Category Archives: nargery

Short explanation: Posts in this blog flagged “nargery” go into more detail than is polite in civilised company.

Longer explanation: Once upon a time at Cambridge (so the story goes), before the days of state-subsidised tuition, there were two kinds of people you might meet. There were the gentlemen, the sons of the gentry and nobility, who were at the university because they could afford to be. They were often not very interested in academic work, preferring to spend their time rowing and hunting and gambling at Newmarket.

There were also the people who were there on scholarships because they loved their subjects, worked hard, and were fanatical about what they did. They would even talk about their subject in fascinated tones outside of lectures and tutorials— even, perhaps, at parties! The gentlemen of leisure looked down on these students, of course: they would call such a person a “narg”, because he was Not A Real Gentleman.

So as time went on, people who talked shop outside the times when it was necessary were called nargs, doing so was narging, and the practice of indecently talking about your subject in public is nargery. The great majority of computer scientists are guilty of it.

See also the Jargon File.

The overview series: Drag and drop. You complain, we explain.

If there are two overlapping windows on the screen, people would like to be able to pick up an object from the lower window and drag it to the upper without bringing the lower window to the front, because if that happens the lower window will obscure the upper, and you won’t have anywhere to […]

Version numbers (and automatic hyperlinking)

A short note about Metacity’s version numbers: they are of the form major.minor.point, as with most software these days. “major.minor” tracks the GNOME release they belong to; thus major will probably be 2 indefinitely and minor will increase by 2 every six months, using the convention laid down by the Linux kernel of using the […]

How Metacity creates an alt-Tab list

I’ve been asked to explain how to add new items to the list of programs which appears when you use alt-Tab to switch between programs in Metacity. This is a bit of a simplification, but it goes like this: When the user is switching between applications using alt-Tab, Metacity has what’s called a “keyboard grab” […]