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Re: Fwd: [Contributors] Microsoft Windows Is Offically Broken

On Wed, 2005-09-28 at 12:12, Michael Hennebry wrote:

> > > And that is a main problem if the goal is to get the masses to seriously
> > > consider Linux.  If not, then it is a 'geek OS' for 'geeks Only' who
> > > are not motivated to make the OS user friendly beyond a centain point.
> >
> > User-friendly often means hiding the details. There are some Linux
> Of course it doesn't have to.

Examples would be helpful - perhaps something that makes simple things
simple without making difficult things impossible (the normal GUI

> It can mean that seeing them is usually unnecessary.

"Usually" doesn't count if you sometimes need them and they have been
hidden or removed.

> > > I have seen this type of environment before at two different (now defunct)
> > > Mini-Computer Vendors (remember the 80s?). The Developers tend to think
> > > that thier world viewpoint is good enough for everyone.  It was always
> > > a battle for Tech. Support to get them to see it the customer's way.
> > > After all, they were buying the hardware and software.
> >
> > That doesn't apply the same way to free software.  The developers are
> > the ones who understand the way software should work.  Why should they
> There is no way but the one true way and developers are its prophets.

Not quite the point - users may sometimes know what they want done
today, but seldom know all the possibilities or permutations of how
it should be done or what other users of the same program want.  A
user would be happy with an ornate piece of precast concrete that
just fits the spot he has for it and nowhere else.  The developer wants
to make bricks that can be laid without having to know all of the
possible building shapes ahead of time.

> It should have been easy for me to get rid of
> vim's awful colors and its automatic indentation.

If you don't like embellishments, use vi instead of vim.

> That said, too much automation can be a security hazard.

Defaults don't fit everyone.  That's why the fine tuning is complicated
because the many options are necessary.

> > hide options for the people who don't understand if they aren't forced
> > to?  On the other hand, good defaults make sense for everyone.
> Yup.  That is how one makes seeing the the details usually unnecessary.
> Of course what's good for a power developer
> is not necessarily good for a novice.
> Having flags like --novice and --power-developer
> that affect multiple other flags can help with this.
> To assist in the transistion from novice,
> it shouldn't be too hard to discover what flags
> are affected by --novice and better yet, why.

Personally, I think there should be somewhere between 20 and a hundred
different distributions that differ only in which programs are
installed and their default configurations. Unix historically was
developed as a multiuser system with the premise that a skilled
administrator would do the local installation and configuration
for a set of users.  This doesn't mesh well with personal computers
and users that install things themselves.  One size doesn't quite
fit all, but on the other hand every user can't hire a personal
system administrator and probably doesn't want to read thousands
of pages of manuals to get the background color and fonts he likes.
We need a middle ground where a few people configure machines tuned
for different uses and preferences and a way for anyone who needs
that configuration to copy it.  That way, you never really need to
know the details of how to do the setup, just where to find one
like it.  And if you want something that no one else has done - well
that's a hint that it's probably a bad idea, but if you make it work
you could help everyone else out by sharing it.

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com

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