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Re: Bloatware and the 80/20 Myth (was some unrelated subject)

On Wed, 9 Jan 2002, Marco wrote:

> and the article says:
> > And I don't think anyone will deny that on today's overpowered,
> > under-priced computers, loading a huge program is still faster than
> > loading a small program was even 5 years ago. So what's the problem?

 I think the problem is just that ... many programs are *not* loading

> The problem, i.e. *some* of the reasons to fight bloatware, is that:
> 1) This is an arrogant, egoistic, pompous and very "mentally closed"
>    attitude: since we are talking 80/20 here, it means ignoring that
>    today's computer's are "under-priced" only for 20% of the world
>    population. The rest still has to work many months or years to buy
>    stuff that makes KDE or GNOME look fast.

 Very good point (to be fair, I found early versions of GNOME usable on
a P75, and used enlightenment on a 486, and was reasonably happy at the
time :o)

>    (and when it comes to anything paid with your tax dollars nothing is
>    cheap enough)

 Not entirely true ... although I will always welcome restraint in
"public" spending, I'd rather pay enough and have good services (as I
just end up paying more in other ways).

> 2) Even those with enough income to throw away a perfectly working PC
>    every two years must not be forced to do it if their needs are not
>    changed. They might prefer to spend that money on vacations, maybe.
>    Today's free SW standard answer, "become a programmer and
>    recompile/write yourself" is a snob answer impossible in most cases.

 Vacations?  I wish ;o)

> 3) It is *bad* to dump something which works perfectly. Especially PC
>    hardware, one of the most polluting thing produced today.

 Something most people are not aware of, and even those who are don't
see the scale of the problem (it's not something I immediately think of
and I do know some of the pollution issues).

 This is partly addressed by power-saving modes in equipment, but that
doesn't cure all "environmental" issues, since the stuff is still being
obsoleted so quickly.  I don't have an answer to this, though.  Maybe
we could *try* to legislate against it, but the simple truth is, people
will always rush out for the latest-and-greatest.

> The useful 20% being different for everybody today means that everybody
> is forced to run the 100% monster, even with free software. It should
> mean that it is very easy for (well, almost) everybody to download the
> whole thing, pick his very own 20% and throw away the rest for good.

 That's not entirely true; if the application is well written, then you
just don't ever page in the code for the 80% of functions you don't use
and so the memory should be saved.  How well this works in practice, of
course, is open to question.

> Maybe it's just about packetization, I don't know (remember the thread
> about ghostscript rpm refusing to install on an english only PC if you
> didn't give it 20> megs of *japanese* fonts?)

 This is a relatively isolated issue.  Ghostscript is quite an old bit
of software, and is not totally "free" in that it's developed within a
commercial environment and six-month-old versions are then released as
a free package.

 Changing this would require rewriting from scratch I suspect.

> Conclusion: start saying to everybody claiming that "HW is cheap, so
>  bloatware is harmless" "OK, if it's so cheap  *YOU* go and buy me a new
> PC"

 Good idea!  *grin*

> 		Ciao,
> 			Marco Fioretti

> P.S.: for God's sake, *do* change the subject and start a new thread
>       when needed. This very interesting discussion would have been
>       impossible to find one week from now with an "Evolution" subject.
>       And the same applies to *many* useful pieces of information in
>       the archives: they are buried in messages with a totally unrelated
>       subject

 I have a simple rule ... if a thread is longer than about ten messages
then I have a trawl through to see what is going on.  It's only a loose
rule, but that approximates it.  I've happened on some entertaining
stuff that way.  Not always useful, but usually entertaining.

Bill Crawford, Unix Systems Engineer, Ebone / GTS / Netcom / Something
work: bill ops netcom net uk, home: billc netcomuk co uk
	if (! (awake & TASK_RUNNABLE))
		return -ENOCAFFEINE;

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