The collection went away

Larry Colen lrc at
Thu Oct 15 03:53:50 EDT 2009

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 08:43:10AM +0100, Bob W wrote:
> Larry,
> The first thing when learning any new subject and wanting to discuss it with
> other people, is to learn the terms and concepts and use them consistently
> with the subject matter. If you make stuff up, like "I frob the item in the
> library menu to include subdirectories, go to raw_photos and" you're just
> making it difficult for other people to help you. I'm not going to try and
> guess what 'frob' means to you. 

This is a digression from the lightroom discussion, but I didn't make
up the word "frob", and I use the standard definition:

The term Frob has typically been used to refer to any small device or
object (usually hand-sized) which can be manipulated, or frobbed. It
was adopted by the community of computer programmers which grew out of
the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club in the 1950s. Frob is among the
oldest existing words in hacker jargon, as reported in the Jargon

The term can refer both to the object being frobbed ("Hand me that
frob there, willya?") indicating the manipulation of a frob or as an
actual verb ("Hey, frob the switch.") indicating actual frobbing of an object.

1. n. [MIT; very common] The TMRC definition was "FROB = a protruding arm
   or trunnion"; by metaphoric extension, a frob is any random small thing; an
   object that you can comfortably hold in one hand; something you can
   frob (sense 2). See frobnitz. 

2. vt. Abbreviated form of frobnicate.

The Jargon file:

The first step is learning to take great photos, 
the second step is learning to throw away ones that are merely good.
Larry Colen             lrc at  

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