bugPSPP - Bugs: bug #36747, The command synopsis notation is...


bug #36747: The command synopsis notation is confusing for users.

Submitter:  John Darrington <jmd>
Submitted:  Fri 29 Jun 2012 08:48:09 AM UTC
Category:  Documentation Severity:  5 - Average
Status:  None Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Release:  None
Effort:  0.00
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Fri 29 Jun 2012 08:48:09 AM UTC, original submission:  

Many users appear to be confused by the notation used in the user manual to describe the syntax of procedures.  Eg:


     Per input file:

     Once per command:
             [/BY VAR_LIST[({D|A})] [VAR_LIST[({D|A})]...]]

It is not obvious, to a non-computer scientist, what is to be interpreted literally, and what should not be.
Although there is a Section in Chapter 6 entitled "Backus-Naur Form" this does not explain, for example, that [...] indicates optional construction.  And anyway, most readers do not notice this section in the manual.

John Darrington <jmd>
Group administrator


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