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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Tla spork

From: James Blackwell
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Tla spork
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 15:25:17 -0400

Miles wrote:
> Now one could think that the audience of arch is programmers, not total
> beginners, and the great unwashed masses of those would all want visual-basic
> syntax or something.

That's a fair way to look at things. I'm probably way off on the
extreeme, but here's how I look at things all the same.

As a matter of fact, for every hacker I've met, I've met 4 or 5 people
that "know enough to get themselves in trouble." Most of them can barely
hack a makefile, much less handle anything more complex than simple
regular expressions. For many of those people, they consider *cvs* a
complicated tool.

A lot of sysadmins in the 'nix world are jacks of all trades. A bit of
shell scripting, a bit programming, a bit of project management, a bit
of hardware management. They're rarely particularly good at any one
particular skill.

Sure, people don't stay that way. Over time, they increase their
skillsets, and become better programmers. But then they're replaced with
4 or 5 new people that also don't have any real clue as to what they're

That's one of the reasons I have such respect for Tom. He's the one
responsible for turning me from one of the great unwashed masses that
kinda-does everything into (by relative standards) a hacker. Tom's the
one that taught me to think ahead on a project, and how to manage
something as large as tla. 

For me, that's incredibly wonderful. But to me when I started, arch was
so complicated, that I was >< close to saying "screw it" and going back
to CVS. 

Its in my best interests to turn everyone interested in free software
into a hacker. So I want things to be easy to use, so that they don't
say "oh fuck THIS!" and go see a movie instead. I want them to be able
to take small steps, and bootstrap themselves as easily and painlessly
as possible. 

James Blackwell          Try something fun: For the next 24 hours, give
Smile more!              each person you meet a compliment!

GnuPG (ID 06357400) AAE4 8C76 58DA 5902 761D  247A 8A55 DA73 0635 7400

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