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Re: [Groff] The future redux

From: Tadziu Hoffmann
Subject: Re: [Groff] The future redux
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:56:50 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

> I submit to you that if our command-line environment weren't
> still using 1980s technology to emulate 1970s hardware, we
> would have more graphical and unified documentation.

I think two factors are responsible for that:

 1. In the sixties and seventies, computing was largely
    experimental.  There were no penalties for trying
    something different.  (Take a look at termcap/terminfo
    to see how many different terminals alone existed.)
    Now it's different.  We have much more invested in
    workflows/training/programs.  Companies *depend* on that.
    It's not easy to switch anymore.  (You see how much flak
    Microsoft is getting for having the guts to redesign the
    interface in a more fundamental way than simply adding
    eye candy.)

 2. What we have works well enough.  Combined with the above,
    there's no *need* to change much.  Fashions change,
    but the overall structure stays.  Cars mostly have four
    wheels, just like they did fifty years ago.  It's simply an
    adequate design that's a good compromise between technical
    and economic constraints.

>In other words, the terminal is the problem.  

I disagree.  The terminal does what is was designed for,
and does it well.  If that is sufficient for the task, then
is not a problem.  Problems (real or perceived) bring about
new solutions, e.g., the web/hypertext or PDF.

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