One general thought that touches on many of your points - this is a Touring Plans user community. Although TP staff often do look into things posted here, the best way to reach them about specific technical issues or upgrade thoughts is to e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interesting thought - I have no idea what search functionality is used here, so perhaps @len can comment.
The abbreviations are a common newbie question, but we are a very helpful bunch who don't mind explaining things. I see that as I am composing this @PrincipalTinker has jumped in and posted a link to one of the common abbreviation lists.