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RE: Kind request: fix your packages

On Sat, 2003-10-04 at 18:19, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> On Sat, 2003-10-04 at 09:11, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> > Dear user,
> > 
> > 	As we all know you're dumb and you can not learn to use a package
> > manager ever. To ease your pain we've decided not to inflict you the
> > so-called "dependency hell" and provide you an autonomous application.
> > Just click on its auto-update menu and it will download everything you
> > need, we swear it.
> *bzzt*  It has *nothing* to do with users being "dumb."  *nothing*  It

I think Nicolas forgot the irony tags.

> has to do with the fact the user doesn't care, doesn't need to care, and
> shouldn't be forced to care.  I don't have a fricken clue how a jet
> engine works, don't really care how it works, but that doesn't mean I'm
> not allowed to fly on a plane.  Indeed, the usage of an airplane is

To turn around your comparison, the pilot would be the person pushing
around the mouse and pushing the keys for you (and everyone would be
clapping hands when the document comes out of the printer ;-). Doesn't
sound right? I thought so.

> completely independent of knowing how the engine works, including the
> pilots.

They too have their specialists ("flight mechanics") for the engines,
but at least basic knowledge how they work (e.g. the kernel) and
intimate knowledge about flight mechanics (e.g. how the system boots,
what package dependencies are and how to deal with them). If you look at
small planes, the pilots often are the flight mechanics.

As I see it, the flight mechanics represent developers, the pilot
represents an administrator, the passengers represent normal users. At
the moment, passengers are restricted to using their seats, watching TV
and going to the bathroom during flight -- with much assistance and
hand-holding they could possibly emergency-land a machine if the pilots
are sick or whatever, but what are the odds that they succeed?

I don't say that I don't wish that users could easily do complicate
tasks on a computer, aided by carefully crafted tools (auto-pilot ;-)
who take care of the innards they don't want to know about. 

> Computers aren't any different.  There is no reason a user should *have*
> to understand the inner workings of it.  That doesn't mean they *can't*
> know it, only that they don't need to.

A computer is a very complex machine and I don't see that today's tools
are intelligent enough to hide all that from the user and still give
them all the potential the machines have. I don't see the majority of
the people having their private planes/gliders/etc. in the next years
either ;-).

Just some thoughts...

     Nils Philippsen    /    Red Hat    /    nphilipp redhat com
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
 safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."     -- B. Franklin, 1759
 PGP fingerprint:  C4A8 9474 5C4C ADE3 2B8F  656D 47D8 9B65 6951 3011

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