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Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (wasRe:User

From: Timothy Rue
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (wasRe:User Interfaces)
Date: 9 Jul 2002 13:1:50 -0500

On 09-Jul-02 08:17:13 David Bradley <address@hidden> wrote:
 DB> Timothy Rue wrote:

>>Personally I think trying to clone the "enemy" is inherently flawed
>>at the very core or conception level.  But enough people have shown
>>interest in doing it that the dotgnu effort exist.
 DB> I've wondered why GNU didn't come up with a better technology
 DB> than .Net.  Surely with the diverse background of the people
 DB> involved, something  could be created.

??? They didn't, Microsoft came up with .net. <shrug> But isn't here a
place to inject information that can improve the GNU course and make it
better, like in way beyond .net?

>>I'd like to think it's something along the humanitarian economy
>>depicted in some of the star trek series within the "earth" settings
>>(not the frengi settings.)
 DB> The problem with the Star Trek society, is the question of who
 DB> enjoys  being a janitor? How would you feel if "society" dictated
 DB> that you don't  have enough smarts, so instead of going to star
 DB> fleet academy you'll be  washing toilets. And this is one of the
 DB> problems I've seen of free  software. No one seems to want to
 DB> spend the time to polish it. Crank out  the core fun technology
 DB> then move onto the next fun project. So how does  a "free"
 DB> society create some incentive for quality of implementation?

David, I don't know what episode you're thinking of but I seem to remember
a grounds keeper named BeeBo, I think. And he had a some strong influence
om some of the students, like Picard. But the point here is that no matter
what field you work in, there is work you'd rather not have to do but do
it anyway because it's got to get done and you are probably getting paid
for it (but do you pay yourself to clean your own bathroom?). And people
do get paid in the economic system depicted in the star trek earth
setting, it's just that society has gotten out of poverty as a whole.
And that's something we have the ability to do today:

Which reminds me that I forgot to add a link regarding the stock market
game (a direction possibility of IPO and share
Read it and understand how it was like card counting in gambling, and even
more, how it is related to the current "war on terror".

I don't think there is a "free" society as you suggest, but to acknowledge
the boredom of polishing up freesoftware perhaps suggest even more reason
to focus on developing autocoding development tools and working
environment of dynamically accessable knowledge.

What is the act of programming if not the automation of complexity, that
is made up of simpler things, and done so that the functionality is easier
and less time consuming to use and reuse by whoever the user is. In the
field of programming it seems to me that the boring polishing act is
something that should be automated. To use an analogy, when programming a
holodeck scene, must the programmer manually fill in the details all the
way down to the grain of wood on a table leg? But wouldn't that be boring
for someone who simply wants to play in the holodeck? But what of the
skilled craftsman who is designing and building real tables, yet inputting
the information into his CAD and render system for mainly inhouse use but
now able to make it available for holodeck use? Would it be boring for
him/her or just a simple extra way to earn a little more money or
advertise his real products?

The Free Software methodology of FSF enable many to contribute in many
ways. What's one mans boring job, is anothers "by the way" result or
something more enjoyable. And any number of variations on the treasure and
trash theme. The GPL method allows people to find for themselves, where
they fit best in helping. And again it extends beyond software
developement. Who knows, maybe the polishing you are refering to, being a
software matter, is something that should be tasks given out as a part
of a student of computer science course requirements.

(If you work at a place where the restroom is not well kept, perhaps
bordering on unsanitary, by those who use it, then for you own well being,
give the janitor a day off with pay once a week, and then take turns
cleaning while the rest inspect the cleaning job. It'll quickly be found
that cleaning up after yourself is your contribution to a more sanitary
and safe restroom. But be sure to also make available gloves like the
janitor uses [proper toolset].)

>>proprietary control. Certainly thru genuine software engineering
>>science we will be able to make breakthroughs that put software
>>development ease at a level that the general user can find the time
>>and respources needed for them to do things for themselves.
 DB> You obviously haven't met a lot of users ;-). Most users can't
 DB> explain  what they want to do to me in English, much less
 DB> communicate that in any  form to a computer. It takes a lot of
 DB> questioning and an intuitiveness  on my part to figure out what
 DB> they want to do. If given something as  advanced as the
 DB> Enterprises computer, they'd be hard pressed to instruct  the
 DB> computer to do some task. Sure there are users out there that can
 DB> do  this, but the majority, in my experience, can't.

David, I honesty believe it would be far more efficent, trusting and
advancing (keeping things exciting) to simplify software development into
an accessable form of putting together programming concepts rather than
language idiosyncratic specifics (and what might become .net feature creep
bloatware) and for the user to learn the application of such concepts,
rather than the users trying to figure out how to teach you what they do
(wow, what a burden the software industry has undertaken, to become
specialists in all other industries and fields), knowing you will never
gain the indepth experience they have before you finally create what
they want. This way they can then talk to you on a common foundation of
understanding, that you may then do what they either don't have time
themselves to do or need your expertise and your experience at dealing
with higher levels of complexity than what is available thru the then
current autocoding level of development. (a autocoding level of
development that should also evolve over time.)

If the Enterprise computer is of such complexity and difficulty to use,
then only trained computer users would be able to run the markets. And we
all know that the markets exist due to production of good and services
like food, clothing, shelter, education and medicine, not the skill at
instructing a computer. Computers really are more of an assistant to
productivity then the cause of productivity. And mainly due to the
ability we have in programming them to automate what would otherwise
perhaps become manually boring and very lengthy and error prone
repetitive tasks.

In other words: You shouldn't have to figure out what they want to do.
Instead you should be building the tool set and programming concepts
knowledge base that allow the users to more easily do what they want for
themselves. Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach him to fish
and you can spend your time doing more interesting things than fishing for
other people, knowing you can always get a meal in trade for what you do,
perhaps from those you taught to fish. Knowing full well that as such
tools and knowledge becomes stabilized and standard that it'll also begin
to be taught in school as a standard and required class like math,
spelling, language, etc.

So that in worse case situations, a young student being transported from
the planet of GNU for cross-cultural learning can fly the ship when
everyone else comes down with a case of replicated MS .net food posioning
(perhaps caused by faulty .net translation of restroom waste matter to
energy storage and back thru the food replicators.)

I signed the Declaration of Software Freedom, not because of the political
overtones of democracy but because of the acknowledgement of the basic
foundation of "FreeSoftware" and how important it is in helping to prevent
the greater degrees of higher level corruption that we seem to know all to
well today.

Timothy Rue
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