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I know there've been many posts about articles, but I'm really getting lost when I cannot explain certain scenarios. Please help:

The ADO.NET architecture enables you to build components that efficiently manage data from multiple data sources. In a disconnected scenario (such as the Internet), ADO.NET provides the tools to request, update, and reconcile data in multiple tier systems.

Why The ADO.NET initially, but no "the" for the second occurrence?
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Another example. These two paragraphs follow one after another in the original document:

---heading here
timestamp is a data type that exposes automatically generated binary numbers, which are guaranteed to be unique within a database. timestamp is used typically as a mechanism for version-stamping table rows. The storage size is 8 bytes.

Remarks
The Transact-SQL timestamp data type is not the same as the timestamp data type defined in the SQL-92 standard. The SQL-92 timestamp data type is equivalent to the Transact-SQL datetime data type.

Why no "the" before "timestamp" in the first paragraph but everywhere in the second? The only logical conclusion I can draw myself - "the" is not that important so you can use it or not at willEmotion: smile
More examples of what appears to be the same problem:

The bigint data type is supported where integer values are supported. However, bigint is intended for special cases where the integer values may exceed the range supported by the int data type. The int data type remains the primary integer data type in SQL Server.

bigint fits between smallmoney and int in the data type precedence chart.

Now I'm totally confused as I need to write documentation in similar style. I cannot find a rational explanation to the intermittent appearance of "the" myself. Thanks for your help.
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Sorry, I'm just getting over excited.

Above examples were from Microsoft, now another author Borland seems to avoid using articles for names of classes, methods, data types etc:

Call Print to print the form. Print uses the GetFormImage method to obtain a bitmap of the form and draws that to the printer’s HDC.

Hmm... In Microsoft version would it be "Call the Print to print the form. The Print uses the GetFormImage..."?
In the first sentence, the article is actually used to refer to the word 'architecture', with ADO.NET simply as an adjective. On the second example, ADO.NET is acting as a noun, and since it is a pronoun, it doesn't need an article (similarly, we say Windows XP, not the Windows XP.)

Similarly for your second example, 'the' is used to refer to 'data type', with timestamp acting as an adjective. Example three also has 'the' referring to 'data type'.

'The' is the article for 'method' in Example 4.

I hope I am clarifying things, instead of making them more messed up.Emotion: smile

WJTW
Thanks, I got that. But will it be correct to rephrase example 4 as:

Call the Print method to print the form. The Print method uses the GetFormImage method to...

But it will also be correct to say:

Call Print to print the form. Print uses GetFormImage to ...

I guess the question now becomes which is better and how do you decide?
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Ok, taking the "adjective vs noun" rule you mentioned (does it have a name by the way?) consider this example (example 6).

You can delete (1)a DataRow from (2)the DataRowCollection by calling the Remove method of the DataRowCollection, or by calling the Delete method of the DataRow object.

(1) and (2)- Why articles are used? Does not fit into the "adjective vs noun" rule. What's the reason in this case? Other examples do not have articles in this case.
I think I made a mistake up there about ADO.net being a noun (yes, it is a noun, but strictly, it is a pronoun.) So, like I've said: for nouns, articles are used. For pronouns, articles are not required.

'DataRow' and 'DataRowCollection' are nouns, hence they have articles 'attached' to them.

As for which to use, it is all a matter of clarity.

Let's say you're teaching a Windows XP newbie on how to open a program.
You would say "Go to THE Start MENU, select THE Accessories SUBMENU"
However, when you're teaching a veteran Windows XP users about other functions (but require the usage of the start menu), you say "Go to START, then go to ACCESSORIES....."

WJTW