a set of documents, i.e. accessible without doing anything other then changing sensory focus

mutpaprylu'a - mutpapri / cukta / vreji pluta - p1 is a bibliographic reference / ?? to document p2=mp1 from document p3=mp1 via document(s) p4=mp1 (sequence); (sa'a document- descriptive places start here in all versions) document referenced is part of larger work mp2 -- drop p4 due to relative uselessness?

samymutpaprylu'a - skami mutpapri pluta - hyperlink - p1 is a hyperlink / a document reference that can be used by a computer program to find the referenced document ...(as previous)

Web Terms

samterlutmutpapri - skami te pluta mutpapri - web page - mp1=p3 is a web page / document containing hyperlinks in website / collection of hyperlinking documents mp2; links to documents including p2 with links including p3 via web sites includong p4 (use fa'u to associate elements of x3, x4 and x5)

samterlutselmutpapri or se samterlutmutpapri - web site

ralsamterlutselmutpapri - www - places as se samterlutmutpapri with r2 at the end; r3 is "best known" and "biggest"

uebe - short for ralju samterlutselmutpapri

uebe mutpapri - web page -

uebe selmutpapri - web site -

url - judri fi le uebe

pilno le ti/dei samymutpaprylu'a - click a link/click here - pilno le ti pluta (short)

surf to / go to url - catlu le .uebe se judri be la'o zoi ... Zoi

surf / browse - kalsa catlu le .uebe

Web Application Terms

search - sisku - x2 can be used to indicate what property the search is over, for example a text widget labelled "sisku lo ka ma cmene kei lo mutpapri" for searching page names

OK / Continue / Cancel / Quit - see the WIMP section; for web applications sich as forum, the jmina forms are often correct

Post (forum or similar) - jmina / co'u jmina


logged in/on - ca'o se jaspu le skami vreji (be le du'u le se jaspu cu jarco lo ka djuno le drani se mipri) (vreji in RAM counts!) le samru'e lo nu pilno / galfi le skami

login - co'a se jaspu

logout - co'u se jaspu

session - lo za'i se jaspu


memory - sorcu le datni

RAM - zasni sorcu le datni -

keyboard - lerfu cupra tutci / lerpratci (jbovlaste has lercu'aca'a, which is fine, but I like this better) - t1=c1 is a keyboard / letter data entry device (most general) for producing letters / glyphs including c2=l1 by process c3 (t2 is subsumed by the definitipn and the x2 and x3 places, l2 and l3 are per lerfu and hence dropped)

mouse / trackball / touchpad / pointing device - skami cuxna tutci / samcu'atci ? - t1 is a pointing device (most general) / computerised tool allowing agent c1 to choose widget / item c2 amongst widgets / items c3 on computer s1 which has purpose s2

left / right mouse button - samcuhatci zunle / pritu bo batke



I might be taking a bit of liberty with the x3 of jvinu here; "point of view" is, after all, a bit fuzzy. If it bothers people, a more specific idea of containment could probably be made with jvinu + nenri.


window - jvinu /samji'u - j1 is a window / dialogue box / computerized display / etc for data j2 on / in / contained by display area / desktop j3 with window generated by / running on computer s1 and display area generated by / running on computer s1 (s2 dropped because it is per-computer)

desktop - ralju te samji'u - conceptually outer-most display area

widget / button / menu item / etc - cabra / samymutca'a - c1=m1 is a computeruzed virtual / immaterial widget / button / menu item / etc (extremely general) for purpose(s) including c2 used by agent(s) including c3 being generated by computer s1, computer for purpose s2

menu (as a whole) - liste samymutca'a - probably covers some other widgets too; if the distinction is important to you, mail me and I'll figure something out

menu (as list of items) - samymutca'a liste / liste lo samymutca'a (po'u specification)

OK / continue (so many uses!) - .ie / co'u gasnu / diha / diha gasnu / .i'a (most geberal?) / jmina / others?

Cancel / Quit - na gasnu / .ie nai / na jmina / fanmo / na ku

Pause - deha / deha gasnu

click - pilno / batke catke pilno

click with left / right mouse button - pilno le samymutca'a tahi le nu catke le samcuhatci zunle / pritu bo batke (tahi tuha le zunle batke for short)

double click - ze'i re roi batke catke pilno / (left button specifically) ze'i re roi pilno tahi tuha le zunle batke

icon - sinxa be foo samymutca'a

text field - selciska samymutca'a


straight line / column / row of text - lerlihi - li1 is a line of letters / glyphs including li2=le1 (quote or list / set of lerfu) (other places of lerfu are per-lerfu and so dropped)

line / row of text - pinta lerlihi

column of text - sraji lerlihi

delete - vimcu le pritu lerfu

backspace - vimcu le zunle lerfu

text editor - lerfu mutpapri galfi samtci

word processor - selciska galfi samtci


log / activity log - plivei (NB: xorxes has used this for "log in", with which I utterly disagree) - v1 is a log / usage log / record of usage events including v2 (nu/qoute/du'u) which is a record of v3=p1's usage of resource p2 for purpose p3 (often unknown / not recorded in a usage log) recorded in medium v4 (v4 moved to the end on account of relative uselessness; x2-5 can be assoicated unsing fa'u of there's more than one of each, otherswise each is a non-complete description by default)

sysadmin - skami jitro

interface / user interface - pilno tadji / plitadji - t1 is an interface / method for p1 to use p2 for purpose p3 under conditions t3 (t2 subsumed by the pilno places, t3 last due to uselessness)

GUI - pixra plitadji

CLI - lerfu? plitadji

Use Cases

  • double left click on the word processor icon, open the File menu and select "New File".
    • ze'i re roi pilno le sinxa be le selciska galfi samtci tahi tuha le zunle batke .i ba bo pilno le cabra liste po'u la vreji / la'o zoi File zoi gi'e ba bo pilno le cabra po'u la cnino vreji / la'o zoi New File zoi
  • Surf to and enter your name in the "new user" text field, then click on "continue"
    • catlu le .uebe se judri be laho zoi zoi gihe ciska le do cmene le selciska cabra po'u la cnino pilno / la'o zoi New User zoi gi'e pilno la jmina / laho zoi Continue zoi noi cabra


monitor, screen, crash, reboot, power on, save, file, directory, screen capture, operating system, trackpad, trackball, cursor, domain, host, spam, account, cut & paste, highlight, back button, drag, install, enter text, header, footer, frame, numbered list, font, page layout, print, paper sizes, trash, delete, undelete,