On Wed, 21 Jul 1993 18:43:24 -0400 Joel Plutchak said on Unix-Listserv:
>> The prime characteristic of any GOOD tool is that it's designed to
>> make it easy for the USER to work with.
> That analogy only goes so far. The computer is a bit more complex
>a tool than a hammer, and hence demands a more intelligent approach
>to using it (intelligently, at least).
The more intelligent a person is, the more heesh can get out of a
tool, any tool. Your example of the Apple 1-button mouse clearly
shows Apple to have overkilled in one direction without appropriate
attention given to other factors.
> What if the user speaks only Farsi well? What if they *really* wanted
>some other "magazine?" What if they want to subscribe from a different
>address than they're sending from (or that their mailer sends it from)?
As to your last point specifically, if the MLM in question doesn't
have the functionality to recognize that, then the user would be
told by his own interface that it's a no-go. And the user would be
told before any message ever left the user's machine. Fast response.
As to the rest in general, that would all be up to the interface on
the user's side, and the MLM couldn't care less as long as the
syntax is correct for THAT MLM. And yes, having the interface on
the USER-side introduces the possibility of national languages there
without the need for MLMs to be aware of that fact.
>Once you develop such a discriminating interface for this international
>network of computers, let me know; I'll use it.
Would you be willing to collaborate if work on such an interface
were ever started? I mean discussion, specification, documentation,
implementation, or any subset.
> Until then, in my
>humble opinion as a user support-type person with over ten years of
>experience, I believe it's sufficient to have a fairly strict, though
>well-designed, command syntax, coupled with helpful feedback from the
>software. (Just to keep this message loosely related to the charter of
>this mailing list... this last point needs work in *all* varieties of
>list management software I've dealt with.)
Agreed re need for improvements in helpful feedback. At least until
that interface were to become so common that NOBODY communicates
directly with MLMs anymore. (in the year 2525...)
>(Any bets on whether there are more spoken languages and dialects than
>computer languages and dialects? :)
I think I'll bet on the computer side... :-(