Customization considerd harmefull

Till Varoquaux till.varoquaux at
Thu Sep 1 05:50:09 CDT 2005

> [...]
> | Extreme customisation brings:
> | _Lack of consistency. You have to tweak every single app to behave the 
> way
> | you want them to...
> Having to tweak is not the same as being able to tweak.

I agree and have said this possibility should not be taaken away. The 
defaukts however should fit most users out of the box... 

| _Lack of adaptability to other computers. You become so used to your own 
> way
> | of using your computer that you can't use other computers (I'm using cua 
> in
> | emacs and hell, I can't even cut'n paste on other peoples's emacs)
> To a certain degree, yes. However, those who customise their
> applications will probably know the original keybindings and be able
> to use those, than those who don't.

I don't know how to cut and paste under emacs... But I should ;-) 

| _Waist of time when reinstalling: It takes weeks to have everything back 
> the
> | way your used to.
> I get my own setup of all my dotfiles with a single command, freshly
> checked out from CVS (or svn or arch).

First of all, rare are the peoples familliar with cvs...
You can't just lug around all of your dotfiles since cp -rv ~/.[^.]* will 
carry around a lot of trash. Therefor you have to separate the files you 
have tweaked in another folder.
Also most users will configure applications (wa are talking nautilus 
mozilla... and not vim mutt etc... here) through menus...
Last but not least some apps have rather cryptic ways to store your config (
i.e.: mozilla). Baccking there config up can prove challenging.

| _Unfriendliness for newbies: If every single computer under Linux they use
> | behaves differently they're never going to get familliar with the
> | interaction.
> Consistent inital setup is something else than not being able to
> customise.

I agree... 
My point was not to take away customization but make it pointless for most 
users. If we manage to have defaults that suit just about everyone this goal 
will be fullfilled. Users not satisfied with those defaults should be 
encouraged and helped to tweak whatever bugs them.
This was an extreme rant for peoples saying: "whatever the user can always 
change it if it bugs him..."
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