Order of precedence for the Admonitions

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Order of precedence for the Admonitions

peter foley-2
All,

I have a question on what you feel the order of precedence is for the
Admonitions; specifically for Important, Caution and Warning.

Do you feel that the order is Important --> Warning  --> Caution (from
least strong to strongest).

Also is it safe to say that if these icons were coloured Yellow -->
Orange --> Red.  That this would help convey the strength of each state?

Thanks,

Peter

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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions

Stjepan Rajko-3
Hi Peter,

On 7/17/07, Peter Foley <[hidden email]> wrote:
> All,
>
> I have a question on what you feel the order of precedence is for the
> Admonitions; specifically for Important, Caution and Warning.
>
> Do you feel that the order is Important --> Warning  --> Caution (from
> least strong to strongest).
>

I'd rank them Important -> Caution -> Warning.  Personally it seems
like "warning" is the only one that can cut it for a real screamer -
something reserved for exceptional cases like "Potential catastrophy:
you may erase your hard drive by calling this function".

BTW, I really like docs that lay out their use of admonitions, like
all of the spirit libs.  It would be nice to settle on some simple
universal guidelines for when to use which admonition (sometimes when
I write docs I feel like I'm drawing from a hat when picking an
admonition).

> Also is it safe to say that if these icons were coloured Yellow -->
> Orange --> Red.  That this would help convey the strength of each state?
>

Sure - or if you don't find a yellow and an orange and a red that all
match the color scheme (whatever _the_ color scheme turns out to be),
you could also go with varying amounts of red in the sign - like in
the ones you posted on the wiki you could have the triangle
exclamation icon (red border around white sign) for caution (i agree
that that one is a good caution sign, like you say there), something
similar but with non-red border for important, and one of the full
blown red icons for warning.

BTW, I like your blue "i" for note - nice!

Cheers,

Stjepan

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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions

John Maddock
Stjepan Rajko wrote:

> Hi Peter,
>
> On 7/17/07, Peter Foley <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> All,
>>
>> I have a question on what you feel the order of precedence is for the
>> Admonitions; specifically for Important, Caution and Warning.
>>
>> Do you feel that the order is Important --> Warning  --> Caution
>> (from least strong to strongest).
>>
>
> I'd rank them Important -> Caution -> Warning.  Personally it seems
> like "warning" is the only one that can cut it for a real screamer -
> something reserved for exceptional cases like "Potential catastrophy:
> you may erase your hard drive by calling this function".
>
> BTW, I really like docs that lay out their use of admonitions, like
> all of the spirit libs.  It would be nice to settle on some simple
> universal guidelines for when to use which admonition (sometimes when
> I write docs I feel like I'm drawing from a hat when picking an
> admonition).

Me too, looking around the web I found these guidelines:
http://developers.cogentrts.com/cogent/prepdoc/pd-admonitions.html which
seem to follow the default Docbook XSL image conventions as well BTW.  They
don't mention caution, but the default Docbook icons make this yellow, the
same as an "important".

>> Also is it safe to say that if these icons were coloured Yellow -->
>> Orange --> Red.  That this would help convey the strength of each
>> state?
>>

If it fits the sign.

Just thinking off the top of my head, how about if:

The red-triangular sign was the warning (that's it road traffic meaning
right?)
The red-octagonal sign was re-coloured orange and used as a caution (might
look auful of course, you'd have to try it and see).
Not sure what to use for "important" then, maybe something more like the
default docbook XSL one?

Alternatively, we could use the same sign for all of these, and just change
the colour: maybe the octagonal one with a "!" in the middle (like the
docbook version).  I assume that messing around with the colours is just a
case of hacking the SVG-XML rather than any heavy duty editing?

HTH, John.


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions

Jake Voytko


On 7/18/07, John Maddock <[hidden email]> wrote:

If it fits the sign.

Just thinking off the top of my head, how about if:

The red-triangular sign was the warning (that's it road traffic meaning
right?)

Yes, that's the "yield" sign in the US

The red-octagonal sign was re-coloured orange and used as a caution (might
look auful of course, you'd have to try it and see).
Not sure what to use for "important" then, maybe something more like the
default docbook XSL one?

Using the US street sign metaphor, there are a few different signs that can be useful. "Do not enter", the red circle with the white line through the center going horizontally. The "Slow" sign, which is an orange (?) diamond with the word "SLOW" in the center (This general idea might be better for the caution, replacing "Slow" with "Caution").

Alternatively, we could use the same sign for all of these, and just change
the colour: maybe the octagonal one with a "!" in the middle (like the
docbook version).  I assume that messing around with the colours is just a
case of hacking the SVG-XML rather than any heavy duty editing?

Please be kind to the red/green color deficient people among us :).. it's easier on us if everything has a different shape, too.

Jake


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions

pabristow

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jake Voytko
Sent: 18 July 2007 12:43
To: Boost documentation format, structure, and processing discussion
Subject: Re: [Boost-docs] Order of precedence for the Admonitions

The red-triangular sign was the warning (that's it road traffic meaning
right?)

Yes, that's the "yield" sign in the US  
 
Note quite  see
 
 
 
 
for more than you ever wanted to know about road signs. 
 
The 'yield' triangle is 'upsidedown'. 
A ll the international warnings are a 'right way up' triangle.
 
(Prohibitions are red circles and blue signs are info).

 Using the US street sign metaphor, 
 
Many of these are unfamilar to very many Boost users, since, like other irritating things like US paper sizes.., it is NOT the international standard :-(
 
 Please be kind to the red/green color deficient people among us :).. it's easier on us if everything has a different shape, too.

I agree that this is a reasonable concession for the 'chromatically challenged' ;-)
 
So a red STOP octagonal sign might be good for the highest level of alerting?
 
(And NOT changed color for any other purpose).
 
So do we really need caution AND warning?
 
Info - blue i
tip - light bulb -  tungsten filament - not very green ;-))
warning - triangle red outside !
Stop and think about this first - stop sign.  - unless we use the skull and crossbones for this ;-)
 
Paul
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions

Joel de Guzman-2
In reply to this post by John Maddock
John Maddock wrote:
> Stjepan Rajko wrote:

>> BTW, I really like docs that lay out their use of admonitions, like
>> all of the spirit libs.  It would be nice to settle on some simple
>> universal guidelines for when to use which admonition (sometimes when
>> I write docs I feel like I'm drawing from a hat when picking an
>> admonition).
>
> Me too, looking around the web I found these guidelines:
> http://developers.cogentrts.com/cogent/prepdoc/pd-admonitions.html which
> seem to follow the default Docbook XSL image conventions as well BTW.  They
> don't mention caution, but the default Docbook icons make this yellow, the
> same as an "important".

Me too :-)

Anyway, just a note that I am very happy with what's happening.
Amazing work!

Regards,
--
Joel de Guzman
http://www.boost-consulting.com
http://spirit.sf.net


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

peter foley-2
In reply to this post by peter foley-2
All,

It seems that the order of precedence is as confusing for everyone as it
is for me =p.
 
>From the discussion so far it would appear that Warning/Caution and
Note/Tip/Important each mean roughly the same thing but have a slightly
different strength of emphasis.

I think that it would be handy to come up with a useful definition for
each of the admonitions this will help document writers and clearly help
with designing or sourcing icons that try to convey each meaning.  This
definition can also be included in the Admonitions section of the
QuickBook demo document to help writers.

As Stjepan Rajko mentioned and John Maddock and Paul A Bristow
re-iterated I also think it would be useful to generate a standard
QuickBook document for Boost that provides the definitions and
conventions used throughout any documentation (kind of like what is used
within a hard copy text book to stipulate what different fonts, icons,
callout boxes mean) this can help cut away any confusion potential
readers or document writers would have.  This could be stored centrally
and then included during generation of any documentation.

In my opinion it is worth stating up front that a possible option is to
decide not to use a particular Admonition if its purpose is already
served.

I will see if I can gather our comments so far and paraphrase them
succinctly to hopefully help us come up with something.

But first I thought I would see what the Merriam-Webster dictionary
(http://www.m-w.com) said on the matter.

Tip (http://tinyurl.com/3dowrn)
        - "a : the usually pointed end of something <a pencil tip>"
        - "b : a small piece or part serving as an end, cap, or point"

Note (http://tinyurl.com/348at4)
        - "a : to notice or observe with care"
        - "b : to record or preserve in writing"
        - "c : to make special mention of or remark on"

Important (http://tinyurl.com/39g3ut)
        - "marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence :
valuable in content or relationship"

Warn (http://tinyurl.com/yt9zfz)
        - "a : to give notice to beforehand especially of danger or
evil"
        - "b : to give admonishing advice to"
        - "c : to call to one's attention"

Caution (http://tinyurl.com/yogqtq)
        - "a : prudent forethought to minimize risk"
        - "b : one that astonishes or commands attention"
        - "c : to advise caution to warn"

*Colours or lack of*

I think that the agreement so far is the stronger Admonitions
(Important, Warning and Caution) should be Yellow -> Orange -> Red (note
the colour association still depends on the ultimate order of the
admonitions).  This seems to be a fairly safe convention.

For Tip and Note the colours should be subtler (Blue, Green, Black?).

As already mentioned on the wiki page and within this thread the icons
should also recognisable in black and white form.

*Shapes*

For each icon if we can find or create them I think that Tip and Note
should both be circles (with both colour and black and white versions)
and then for the other three use a Triangle, Square and Hexagon

*Order and Definition of each Admonition*

There seems to be two preferences so far as to the order:
1. Important -> Warning -> Caution
2. Important -> Caution -> Warning

Paul A Bristow proposed these definitions:

Note - generally useful information (an aside that doesn't fit in the
flow of the text).  (blue i)

Tip - suggestion on how to do something (especially something that not
be obvious). (light bulb - lit!)

Important - (note) on something to take particular notice of. (yellow
triangle)

Warning - take special care with this - it may not be what you expect
and have bad results. (orange triangle)

Caution - 'skull and crossbones' - this is likely to cause serious
trouble if ignored. (red road sign triangle)

Jake Voytko proposed this counterpoint:

<--Jake's comments-->

Personally, I think that "warning" is stronger than "caution", and would
flip the signs that Paul proposed. To me, "caution" means that ignoring
the admonition could lead to unexpected results. "Warning" means that
failure to follow the admonition will not only lead to unexpected
results, but that the results could also be harmful.

The real world examples: "Caution, wet floor" is a common-place sign
that is commonly ignored, but still offers good advice. Warning labels
on products offer advice meant to spare life, limb, and health.

<--End of Jake's comments-->

*Conclusion*

I think we all basically agree on the meanings of Tip, Note and
Important.  So at the end of the day unless someone can find a logical
way to split the difference between Caution and Warning I think we
should either flip a coin and stick with that decision or just go
alphabetically ;)

I hope this email has helped gather our thoughts.

Peter.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:boost-docs-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of Peter Foley
> Sent: Wednesday, 18 July 2007 11:57 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Boost-docs] Order of precedence for the Admonitions
>
> All,
>
> I have a question on what you feel the order of precedence is for the
> Admonitions; specifically for Important, Caution and Warning.
>
> Do you feel that the order is Important --> Warning  --> Caution (from
> least strong to strongest).
>
> Also is it safe to say that if these icons were coloured Yellow -->
> Orange --> Red.  That this would help convey the strength of each
> state?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Peter
>
>
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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

Matias Capeletto
On 7/19/07, Peter Foley <[hidden email]> wrote:
> All,

> As Stjepan Rajko mentioned and John Maddock and Paul A Bristow
> re-iterated I also think it would be useful to generate a standard
> QuickBook document for Boost that provides the definitions and
> conventions used throughout any documentation (kind of like what is used
> within a hard copy text book to stipulate what different fonts, icons,
> callout boxes mean) this can help cut away any confusion potential
> readers or document writers would have.  This could be stored centrally
> and then included during generation of any documentation.

I think that we should include a link to a central place where this guidelines
will live. It is not a good thing to have the same thing over and over in our
html docs.

An initial central place for documentation guidelines has been started here:
http://svn.boost.org/trac/boost/wiki/DocumentationBestPractices

But this place is more about guidelines for authors. You are looking for a place
where docs user can learn how to interpret our docs. I think this deserve a
separate quickbook based doc.

Keep up the good work!

Best regards
Matias

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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

Joel de Guzman-2
In reply to this post by peter foley-2
Peter Foley wrote:

> I think we all basically agree on the meanings of Tip, Note and
> Important.  So at the end of the day unless someone can find a logical
> way to split the difference between Caution and Warning I think we
> should either flip a coin and stick with that decision or just go
> alphabetically ;)

I think the problem is that Warning and Caution meanings and
sometimes overlap. Warning can mean from:

1. A message informing of danger
    "a warning that still more bombs could explode"
2. Cautionary advice about something imminent
   (especially imminent danger or other unpleasantness)
    "the warning was to beware of surprises"
3. Notification of something, usually in advance
    "they gave little warning of their arrival"; "she had
    only had four days' warning before leaving Berlin"

The second and third are more like "take care", "be wary",
and can be, in some uses, be construed as "caution".

What if we rename "Warning" to "Danger" and give it the
utmost weight? Example (from Jake):

     "Caution, wet floor"
     "Danger, toxic substance"

Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.

Regards,
--
Joel de Guzman
http://www.boost-consulting.com
http://spirit.sf.net


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

peter foley-2
Joel,

>
> What if we rename "Warning" to "Danger" and give it the
> utmost weight? Example (from Jake):
>
>      "Caution, wet floor"
>      "Danger, toxic substance"
>

I think this is the best idea so far!  Is there anything stopping us
from renaming the Admonition within the Quickbook (DocBook) code?

Peter.
 

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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

pabristow
In reply to this post by Joel de Guzman-2
 

>-----Original Message-----
>From: [hidden email]
>[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of
>Joel de Guzman
>Sent: 19 July 2007 06:30
>To: [hidden email]
>Subject: Re: [Boost-docs] Order of precedence for the
>Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)
>
>Peter Foley wrote:
>
>
>What if we rename "Warning" to "Danger" and give it the
>utmost weight? Example (from Jake):
>
>     "Caution, wet floor"
>     "Danger, toxic substance"
>
>Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.

I'm fine with this.  The STOP sign (octagonal to make it a different shape)
would seem most suitable to me, but I don't have really strong views.

So my vote is for

Into custom icons 2 blue I,
Tip lit bulb,
Caution red triangle with !
Danger (Stop) Custom Icons 3

Cahnges the admonition names sounds bad for backward compatibility, but we could provide a new one for 'danger'?

Paul




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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gatheredcomments so far)

John Maddock
Paul A Bristow wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [hidden email]
>> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of
>> Joel de Guzman
>> Sent: 19 July 2007 06:30
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: [Boost-docs] Order of precedence for the
>> Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)
>>
>> Peter Foley wrote:
>>
>>
>> What if we rename "Warning" to "Danger" and give it the
>> utmost weight? Example (from Jake):
>>
>>     "Caution, wet floor"
>>     "Danger, toxic substance"
>>
>> Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.
>
> I'm fine with this.  The STOP sign (octagonal to make it a different
> shape)
> would seem most suitable to me, but I don't have really strong views.

I like this too: I was about to say that it was impossible to do, but....
looks like you can set a title to an admonishment, so we could rename
warning to danger, maybe it's best to implement this as a template and
depricate "warning" or something?

John.


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

Matias Capeletto
In reply to this post by peter foley-2
On 7/19/07, Peter Foley <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Joel,
>
> >
> > What if we rename "Warning" to "Danger" and give it the
> > utmost weight? Example (from Jake):
> >
> >      "Caution, wet floor"
> >      "Danger, toxic substance"
> >
>
> I think this is the best idea so far!  Is there anything stopping us
> from renaming the Admonition within the Quickbook (DocBook) code?

If we find that it is better for us this way, it can be easily changed
in Quickbook with a little Boostbook support.

It can be done maintaining backward compatibility, because we will
maintain "Warning" as a deprecated admonitions that binds to "Caution"
( or to "Danger" )

Best regards
Matias

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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

David Abrahams
In reply to this post by pabristow

on Thu Jul 19 2007, "Paul A Bristow" <pbristow-AT-hetp.u-net.com> wrote:

>>Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.
>
> I'm fine with this.  The STOP sign (octagonal to make it a different shape)
> would seem most suitable to me, but I don't have really strong views.

Normally danger is represented by a triangular sign with an
exclamation mark in it.

--
Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting
http://www.boost-consulting.com

The Astoria Seminar ==> http://www.astoriaseminar.com


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

Jake Voytko
Going with an online thesaurus, possible alternatives include "Risk", "Alert", and "Alarm bell", the latter two providing good potential for visuals.

On 7/19/07, David Abrahams <[hidden email]> wrote:

on Thu Jul 19 2007, "Paul A Bristow" <pbristow-AT-hetp.u-net.com> wrote:

>>Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.
>
> I'm fine with this.  The STOP sign (octagonal to make it a different shape)
> would seem most suitable to me, but I don't have really strong views.

Normally danger is represented by a triangular sign with an
exclamation mark in it.

--
Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting
http://www.boost-consulting.com

The Astoria Seminar ==> http://www.astoriaseminar.com


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gathered comments so far)

Jake Voytko
In reply to this post by David Abrahams
My current vote is for Paul Bristow's

>  Into custom icons 2 blue I,
>  Tip lit bulb,
>  Caution red triangle with !
>  Danger (Stop) Custom Icons 3

except have the Caution icon have a yellow motif, and the Danger icon to have the triangle/exclamation mark that David Abrahams suggested.

Jake

On 7/19/07, David Abrahams <[hidden email]> wrote:

on Thu Jul 19 2007, "Paul A Bristow" <pbristow-AT-hetp.u-net.com> wrote:

>>Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.
>
> I'm fine with this.  The STOP sign (octagonal to make it a different shape)
> would seem most suitable to me, but I don't have really strong views.

Normally danger is represented by a triangular sign with an
exclamation mark in it.

--
Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting
http://www.boost-consulting.com

The Astoria Seminar ==> http://www.astoriaseminar.com


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gatheredcomments so far)

pabristow
Well this is turning into a classic bike-shed issue ;-))
 
I would say STOP sign means "don't continue until you've checked it's safe to proceed" - which is pretty much what we want the
'highest' warning level to do.

But I think we should leave it to Peter to decide.
 
Paul
---
Paul A Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse, Kendal, Cumbria UK LA8 8AB
+44 1539561830 & SMS, Mobile +44 7714 330204 & SMS
[hidden email]

 

________________________________

        From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jake Voytko
        Sent: 19 July 2007 16:41
        To: Boost documentation format, structure, and processing discussion
        Subject: Re: [Boost-docs] Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gatheredcomments so far)
       
       
        My current vote is for Paul Bristow's
       
        >  Into custom icons 2 blue I,
        >  Tip lit bulb,
        >  Caution red triangle with !
        >  Danger (Stop) Custom Icons 3
       
        except have the Caution icon have a yellow motif, and the Danger icon to have the triangle/exclamation mark that David
Abrahams suggested.
       
        Jake
       
       
        On 7/19/07, David Abrahams <[hidden email]> wrote:


                on Thu Jul 19 2007, "Paul A Bristow" <pbristow-AT-hetp.u-net.com> wrote:
               
                >>Can we do that? If not, then, I'm with Jake's precedence.
                >
                > I'm fine with this.  The STOP sign (octagonal to make it a different shape)
                > would seem most suitable to me, but I don't have really strong views.
               
                Normally danger is represented by a triangular sign with an
                exclamation mark in it.
               
                --
                Dave Abrahams
                Boost Consulting
                http://www.boost-consulting.com
               
                The Astoria Seminar ==> http://www.astoriaseminar.com
               
               
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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gatheredcomments so far)

Jake Voytko
On 7/19/07, Paul A Bristow <[hidden email]> wrote:
Well this is turning into a classic bike-shed issue ;-))

I would say STOP sign means "don't continue until you've checked it's safe to proceed" - which is pretty much what we want the
'highest' warning level to do.

But I think we should leave it to Peter to decide.

I agree. My input should be taken as mere suggestions.. I'll use whatever system is put in place by Peter, who has already done a great job styling new icons

Jake


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Re: Order of precedence for the Admonitions (Gatheredcomments so far)

Joel de Guzman-2
Jake Voytko wrote:

> I agree. My input should be taken as mere suggestions.. I'll use
> whatever system is put in place by Peter, who has already done a great
> job styling new icons

Anyway, just as a final food for thought, the idea behind the Spirit
docs use of the admonitions, IIRC, came from the Inside Macintosh
series of books and the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.
Here's a possibly useful article (old but still relevant):

     http://tinyurl.com/2nkn7f

So, in line with that:

     Info:    custom icons 2 blue I,
     Tip:     lit bulb,
     Caution: triangle with !
     Stop:    Custom Icons 3

Like Jake, I'd let Peter decide.

Regards,
--
Joel de Guzman
http://www.boost-consulting.com
http://spirit.sf.net


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