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Re: [tlug] epcEditor

[Michael Moyle (Re: [tlug] epcEditor) writes:]
>> > >> True. Except learning linux has to do with patience more than anything
>> > >> else. It is free after all. 
>> > Hmmm. No excuse for things being sloppy, counter-intuitive and arcane
>> > (not that I can claim to be sin-free on any of those.)
>> hmm, too bad costing money isn't an excuse either :)
>> ok. So what is arcane? The command line? Doe not arcane mean that it
>> has dedicated so many resources to guis that I need a PIII to run it? I
>> like the fact that I am running Linux on PII I got from my job because
>> its "too slow" to be useful. 
>> However, I am going to argue that command line is not arcane. There is a
>> consistent syntax to using unix commands. 

Doesn't stop it being arcane. You and I can probably cope with going to
a man page and reading all the option list several times to try and
understand what the writer is trying to say, then going back and trying
them out until you find the one that does what you want. But all this is
calling on skills and patience that only applies to a small fraction of
(potential) users.


>> Furthermore, people often do not take advantage of the unix command
>> line's features: Tab completion, up arrow, history, pushd, emacs style
>> shortcuts (here we go again :) ) ... 

Even more arcana...

>> And they forget (or do not realize) that the shell is not just a "command
>> line" but an interpretor for a pretty powerful programming language
>> which is the shell (usually bash or tcsh in linux). There are also great
>> tools like midnight commander (don't laugh) that can help speed things
>> up as well. 

Doesn't matter a pinch of shit to the not-very-computer-literate user.
>> The command line in Windows does suck, and I think that is what turns a
>> lot of people away from this powerful, and necessary interface that
>> should be considered a boon rather than a detriment. 

It's not as clean as you find in Unix shells, BUT it that is not what turns
people off it.

>> Were you even talking about the command line? Are there other aspects of
>> linux you find arcane? We could come up with a list and try to fix
>> certain things, at list make it know that "this is hard to
>> install/use/learn" and that may encourage the developers and project
>> maintainers to focus on those areas. I think a lot of people don't look
>> back, they get something running and move on (at least that's what I do
>> often).  

The command-line is just part of the story. The whole process of making
something as large and complex as a major OS, work environment and set of
applications usable by a point-and-click level of person is massive.
It's easy for us to make fun of such people, and sneer at the Apples and
Microsofts who have gone after them. It's a fact of life though that
without that ease of operation things are never going to be really
"available" to the general community.

I remember installing the Linux WordPerfect on a box here. It was not
simple, and once it was done, I then had to go through hoopes to get it
on a start menu. I can understand people wanting that all wrapped up in
the one go.


Jim Breen  []
Computer Science & Software Engineering,                Tel: +61 3 9905 3298
P.O Box 26, Monash University,                          Fax: +61 3 9905 5146
Clayton VIC 3800, Australia      ジム・ブリーン@モナシュ大学

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