[OT] Debian mailinglists [was: RE: Debian or Ubuntu?]

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Wed May 21 17:16:06 UTC 2008

Chris G wrote:
>>>> And the best user interface is always no user interface whenever 
>>>>> it is possible for the machine to do it correctly by itself.
>>>> I can't argue with that :-)
>>> I can!  The problem with the machine doing it correctly by itself is
>>> that it almost inevitably has to make some default assumptions. 
>>> That's all very well if they're correct and it's all very lovely and
>>> nice but the odd case when they're wrong can be infinitely frustrating.
>> Yes, but this is the precise circumstance where you don't want a GUI 
>> with the same wrong assumptions trying to force them on you.
> I see no basic difference between a GUI assuming something and a
> CLI/editor configuration assuming something.  Either can make a
> (wrong) assumption, assume nothing at all and leave you to make the
> setting yourself, or show you what it has assumed and allow you to
> change it (this last is my preference).

Text editors usually don't assume anything about the meaning of the 
content they edit.  So they aren't specifically helpful other than 
letting you paste in large chunks of stuff from a known-working copy or 
do bulk search/replace transformations that are much harder in 
field-oriented config tools, but they are predictable and never harmful, 
plus you always have the full compliment of external tools that know how 
to manipulate text, most of which work as filters within sensible editors.

   Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell at gmail.com

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