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

From: David Bradley
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (wasRe: User Interfaces)
Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2002 17:30:19 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.0rc2) Gecko/20020512 Netscape/7.0b1

Boris Kolar wrote:

I have some ideas about the language and the OS. The language is extremly simple and powerfull (more powerfull than C++ or Eiffel) -
I'll share details when I put (still rapidly changing) ideas in writing. And once we have the language, OS should be written in it.
Sounds interesting, but remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder ;-) I've seen extremely simple concepts be complex from their simplicity

I'm sure no one washes toilets manually in Star Trek anymore. But I understand the problem, and I can see some potential solutions:
1. Rotate jobs: occasionally offer janitor a chance to do something more exciting, like piloting a prototype ship, use toilet
washing as an alternative punishment
2. If being a janitor is so unpopular, then it must be hard to find one. So you have to make janitor's salary more attractive, or
give them some other benefits that will compensate boring job.
3. Make sure those who do the boring job are recognized as important contributors to the project. If a project becomes a huge
success, many would like to be known as it's authors and doing boring tasks could be the easiest way.
I guess I must have had a misconception, because I didn't think people in Star Trek got paid. Oh well, learn something new every day.
You obviously haven't met a lot of users ;-). Most users can't explain
what they want to do to me in English, much less communicate that in any
form to a computer. It takes a lot of questioning and an intuitiveness

There is a big difference between "can't" and "won't". In my experience, most users could develop something (given the proper tools, books, etc.), but they won't, simply because they don't have to.
No, you really haven't spent much time with users, have you ;-) Imagine spending 4 hours trying to explain what data a person has to enter because you just restored their system from backup. It turned into a near Abbot and Costello routine. I had another guy there, so I know I wasn't crazy at the time, nor my explanation flawed. I spent a few years on support and doing contract work for companies. The stories I can tell would have you in stitches.

David Bradley
(Not the guy on the IBM commercial)

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