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On 21/07/2013 at 10:26, Krunoslav Šebetić <> wrote:

Precision doesn't mean it has to be hermetic. People how know, don't
need help. Don't you find contradictory to write _help_ in hermetic

Yes, no and no.

First thing: by "hermetic" I mean "understood by people with some preliminary 
knowledge about certain subject".

Precise language does not have to be hermetic, agreed. But being hermetic is 
often the most efficient way to precisely communicate what you mean. Moreover, 
it is generally safe to use, because it is highly unlikely that someone 
without presumed knowledge will even look there.

Example. When you write statistical software, you don't explain in help what 
"median" is, or how "chi-square test" is computed and how it could be used. 
You expect your users to know that. The reason is simple: someone without that 
knowledge wouldn't even bother to install statistical package.

It is the same case with SYD function. It is fine that it's description is not 
understood by general audience, because general audience has no knowledge 
about investments. In turn, general audience has no use of this function. Any 
effort put into lowering entry barrier of usage of this function (e.g. by 
explaining what "amount of depreciation" is) would be wasted anyway.

It all boils down to defining your target audience and purpose of help.

I, for one, think that "help" is supposed to help you in using this particular 
implementation, not teach you general concept.

People who do understand general concept still need help. Let's take QUARTILE 
function as example. If you know what quartile is, you still need help to tell 
you what arguments can be passed to function, in what order and what are 
acceptable values of them.

In fact, this is a way that most of Calc help has been written. Take a look at 
ACOS help description. It will be useless if you don't know what 
trigonometric, cosine and radians are.
But then, what possible use could you make of ACOS function if you don't know 
what trigonometric is?

This is by no way "elitism". There are bunch of sources that can teach you 
about general concept, like Wikipedia, online courses, schools, universities, 
bookstores and libraries. There is no need for Calc help to duplicate that 

To sum up:
- Being hermetic is fine.
- Help for particular function should be understood by people who need it. We 
can safely assume they do have some preliminary knowledge.
- If help is not understood by specialists, then there is a problem.

I'm fine with anyone taking different course and making Calc help a teaching 
resource. But that persone should prepare for a awful lot of work.
Best regards
Mirosław Zalewski

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