Re: Make it easy for lazy people? Nahhh!
This is a really bizarre post. The poster seems to
suggest that there is something noble about using
unnecessarily difficult systems. Things should be exactly
as difficult as they need to be and no more. For
example, command line programs have a standardized
(more or less) way of expressing parameters. You type
the name of the command, some options, and some
arguments. It's basically the same format for every
program. And if you haven't memorized every option,
you can just bring up a manpage that describes all of
the options and details (again in a way that is fairly
uniform from program to program). Some people would
say this is not easy, and sometimes they're right. Some
things get pretty cryptic. But it is straightforward.
There's not much guesswork about format or what to
expect in general. Configuration files seem to be a
different matter. There are as many formats as services
and there aren't a lot of universally applicable
principles. This means that if you want to do some
nontrivial configuration of something you've never
configured before, you need to learn the format and
syntax of the configuration files in question without
much of a starting place. If there were a universal
format/system for creating and editing these files you
wouldn't have to start from scratch and things would
be straightforward. That doesn't make them easy.
Some matters of configuration will still require some
care, subtlety, and knowledge. I would propose that
one should only have to know what program does to
use (use in a broad sense that includes configuration
and whatever else might go into the program) it.
Knowledge of how to use it should follow easily from
universal principles that apply to all programs within
the domain we're considering.
Your relationship with your computer (yikes) should be
a good one. To carry the analogy a step further, your
computer should not be emotionally needy or
enigmatic. It should be straightforward to deal with.
You should not feel like you are a good person for
putting up with it.
Bad taste? -or- We're here for open source, not politics.
OSDN's prominent announcement of this no-ads
business, and perhaps the no-ads business itself,
is in some ways in bad taste. What are in even
worst taste is those posts I see that criticize (often
rather venomously) it and those that respond by
attacking those critics. (I realize that this post might
be looked on as an attack on these critics. I'm
sure all of you are very clever and have no need
to prove it by pointing that out.)
As I see it, one of the cool things about
the open source and free software "community"
is that it transcends national borders. I see
posters from Spain, Holland, UK, and US here.
The September eleventh attacks were certainly
tragedies for the United States. That does not
make them tragedies for the world. Spain has
its tragedies, India has its, and so forth. To
make the commemoration of 9/11 the business
of people who do not necessarily think so much
of it (particularly in relation to other tragedies in
recent memory) is in rather poor taste, in my
freshmeat.net is in some sense the "Cheers"
(maybe a "Cheers" (Cheers is a bar "where
everyone knows your name" from a popular
American sitcom)) of the open source world.
Why then are people clawing at each other's
throats over international politics. This is not the
venue for venting one's rage at the perceived
injustice of the United States' foreign policy nor
for displays of jingoistic patriotism. There are
more responses to this article than to most (nearly
all) I've seen that relate to legitimate open source
issues. That is in poor taste. Save your malice for
This article should have gone off with few if any
responses. I am disturbed to see that some people
will not return to this site because of this business.
I shudder to think that those people might be
developers. As open source enthusiasts, at least
on some things, we're on the same side. To people
from the United States: Don't alienate people from
other countries: we need them. To people from
other countries whose names I can't spell: take it
easy on us, many of us were raised to think that
the United States is the only worthwhile country in
the world. The smart ones among us realize that is
not the case.