Suggestions for nomenclature :)

I have an app that allows a user to design their own personal database (similar to BENTO), but since these users are not software developers I’d like to come up with more understandable and relatable terms.

  • DATABASE - collection??
  • RECORD - entry will be via a custom form or grid view
  • FIELD?


Collection or Repository, Entry, Item

Thanks :slight_smile:

Directory / Listing(entry) / Detail ?

Xojo’s Api2 thinking :expressionless:

API2? no idea about that since I quit Xojo at the end of API1… but doubtful any new terms they came up with would be intutive to a non-developer

Surely there must be only a very, very small number of people interested in designing their own database who would be confused by the terms database, record, and field. Almost everyone who’s ever used a computer in a work setting will be familiar with those terms. The concept of a record in a database is just part of general knowledge now, and most people who’ve ever filled out a web form— or even a paper form—have fully absorbed the idea of what a “field” is.

The tiny number of people who don’t know those terms should be able to understand them with the aid of simple definitions, while the vast majority of people who do know those terms will be momentarily confused and put off if you use unconventional alternatives, so I believe you may actually lose more than you gain by trying to use purportedly simpler words.

1 Like

I don’t think the word “entry” is any less computery than record (it may even be more so), and to me “item” seems closer to the concept of a record than a field.

No, not really… for example my 87 year old mother uses a program like this on a daily basis (and she doesn’t know “database” vs “field” vs “rowset”)… However the program she uses reached end of life almost a decade ago (I have it running on a VM that in turn runs DOSBOX…) the major reason for me writing this (other than boredom) is to give her a replacement.

Your mother designed her own database? What terms were used by the software she used to design her own database?

That is the point of this type of app… to allow non-technical people to design form based entry of important data.

The program she is using was the original APPLEWORKS (for Apple ][) which was later ported by someone to Windows and called SUPERWORKS. It is a rather ingenious application especially considering when it was designed and the platform which it was used on.

Again: what terms does Appleworks use for database, record, and field?

Whatever terms it uses they were apparently easy enough for your mother to understand.

1 Like

This one’s for macOS, but the original manuals (Apple II) are also available somewhere…

Appleworks 6 (the link you provided) and AppleWorks for Apple ][ are VASTLY different,

the ][ version was text based only… while AW6 was GUI but met end of life around 2004

A Database has one or more Tables.
A Table has one or more Rows.
Each Row has one or more Columns.

Pretty simple, esp if you have ever used a simple spreadsheet.

You know that, and I know that… but the average non-technical person does not know that…

Yes, but “Table”, “Row”, and “Column” are easily visualized. A one page tutorial with some examples should make it clear to all but the densest user. Unless your database is somehow “free form”, in which case you could get away with terms such as “bucket”, “bag”, “item”, etc.