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eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 03:40:53 BST 2005
On 6/22/05, TheRealEdwin <ulist at gs1.ubuntuforums.org> wrote:
> Why not just have both and let the user decide? Since when has choice
> ever been a bad thing? Isn't choice the whole idea and spirit of *nix?
> I say throw it in and let them decide.
Choice *is* bad for the overwhelming majority of users. It reduces the
utility of the software as tools for end users. Apple stumbled on that
secret in the early 80s and developed a stunning OS built on
*limiting* certain operations. MS offered an OS which could lay claim
to much more choice (which allowed a select few to do a good job with
the tool), but it didn't allow users to do an effective job. When MS
figured out that a GUI with certain limitations was the way to go they
opened up the PC clone world as a tool to millions of non-expert
I can't remember what the "rule of thumb" percentages are but the
overwhelming majority of users only use a tiny fraction of their
I'm a pretty advanced computer user by any standard and I don't like
choice. I like my software to "just work". Computer software is a
tool, no different in utility from a screwdriver or a spoon. Sporks
exist but how popular are they? A separate spoon and fork are far more
successful than a spork but they limit (little choice) what can be
That's not to say choice is *bad*. Choice is good, especially in the
context of a Unix-like OS like Linux, but, the choice must be USEFUL.
Is it useful to have a query at boot time that asks if you want to see
everything? Perhaps, perhaps not, but for most users they don't really
care about all that gobble-di-gook, and all those errors that are
displayed at boot will unnerve users.
Anyway, there's another post that's caught my attention so I'll finish
my thought there.
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