I've finished my last chapter of SQL Server 2008 Internals, and now I am doing author reviews. The editors are complaining about the way I use the term "SQL Server". Sometimes I say "Your SQL Server should be configured ...." or refer to SQL Server using this or that resource. The copyeditors keep trying to change my wording and rewrite it as "Your computer running SQL Server..." or they want me say that the SQL Server computer is using this or that resource. I wrote to my main editor that SQL Server and Computer running SQL Server are not synonymous. She said that Microsoft's legal department has very strict requirements. Here is part of a passage she sent me:
SQL Server is the name of the Microsoft software product. At first mention and occasionally thereafter within a document, use Microsoft SQL Server. When referring to a computer running Microsoft SQL Server, use a computer running SQL Server (note the capital S). Never use the SQL Server, a SQL Server, or SQL Servers.
This didn't completely answer my question, so after another round of email, she said I could use "server running SQL Server". But I thought that in addition to being very awkward, most people will still interpret that to mean the computer. Was I correct?
And on this topic of things my editors insist upon changing... every acronym has to be spelled out. I agree that spelling out can sometimes help, but sometimes it provides no additional benefit, or even adds additional confusion. Plus, since my books are for advanced users, I expect the readers to have some background. For example, do I need to spell out "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks" instead of writing RAID? (or maybe it should be "independent disks"?) Will writing "Small Computer System Interface" really help you understand if you don't know what SCSI is? Will writing "Object Linking and Embedding DataBase" help you understand what OLEDB is, or will it just confuse you? I may be fighting a losing battle here.
Oh well... back to my reviewing.