AW: Use of the CLI in Ubuntu (Was: ubuntu-desktop & brltty)

Casual Programmer casualprogrammer at
Tue Apr 18 06:14:32 BST 2006

 >>To my mind "ARRGGH" should be reserved for Ubuntu
eats my files or stops
me doing my work (and can only be fixed via the CLI),
not you have to use
the CLI to fine tune the internals of your OS.<<

ARRGGH is actually the only thought that comes to (my)
mind with Ubuntu (
and other "Distributions" ), it cannot "stop me doing
my work" as it never
let me begin doing my work.

What is the benefit of a system that requires you to
subscribe to
"ubuntu-devel at" to get the very basic
information you expect
as a user to be given whenever you hit F1 ?

Instead of getting ahead of what we have achieved
since the invention of the
wheel, we take pride in inventing it over and over
again. The optimum shape
for the wheel has always been a circle and all these
useless discussions
won't change that.

I am not blind, and I hope I never get blinded, but if
I was and I were
indeed in need of a Braille terminal, I would only
find out it doesn't work
anyway, or at least not in any useful way. I am not
deaf though, and the
stuff uttered by the "speaking" software that comes
with br|tty is by no
means intelligible.

At least blind people have the advantage of not having
to read all the
"thoughts" submitted to this "Developers" list...


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: ubuntu-devel-bounces at
[mailto:ubuntu-devel-bounces at] Im
Auftrag von john
Gesendet: Dienstag, 18. April 2006 03:31
An: Peter Whittaker
Cc: ubuntu-devel at;
sounder at
Betreff: Use of the CLI in Ubuntu (Was: ubuntu-desktop
& brltty)

Please reply on sounder at, I think this
is starting to get
off-topic for devel.

On Mon, Apr 17, 2006 at 07:25:01PM -0400, Peter
Whittaker wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-17-04 at 15:42 +0200, Matthias Klose
> >
> > edit /etc/default/hplip to disable hplip.
> I didn't see a :->, so I assume this wasn't tongue
in cheek...
> ...which confuses me, 'cause I just don't get it. I
mean, as happy and 
> comfortable as I am with a CLI, CLI is not for
everyone. And editing 
> config files is a CLI alternative, pure and simply
(don't matter if 
> you use a fancy newfangled GUI editor, editing
config files is CLO).
> Since Ubuntu in general aims to be "for human
beings" and since Dapper 
> specifically aims to "just work", editing config
files to fix errors 
> or limitations in the distro IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!

I don't think is it a reasonable use of resources to
insist that users can
fine-tune every aspect of their OS, from the GUI or

Take MacOS for example, prior to OS X it was
*terribly* optimised.
Applications couldn't even allocate dynamic amounts of
memory, e.g. if an
application wanted 100MB of memory, it had to allocate
this *before* it
started to run. However Mac OS was considered the
epitome of "for human
beings" OSes.

It seems that it is best to take the conservative
position. Might the user
want to use a HP printer? Don't know? Then include the
HP printer drivers.
>From the point of view of a "for human beings" OS, it
is better to waste 1MB
of memory than force a user to read a "Why your HP
printer doesn't work by
default on Ubuntu, and obscure instructions on how to
get it to work".

> Yes, I know what writing in caps means, I just
couldn't keep it in any 
> longer, I just couldn't find a way to make a joke of
it or say it any 
> other way.
> "AARGGH" also comes to mind. 

To my mind "ARRGGH" should be reserved for Ubuntu eats
my files or stops me
doing my work (and can only be fixed via the CLI), not
you have to use the
CLI to fine tune the internals of your OS.

> If it is a problem then it should be fixed. Not left
to users to try 
> and resolve by mucking about blindly with config
files they don't even 
> want to know exist.

> Do the right thing. If there are two "right things",
ship a really 
> easy way to toggle the behavior. If there are three
right things and 
> you cannot design a clean way to choose between
them, decide between 
> shipping the best right thing and shipping nothing.
Generally, I tend 
> to prefer the latter.

This is known as developer gold plating. It is always
possible to improve a
product, so if you wait until the product is the best
possible it will never

> Users who like choosing between and setting complex
options install 
> Gentoo.

Which is an argument *against* cluttering the Ubuntu
GUI with unnecessary
options. If power users want to fiddle with things
they can use the CLI,
regular users don't care.

John C. McCabe-Dansted
Masters Student

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