[nSLUG] Re: Lock the door...
mspencer at tallships.ca
Tue Jan 6 15:01:37 AST 2009
"Daniel Morrison" <draker at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, I feel very passionate about this. I moved towards Linux 15
> years ago because it allowed me the possibility to explore, learn,
> and change how the computer worked, rather than forcing me into a
> 'standard', closed environment.
Yeah, me too. I'm just a little scornful of all the effort being put
into slick GUIs -- if I wanted all that stuff, why would I have
resisted The Borg? But since (by definition ) half the people out
there have an IQ under 100, I can grant that a (Mickey) Mouse- and
menu-based interface has a place.
(Do you remember when it was a condescending sneer to refer to an app
But unlike The Borg, where the windowing layer and GUI are integrated
into all the apps, Linux + X + (if you really gotta have it) a
KDE/Gnome desktop is in separate layers and even dedicated GUI apps
such as a graphic browser or image editor work in that environment
with that structure as the default.
>From such a perspective, everything should be configurable and what's
done in lower layers should be controllable from the higher layers.
When it's not, it's a failure of the developers.
I'm not totally happy, f'rgzample, with Netscape 4.76 (yes, I do use
that) because it's hard to figure out how to configure it but I'm way
less happy with Firefox 2 because it's harder yet. In some cases I'm
just stumped when trying to make FF2 do what I want in place of what
the developers thought was Way Kewl.
Personally, I think many of the younger developers (younger than I,
anyhow :-) grew up from the cradle with Windoes and have internalized
that pictoral/pictograph interface as the norm. They can write code
but they do so with pictograph IF as a target because that's what "a
computer" means to them . The user gets to *choose* one of the things
the computer knows how to do. Older developers think more in terms of
language. If you can *say* it, the computer should be able to do what
you say. That makes for a gradual conceptual gradient from "ls -l"
through hentracks such as:
lynx -dump -error_file=~/News/.lynxerr -nolog -noredir -noreferer \
to scripting and eventually to programming in compiled languages and
the user gradually acquires greater sophistication about what may be
meaningfully said in language the computer understands. 
It's not so much a matter of market-share or desktop-share as it is
mind share: most minds are now colonized by the Windoes desktop
conventions and corollary concealment or absence of underlying
controls or configuration.
 Okay, that may be technically incorrect. IQ 100 is supposedly
average, not median, but you know what I mean.
 Apologies for spurious anthropomorphisms.
Michael Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada .~.
mspencer at tallships.ca /( )\
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