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Great SWT Program

Hi All,Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.You can learnmany GUI details out of it. The basic functionality is it lists IPAddresses of theremote PC's your system is accessing.You may find the project under sourceforge.nethttp://nettymaster.sourceforge.net/You can customize this software, please let me know your views
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8/17/2007 2:52:35 PM
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vijay.kumar.75in@gmail.com wrote:
> Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.
> You can learn
> many GUI details out of it. The basic functionality is it lists IP
> Addresses of the
> remote PC's your system is accessing.
Don't misrepresent yourself. You are the author of the program, you 
didn't just happen to download to it. From the "copyright" page:

Copyright (C) 2007 Vijaykumar B.V.
All Rights Reserved.


> You may find the project under sourceforge.net
> http://nettymaster.sourceforge.net/
> You can customize this software, please let me know your views
You might want to post this in comp.lang.java.announce, as it will be 
seen as spamming by many members of this group.


-- 
Joe Attardi
jattardi@gmail.com
0
Joe
8/17/2007 3:04:59 PM
Joe Attardi wrote:
>> Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.
>> You can learn
>> many GUI details out of it. The basic functionality is it lists IP
>> Addresses of the
>> remote PC's your system is accessing.

>Don't misrepresent yourself. You are the author of the program, you 
>didn't just happen to download to it. 
...
>> You may find the project under sourceforge.net
>> http://multyposter.sourceforge.net/
>> You can customize this software, please let me know your views
>You might want to post this in comp.lang.java.announce, ..

Given this misrepresenting multi-poster has already 
sent this message to at least two groups, I would
prefer they post to no more.

>..as it will be 
>seen as spamming by many members of this group.

Oh, I'm already there.  Does that make me ..'far-sighted'?

-- 
Andrew Thompson
http://www.athompson.info/andrew/

Message posted via http://www.javakb.com

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Andrew
8/17/2007 3:15:25 PM
Andrew Thompson wrote:> Joe Attardi wrote:>>> Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.>>> You can learn>>> many GUI details out of it. The basic functionality is it lists IP>>> Addresses of the>>> remote PC's your system is accessing.> >> Don't misrepresent yourself. You are the author of the program, you >> didn't just happen to download to it. > ...>>> You may find the project under sourceforge.net>>> http://multyposter.sourceforge.net/>>> You can customize this software, please let me know your views>> You might want to post this in comp.lang.java.announce, ..> > Given this misrepresenting multi-poster has already > sent this message to at least two groups, I would> prefer they post to no more.> >> ..as it will be >> seen as spamming by many members of this group.> > Oh, I'm already there.  Does that make me ..'far-sighted'?Just perspicacious.-- Lew
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Lew
8/17/2007 8:30:49 PM
On Aug 17, 8:04 pm, Joe Attardi <jatta...@gmail.com> wrote:
> vijay.kumar.7...@gmail.com wrote:
> > Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.
> > You can learn
> > many GUI details out of it. The basic functionality is it lists IP
> > Addresses of the
> > remote PC's your system is accessing.
>
> Don't misrepresent yourself. You are the author of the program, you
> didn't just happen to download to it. From the "copyright" page:
>
> Copyright (C) 2007 Vijaykumar B.V.
> All Rights Reserved.
>
> > You may find the project under sourceforge.net
> >http://nettymaster.sourceforge.net/
> > You can customize this software, please let me know your views
>
> You might want to post this in comp.lang.java.announce, as it will be
> seen as spamming by many members of this group.
>
> --
> Joe Attardi
> jatta...@gmail.com


Hey, Hey, Stop floating wrong assumptions, its a valid software and a
good software. There was
no good response to this software though its an excellent software.

All, please do not spread wrong news, if you want to download,
download it, but do not float
wrong impressions. Its not a spam at all. You can download free source
and check yourself.

Try and check for yourself.

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vijay
8/21/2007 10:50:42 AM
vijay.kumar.75in@gmail.com wrote:
>> vijay.kumar.7...@gmail.com wrote:
>> > Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.
>[quoted text clipped - 19 lines]
>> Joe Attardi
>> jatta...@gmail.com
>
>Hey, Hey, Stop floating wrong assumptions, 

Stop multi-posting.  Make clear when cross-posting that 
you have an inherent (vested) interest in the software.
Stop trying to DECEIVE people.

>...its a valid software and a
>good software. There was
>no good response to this software though its an excellent software.

Like we care.  You seem to have this misplaced 
assumption that we 'owe' you something, or 
indeed, anything.

Grow up and take responsibility for your actions, 
or stop wasting our (friggin') time and bandwidth.
Or both.

>All, please do not spread wrong news, if you want to download,
>download it, but do not float
>wrong impressions. Its not a spam at all. You can download free source
>and check yourself.

Not the issue.  'Unsolicited advertising' is what I
regard as spam.  

So - answer me this, who *asked* you about your 
(damn fool) software?  Who asked any question 
to which your software was either the entire 
answer, or covered some important points of 
their inquiry?

And as an aside, you want a techical comment?

What on earth would *possess* me to download and 
install the behemoth that is SWT?  Sure not some
trivial little network tool..

Do it in Swing and I might bother to look at it, 
otherwise I could not really give a toss..

And please, stop whining like either you have 
'a justifiable right' or like anyone else deeply 
cares (or should care) about your 'beautiful' 
project.  Neither is the case.

-- 
Andrew Thompson
http://www.athompson.info/andrew/

Message posted via http://www.javakb.com

0
Andrew
8/21/2007 2:39:47 PM
On Aug 21, 7:39 pm, "Andrew Thompson" <u32984@uwe> wrote:
> vijay.kumar.7...@gmail.com wrote:
> >> vijay.kumar.7...@gmail.com wrote:
> >> > Today I have downloaded a SWT Software which is great to its features.
> >[quoted text clipped - 19 lines]
> >> Joe Attardi
> >> jatta...@gmail.com
>
> >Hey, Hey, Stop floating wrong assumptions,
>
> Stop multi-posting.  Make clear when cross-posting that
> you have an inherent (vested) interest in the software.
> Stop trying to DECEIVE people.
>
> >...its a valid software and a
> >good software. There was
> >no good response to this software though its an excellent software.
>
> Like we care.  You seem to have this misplaced
> assumption that we 'owe' you something, or
> indeed, anything.
>
> Grow up and take responsibility for your actions,
> or stop wasting our (friggin') time and bandwidth.
> Or both.
>
> >All, please do not spread wrong news, if you want to download,
> >download it, but do not float
> >wrong impressions. Its not a spam at all. You can download free source
> >and check yourself.
>
> Not the issue.  'Unsolicited advertising' is what I
> regard as spam.
>
> So - answer me this, who *asked* you about your
> (damn fool) software?  Who asked any question
> to which your software was either the entire
> answer, or covered some important points of
> their inquiry?
>
> And as an aside, you want a techical comment?
>
> What on earth would *possess* me to download and
> install the behemoth that is SWT?  Sure not some
> trivial little network tool..
>
> Do it in Swing and I might bother to look at it,
> otherwise I could not really give a toss..
>
> And please, stop whining like either you have
> 'a justifiable right' or like anyone else deeply
> cares (or should care) about your 'beautiful'
> project.  Neither is the case.
>
> --
> Andrew Thompsonhttp://www.athompson.info/andrew/
>
> Message posted viahttp://www.javakb.com

You are very Harsh, it really hurts. I am very Sorry. Stop it here.

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vijay
8/21/2007 3:09:39 PM
This:> Copyright (C) 2007 Vijaykumar B.V.> All Rights Reserved.And this:> > You may find the project under sourceforge.net> >http://nettymaster.sourceforge.net/seem to be rather at odds.That said, we're probably dealing with a relative Java newbie that'smade their first reasonably good, working project he was proud of andwanted unbiased feedback, and you guys just went and blasted him intonext week. I'm sure he'll think twice before trying to make or showoff anything else now; you've just depleted the ranks of Javaprogrammers by one. Hope you feel proud of yourselves.(Of course, if he thought it being known it was his own software wouldproduce biased feedback he was probably wrong there. But it's a moreplausible explanation than your accusations of spamming -- it's notlike he can be making any money off a Sourceforge-hosted project inall likelihood, after all!)
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Twisted
8/21/2007 3:10:41 PM
Paul Derbyshire wrote:> That said, we're probably dealing with a relative Java newbie that's> made their first reasonably good, working project he was proud of and> wanted unbiased feedbackQuite a big assumption to make. What I take issue with is how he's misrepresenting himself, "Oh, look at this great software I found!".There is an appropriate newsgroup for promoting your projects: comp.lang.java.announce.> next week. I'm sure he'll think twice before trying to make or show> off anything else now; you've just depleted the ranks of Java> programmers by one. Hope you feel proud of yourselves.Spare me the guilt trip, eh?> (Of course, if he thought it being known it was his own software would> produce biased feedback he was probably wrong there. But it's a more> plausible explanation than your accusations of spamming -- it's not> like he can be making any money off a Sourceforge-hosted project in> all likelihood, after all!)That doesn't mean it's not spamming.-- Joe Attardijattardi@gmail.com
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Joe
8/21/2007 3:56:27 PM
On Aug 21, 11:56 am, Joe Attacki <jatta...@gmail.com> strikes again!:[snip inevitable intentional misattribution]Why do you keep doing this? Why not just let your news agent insert"Twisted wrote:" and leave it at that?> There is an appropriate newsgroup for promoting your projects:> comp.lang.java.announce.Isn't that a moderated newsgroup only suitable for submitting majorJava-related news? My Pet Project would probably not be acceptedthere, unlike say the fanfare announcing the release of Java 7whenever that happens.> > next week. I'm sure he'll think twice before trying to make or show> > off anything else now; you've just depleted the ranks of Java> > programmers by one. Hope you feel proud of yourselves.>> Spare me the guilt trip, eh?You? You weren't even part of it. Until now.> > (Of course, if he thought it being known it was his own software would> > produce biased feedback he was probably wrong there. But it's a more> > plausible explanation than your accusations of spamming -- it's not> > like he can be making any money off a Sourceforge-hosted project in> > all likelihood, after all!)>> That doesn't mean it's not spamming.Sure it does. For a message to be Usenet spam it has to be eitherinappropriate commercial promotion or crossposted or multi-posted to25 or more newsgroups or something similar. The post that started thisthread isn't cross-posted (I don't know about multi-posted but I doubtit was multi-posted to over two dozen groups), isn't commercial, andapparently is on-topic. Just about every spam alarm bell is quietlysitting there NOT ringing in this particular instance. To say thatcalling it a spam is a stretch is to be very generous. It's about asspammy as the Januaries at my latitude are warm. :P
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Twisted
8/21/2007 4:20:46 PM
P.D. wrote:> Isn't that a moderated newsgroup only suitable for submitting major> Java-related news? My Pet Project would probably not be accepted> there, unlike say the fanfare announcing the release of Java 7> whenever that happens.It is moderated, but from the content of the group it looks like any legitimate Java-related announcement is permitted there.> You? You weren't even part of it. Until now.I wasn't? I was the first person to reply to Vijay's spamming in this group.> Sure it does. For a message to be Usenet spam it has to be either> inappropriate commercial promotion or crossposted or multi-posted to> 25 or more newsgroups or something similar.While this may not be nearly as annoying as whoever keeps posting that ridiculous "MI5 Persecution" spam in here, it's still someone misrepresenting himself to promote his project. And it still has bothered more than just me.Honestly, I don't care if he advertises his open-source project in here, but the fact that he was underhanded about it is what I took issue with.-- Joe Attardijattardi@gmail.com
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Joe
8/21/2007 5:30:42 PM
On Aug 21, 1:30 pm, Joe Attacki <jatta...@gmail.com> wrote:[Attacki misattributed the quoted text once again][insulting nonsense deleted]> Honestly, I don't care if he advertises his open-source project in here,> but the fact that he was underhanded about it is what I took issue with.I've provided a reasonably plausible and much more charitableinterpretation of his actions. You are quick to see malice where theremay well be none; probably because your own normal behavior ismalicious, so you expect it of everyone else as your default model fora random person's mind is (as is normal) your self-model.
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Twisted
8/22/2007 2:49:02 AM
In article <1187750942.576610.166690@e9g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Aug 21, 1:30 pm, Joe Attacki <jatta...@gmail.com> wrote:> [Attacki misattributed the quoted text once again]> [insulting nonsense deleted]> > Honestly, I don't care if he advertises his open-source project in here,> > but the fact that he was underhanded about it is what I took issue with.> > I've provided a reasonably plausible and much more charitable> interpretation of his actions. You are quick to see malice where there> may well be none; Oh, the irony.  > probably because your own normal behavior is> malicious, so you expect it of everyone else as your default model for> a random person's mind is (as is normal) your self-model.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
8/22/2007 10:01:46 AM
On Aug 22, 6:01 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > I've provided a reasonably plausible and much more charitable> > interpretation of his actions. You are quick to see malice where there> > may well be none;>> Oh, the irony.Is this meant to be some kind of attack?If not, then it bears explaining.If so, then you really need to try harder. :P
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Twisted
8/22/2007 1:35:43 PM
In article <1187789743.688478.77160@z24g2000prh.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Aug 22, 6:01 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > I've provided a reasonably plausible and much more charitable> > > interpretation of his actions. You are quick to see malice where there> > > may well be none;> >> > Oh, the irony.> > Is this meant to be some kind of attack?I'd call it an observation, but one that does imply somethingnegative about your behavior.  I wouldn't call that an attack,but you might.> If not, then it bears explaining.Do I need to spell it out for you?  You don't think *you* are"quick to see malice where there may well be none"?  > If so, then you really need to try harder. :PI'd just as soon not.  -- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
8/22/2007 3:16:45 PM
On Aug 22, 11:16 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:> In article <1187789743.688478.77...@z24g2000prh.googlegroups.com>,>> Twisted  <twisted...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Aug 22, 6:01 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > > I've provided a reasonably plausible and much more charitable> > > > interpretation of his actions. You are quick to see malice where there> > > > may well be none;>> > > Oh, the irony.>> > Is this meant to be some kind of attack?>> I'd call it an observation, but one that does imply something> negative about your behavior.In other words, yes.> Do I need to spell it out for you?  You don't think *you* are> "quick to see malice where there may well be none"?No. Only when it's clear that someone is doing something bad orsneaky. Suggesting an expensive and proprietary solution to someonewhile neglecting to mention either a) that it's expensive andproprietary or b) the several fairly well-known free alternatives thathaven't been mentioned in the thread yet and that a) you surely knowof but b) the OP presumably doesn't or they wouldn't be asking theirquestion in the first place. This has occurred a few times and leadsto the obvious suspicion that the poster is financially connected tothe company that makes the expensive solution in some way. (Employee,or owns stock, or ...) else why would they specifically omitmentioning the free options? (Example: someone responded to someone'sIDE question by mentioning IntelliJ products, with no mention ofeither Eclipse or NetBeans, despite surely knowing of both, being aregular poster here.)Another example of course is someone posting something that states orimplies something negative about another poster. This (demonstrably)leads to nonconstructive flamewars and is clearly off-topic besides.It's difficult to imagine there can be any non-malicious reason fordoing such a thing.Or do you propose that these things happen by accident? I don't seethis as plausible, though. You don't badmouth someone by accident, ormention a commercial product but not a free one by chance, unless youare picking elements of your responses out of a hat by blind draw, andthere's no sane reason to be doing *that* is there?
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Twisted
8/23/2007 4:53:20 AM
Twisted wrote:>This has occurred a few times and leads> to the obvious suspicion that the poster is financially connected to> the company that makes the expensive solution in some way. (Employee,> or owns stock, or ...) else why would they specifically omit> mentioning the free options? (Example: someone responded to someone's> IDE question by mentioning IntelliJ products, with no mention of> either Eclipse or NetBeans, despite surely knowing of both, being a> regular poster here.)That was me.1. IntelliJ is, in my experience and opinion, by far the best of the three. I know many developers who pay money for IntelliJ rather than download the free ones, because it makes them that much more productive.2. Other people had mentioned Eclipse and NetBeans, making it unnecessary for me to do so.3. That's not an "obvious suspicion".  It is an outrageous attack on my personal integrity, which is why I'm bothering to respond.
0
Mike
8/23/2007 6:32:11 AM
In article <1187844800.072034.298560@r23g2000prd.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Aug 22, 11:16 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> wrote:> > In article <1187789743.688478.77...@z24g2000prh.googlegroups.com>,> >> > Twisted  <twisted...@gmail.com> wrote:> > > On Aug 22, 6:01 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > > > I've provided a reasonably plausible and much more charitable> > > > > interpretation of his actions. You are quick to see malice where there> > > > > may well be none;> >> > > > Oh, the irony.> >> > > Is this meant to be some kind of attack?> >> > I'd call it an observation, but one that does imply something> > negative about your behavior.> > In other words, yes.I'd say "attack" is too strong a word for an admittedly somewhatsnarky observation.  But maybe not.> > Do I need to spell it out for you?  You don't think *you* are> > "quick to see malice where there may well be none"?> > No. Only when it's clear that someone is doing something bad or> sneaky. Suggesting an expensive and proprietary solution to someone> while neglecting to mention either a) that it's expensive and> proprietary or b) the several fairly well-known free alternatives that> haven't been mentioned in the thread yet and that a) you surely know> of but b) the OP presumably doesn't or they wouldn't be asking their> question in the first place. This has occurred a few times and leads> to the obvious suspicion that the poster is financially connected to> the company that makes the expensive solution in some way. (Employee,> or owns stock, or ...) else why would they specifically omit> mentioning the free options? (Example: someone responded to someone's> IDE question by mentioning IntelliJ products, with no mention of> either Eclipse or NetBeans, despite surely knowing of both, being a> regular poster here.)Huh.  Well, maybe I'm more trusting than I think -- I don't assumethat personal financial gain is the most likely explanation forsomeone mentioning a commercial product despite being aware ofno-cost / non-commercial alternatives.  Sure, it's a possibleexplanation, but most likely?  Apparently YMV ("Your MileageVaries") here.The "someone" who mentioned IntelliJ has explained why he didn'tmention no-cost alternatives.  I find this explanation completelyplausible, and I might have acted as he did (mentioning a commercialproduct I thought was worth recommending, without including adiscussion of alternatives).> Another example of course is someone posting something that states or> implies something negative about another poster. This (demonstrably)> leads to nonconstructive flamewars and is clearly off-topic besides.> It's difficult to imagine there can be any non-malicious reason for> doing such a thing.Carelessness?  Different standards of what constitutes anoffensive remark?  A comment that many people find unobjectionable("you are wrong about that") may be taken as an insult by some.Maybe we should all be more careful not to give offense, eveninadvertently, but I think the rule about not ascribing to malicethat which can be explained by stupidity more or less applies here.> Or do you propose that these things happen by accident? I don't see> this as plausible, though. You don't badmouth someone by accident, or> mention a commercial product but not a free one by chance, unless you> are picking elements of your responses out of a hat by blind draw, and> there's no sane reason to be doing *that* is there?I think there are more possible explanations than you're offering here(deliberate malice/greed or accident).-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
8/23/2007 9:16:46 AM
On Aug 23, 2:32 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:[snip]You again!> Twisted wrote:> >This has occurred a few times and leads> > to the obvious suspicion that the poster is financially connected to> > the company that makes the expensive solution in some way. (Employee,> > or owns stock, or ...) else why would they specifically omit> > mentioning the free options? (Example: someone responded to someone's> > IDE question by mentioning IntelliJ products, with no mention of> > either Eclipse or NetBeans, despite surely knowing of both, being a> > regular poster here.)>> That was me.>> 1. [snip advertisement for commercial product]> 2. Other people had mentioned Eclipse and NetBeans, making it unnecessary> for me to do so.This has often not been the case in the threads where I raise a fuss.> 3. That's not an "obvious suspicion".  It is an outrageous attack on my> personal integrity, which is why I'm bothering to respond.There was no attack, outrageous or otherwise, in the post to which youjust replied. It didn't name any names but Andrew Thompson, and evenso, it named none in connection with promoting commercial software tothe exclusion of free alternatives and without upfront disclosure.A post that doesn't name names can hardly be considered an "outrageousattack on your personal integrity".On the other hand, your reaction does speak volumes about your guiltyconscience. The duck that got shot quacks the loudest.Incidentally, you have not provided any reasonable explanation formentioning IntelliJ without mentioning that it costs money, thussaving people on a budget the bother of wasting their time clicking alink or two before finding that out and then just sighing and clickingback several times. Well, people on a budget and everyone else ofsound mind and judgment, since nobody sane will pay over the odds forsomething they can easily and legally get for free someplace else.But that comes right back to why care might be taken to softpedal thevery existence of free alternatives...
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Twisted
8/23/2007 10:37:30 PM
"Twisted" <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1187908650.691300.174760@r23g2000prd.googlegroups.com...>> On the other hand, your reaction does speak volumes about your guilty> conscience. The duck that got shot quacks the loudest.I think that The Sopranos is a much better show than Everybody Loves Raymond.  Now claim I own HBO, you idiot. 
0
Mike
8/23/2007 10:49:05 PM
On Aug 23, 5:16 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> Huh.  Well, maybe I'm more trusting than I think -- I don't assume
> that personal financial gain is the most likely explanation for
> someone mentioning a commercial product despite being aware of
> no-cost / non-commercial alternatives.  Sure, it's a possible
> explanation, but most likely?  Apparently YMV ("Your Mileage
> Varies") here.

What about doing so while also carefully omitting to mention a) the
existence of free equivalents AND b) the fact that the product you've
mentioned is not free?

> The "someone" who mentioned IntelliJ has explained why he didn't
> mention no-cost alternatives.  I find this explanation completely
> plausible, and I might have acted as he did (mentioning a commercial
> product I thought was worth recommending, without including a
> discussion of alternatives).

If the alternatives had already come up in the same thread, that would
be fine. As long as you disclosed in your posting that your new
suggestion was not free, and preferably stated the price rather than
just indicating that it was nonzero.

> Maybe we should all be more careful not to give offense, even
> inadvertently, but I think the rule about not ascribing to malice
> that which can be explained by stupidity more or less applies here.

Calling me names is not easily explained without invoking malice in
some form. Indeed, if someone expresses a negative claim about me one
of two things must be the case:
a) They don't actually believe it, in which case they are lying and
indeed lying maliciously to muddy my name. This is clearly malicious
behavior. Or
b) They are sincere, in which case they actually believe nasty things
about me, in which case those very beliefs are themselves what's
malicious, and presumably malicious behavior (such as broadcasting
those beliefs in public) stems from their dislike of me.

Either way, something malicious is going on. And this applies equally
if I'm replaced with any other person as target.

> I think there are more possible explanations than you're offering here
> (deliberate malice/greed or accident).

Such as? Surely nobody truly honestly believes that excellent free
products like Eclipse are no good and awful? Or perhaps they do --
duped by whoever *really* stands to gain from pushing an inferior,
proprietary, and expensive good over a perfectly good commodity
version. Either way, it's disingenuous on *someone*'s part. It's
rather like a drug company advertising its heavily over-priced
painkiller that actually has exactly the same active ingredient as an
ordinary generic aspirin, only about half as much per pill and at four
times the price per pill; the only difference in the products being
that their pill is a funky orange color and has their logo proudly
stamped on both sides. And then convincing their customers to
proselytize their brand as superior to generic aspirin as well.
Which they're eager to do, mainly because it helps them convince
themselves that they did not just waste an ungodly amount of money on
what they fear they could indeed have had for a fraction of that
amount.

Only with software the force of self-deception will be even more
powerful, as someone seeks desperately to believe that they somehow
didn't get screwed in the transaction when they plonked down a three-
figure sum for something a competitor is giving away gratis.
Convincing others is a common way to try to convince yourself.

This is also how prudish mores survive and get transmitted from
generation to generation. *Not* pushing the notion that anything fun
is immoral and a deadly sin means admitting that your own dry and
boring life of just lying back and thinking of England was wasted and
you missed out on a lot of good things and now you're past your prime
and have lost any chance of ever having those experiences. :)

0
Twisted
8/23/2007 10:49:27 PM
"Twisted" <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1187909367.562012.216470@x35g2000prf.googlegroups.com...>> If the alternatives had already come up in the same thread, that would> be fine. As long as you disclosed in your posting that your new> suggestion was not free, and preferably stated the price rather than> just indicating that it was nonzero."I just found this great Thai restuarant downtown, but they charge for the food.   Or, the Salvation Army runs a soup kitchen." 
0
Mike
8/23/2007 10:56:56 PM
On Aug 23, 6:49 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> > On the other hand, your reaction does speak volumes about your guilty> > conscience. The duck that got shot quacks the loudest.>> I think that The Sopranos is a much better show than Everybody Loves> Raymond.  Now claim I own HBO, you [insult deleted].Apples, oranges, and yes, the original topic was bananas into thebargain.Do you and Lew actively lurk and monitor the group continually for newposts so whenever you see one by me you can pounce on it instantly?It's making it impossible for me to get caught up -- I've already beenhere an hour longer than I planned to today, because new posts keeparriving that flame me and require a response from me, only for you togo and undo all my hard work by posting another fucking flame twominutes after my response goes live. Fuck off, the both of you.Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet ofyours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You bothposted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition nowpost via a Comcast news server, and the whole while from Comcast IPs.The one niggling spoiler is that there's a post by you with a reply byAttacki 20 minutes later a few days ago and the IP addresses are quitedifferent (though both owned by Comcast). That suggests maybe acoincidence in ISP and news server use, and different cities ofresidence. Then again, a lot of large ISPs (such as Comcast) justallocate DHCP randomly from any of several large, non-city-specific IPblocks these days, which can be quite diverse even in their firstoctets, so ...I just wonder if maybe you spun off an alternate persona for postingthe really nasty OT flames and legally-dodgy things like privacy-prying and other things in questionable taste so they won't reflect onyour reputation under the name Lew.Just a theory, mind you.
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nebulous99
8/24/2007 12:16:16 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet of> yours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You both> posted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition nowI don't use Google Groups.  You couldn't pay me to use Google Groups.-- Lew
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Lew
8/24/2007 12:21:04 AM
On Aug 23, 6:56 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> "I just found this great Thai restuarant downtown, but they charge for the> food.   Or, the Salvation Army runs a soup kitchen."That's a completely different matter.A. The marginal cost of reproduction of food is not zero. Unlike, say,software.2. The Salvation Army is a charitable cause whose service is meant forthe hungry homeless. Someone who can afford to buy food at normalcommodity prices using their service might be committing some form offraud and is certainly abusing their hospitality and competing withthe homeless people who have no alternative. The same is not true ofpeople using Eclipse, which is aimed at a general audience ofprogrammers and where it costs very little for them to provide plentyfor everybody, so people with money downloading Eclipse aren'tcrowding out poor people who can't afford IntelliJ. Unlike soup,Eclipse is a nonrival good. And lastly,D. There's a quality difference. The soup kitchen probably servesordinary food, while the Thai restaurant likely sells weird ethniccrap. Eclipse and IntelliJ, on the other hand, are both IDEs with afocus on Java. If you were comparing Eclipse with some weirdcommercial Borland text-mode IDE from the early nineties your analogymight make more sense. A better comparison would be to put the freeBorland-IDE-clone RHIDE on the soup-kitchen side as free but no-frillsand crummy and some weird commercial IDE with a very odd user-interface on the other -- perhaps something used on SGI workstationsin days of yore, so it would seem to speak with a thick accent toWindoze-users, and priced in the four-figures like anything elseconnected with SGI (except the hardware, whose pricing was worse --much, much worse).Anyone who can spot the subtle reference gets a free IDE by the way.
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nebulous99
8/24/2007 12:24:59 AM
On Aug 23, 8:21 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> > Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet of> > yours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You both> > posted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition now>> I don't use Google Groups.  You couldn't pay me to use Google Groups.Do you ever rest?Anyway, I never said you did. I said you *used* to.
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nebulous99
8/24/2007 12:31:47 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Aug 23, 8:21 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:>>> Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet of>>> yours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You both>>> posted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition now>> I don't use Google Groups.  You couldn't pay me to use Google Groups.> > Do you ever rest?> > Anyway, I never said you did. I said you *used* to.I have never used Google Groups.-- Lew
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Lew
8/24/2007 12:37:15 AM
On Aug 23, 8:37 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> > On Aug 23, 8:21 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> >> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> >>> Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet of> >>> yours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You both> >>> posted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition now> >> I don't use Google Groups.  You couldn't pay me to use Google Groups.>> > Do you ever rest?>> > Anyway, I never said you did. I said you *used* to.>> I have never used Google Groups.This does not correspond to my own memory, which I certainly trustmuch more than I'm likely to ever trust you given your past andpresent behavior towards me. Implying that I'm a liar for instance.
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nebulous99
8/24/2007 12:45:58 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Aug 23, 8:37 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:>>> On Aug 23, 8:21 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>>>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:>>>>> Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet of>>>>> yours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You both>>>>> posted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition now>>>> I don't use Google Groups.  You couldn't pay me to use Google Groups.>>> Do you ever rest?>>> Anyway, I never said you did. I said you *used* to.>> I have never used Google Groups.> > This does not correspond to my own memory, which I certainly trust> much more than I'm likely to ever trust you given your past and> present behavior towards me. Implying that I'm a liar for instance.I'm not implying anything.  Just letting you and everyone know that I've never used Google Groups - a simple statement of fact.  I use Thunderbird for my newsreader and have done for many years.-- Lew
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Lew
8/24/2007 12:48:19 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1187914576.275866.208690@r23g2000prd.googlegroups.com...> On Aug 23, 6:49 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:>> > On the other hand, your reaction does speak volumes about your guilty>> > conscience. The duck that got shot quacks the loudest.>>>> I think that The Sopranos is a much better show than Everybody Loves>> Raymond.  Now claim I own HBO, you [insult deleted].>> Apples, oranges, and yes, the original topic was bananas into the> bargain.>> Do you and Lew actively lurk and monitor the group continually for new> posts so whenever you see one by me you can pounce on it instantly?I do look for replies to message I've sent.  If you don't want to be in that list, you know what to do. 
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Mike
8/24/2007 12:55:29 AM
On Aug 23, 8:48 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:[repeats self]ENOUGH of this horseshit! If you have nothing original to say thenshut the hell up and let me get on with my evening.
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bbound
8/24/2007 12:58:27 AM
"Lew" <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote in message news:i6GdnQ-y__7tuVPbnZ2dnUVZ_trinZ2d@comcast.com...> nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:>> Oh, and Lew, I now have evidence that Joe Attacki is a sock puppet of>> yours. Not proof, mind you, but some circumstantial evidence. You both>> posted via google groups and after a near-simultaneous transition now>> I don't use Google Groups.  You couldn't pay me to use Google Groups.We see right through you.  Not only do you use Google Groups, you've hacked it to set the header    User-Agent: Thunderbird 2.0.0.5 (X11/20070719)
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Mike
8/24/2007 12:58:40 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1187915099.460115.106080@i13g2000prf.googlegroups.com...> On Aug 23, 6:56 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:>> "I just found this great Thai restuarant downtown, but they charge for >> the>> food.   Or, the Salvation Army runs a soup kitchen.">> That's a completely different matter.How can I possibly argue with your  points A, 2, and D? 
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Mike
8/24/2007 1:00:20 AM
On Aug 23, 8:55 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> I do look for replies to message I've sent.Every five minutes, 24/7? And for the sole purpose of harassment?> If you don't want to be in that list, you know what to do.Nice try. But you won't trick me or blackmailing me into lying downand just letting you hit me without even defending myself. "Stopdefending yourself or I'll hit you again" is hardly an inducement todo anything except keep defending myself, especially since you'll nodoubt hit me again anyway whenever it pops into your piggish, viciouslittle mind. And besides, I don't take kindly to threats, especiallyfrom His Majesty, King Nothing the MCMLXXXVI, Master and Commander ofSome Cramped Little 386 and 3600-Baud Modem in His Mother's Basement,Proud Holder of the Title of Time-Waster of the Year 2005, 2006, and2007, and Final Arbiter of Whether He'll Eat His Peas At DinnerTonight. :P
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bbound
8/24/2007 1:03:26 AM
<bbound@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1187917406.294721.314190@z24g2000prh.googlegroups.com...> On Aug 23, 8:55 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:>> I do look for replies to message I've sent.>> Every five minutes, 24/7? And for the sole purpose of harassment?And how often do *you* check?>>> If you don't want to be in that list, you know what to do.>> Nice try. But you won't trick me or blackmailing me into lying down> and just letting you hit me without even defending myself.Do you not understand this game?  If every time I type two sentences, you respond with three multi-screeen rants, you lose. 
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Mike
8/24/2007 1:20:09 AM
In article <1187909367.562012.216470@x35g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Aug 23, 5:16 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Huh.  Well, maybe I'm more trusting than I think -- I don't assume> > that personal financial gain is the most likely explanation for> > someone mentioning a commercial product despite being aware of> > no-cost / non-commercial alternatives.  Sure, it's a possible> > explanation, but most likely?  Apparently YMV ("Your Mileage> > Varies") here.> > What about doing so while also carefully omitting to mention a) the> existence of free equivalents AND b) the fact that the product you've> mentioned is not free?I still say "possible explanation, not necessarily most likely."Some mentions of commercial products do come across, to me, asmotivated by desire for personal gain.  But not most of them.Your mileage varies.  <shrug>> > The "someone" who mentioned IntelliJ has explained why he didn't> > mention no-cost alternatives.  I find this explanation completely> > plausible, and I might have acted as he did (mentioning a commercial> > product I thought was worth recommending, without including a> > discussion of alternatives).> > If the alternatives had already come up in the same thread, that would> be fine. As long as you disclosed in your posting that your new> suggestion was not free, and preferably stated the price rather than> just indicating that it was nonzero.That's probably best practice.  > > Maybe we should all be more careful not to give offense, even> > inadvertently, but I think the rule about not ascribing to malice> > that which can be explained by stupidity more or less applies here.> > Calling me names is not easily explained without invoking malice in> some form. Indeed, if someone expresses a negative claim about me one> of two things must be the case:> a) They don't actually believe it, in which case they are lying and> indeed lying maliciously to muddy my name. This is clearly malicious> behavior. Or> b) They are sincere, in which case they actually believe nasty things> about me, in which case those very beliefs are themselves what's> malicious, and presumably malicious behavior (such as broadcasting> those beliefs in public) stems from their dislike of me.> > Either way, something malicious is going on. And this applies equally> if I'm replaced with any other person as target.I'm fairly sure I'm not saying anything novel here, but the aboveseems to call for *some* response, so:As best I can tell, you regard "you are wrong" as an insult, andclaim that anyone who says this to you is motivated by malice.I don't think anyone would deny that "you are wrong" is negativein some sense, but I also don't think many people regard it asan insult.  So someone saying "you are wrong" may be motivated bya desire to express the truth as he/she views it, and genuinelyunaware that you will perceive this as an insult.Also, in my usage "malice" is a fairly strong word; "spite" oreven "annoyance" come closer to expressing what seems to me tobe behind some negative comments.I dunno.  You seem to have a fairly unusual take on humaninteraction, which I doubt you're going to change, so furtherdiscussion will probably not be useful or interesting.  Notthat I can, or would, dissuade you from replying, just sayingthat I probably won't take the discussion further.> > I think there are more possible explanations than you're offering here> > (deliberate malice/greed or accident).> > Such as? Surely nobody truly honestly believes that excellent free> products like Eclipse are no good and awful? First, in the text to which I was replying, you talk about two things -- "badmouthing" someone, and mentioning commercial productsbut not free alternatives -- and my comment was meant to apply atleast as much to the former as to the latter.Further, I wouldn't assume that if someone says "I really likeMicrosoft Word" it means he/she thinks OpenOffice is junk;maybe it means he/she has tried them both, found something tolike about each of them, but in the end found more to likeabout Word.  (Hard to imagine, I know.)[ snip most of long digression ]> This is also how prudish mores survive and get transmitted from> generation to generation. *Not* pushing the notion that anything fun> is immoral and a deadly sin means admitting that your own dry and> boring life of just lying back and thinking of England was wasted and> you missed out on a lot of good things and now you're past your prime> and have lost any chance of ever having those experiences. :)And where did *that* come from ....  <shrug>-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
8/24/2007 10:14:12 AM
On Aug 23, 9:20 pm, "Mike  Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> > Every five minutes, 24/7? And for the sole purpose of harassment?>> And how often do *you* check?Once or twice a day, but if I'm catching up when new posts keeparriving and they require a reply...> > Nice try. But you won't trick me or blackmailing me into lying down> > and just letting you hit me without even defending myself.[snip further attempt at trickery and threats]Buzz off.
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Twisted
8/24/2007 2:09:45 PM
On Aug 24, 6:14 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[snip assorted stuff, including insidious suggestion that somethinginsulting might be true, or honestly perceived as true without maliceaforethought]> Also, in my usage "malice" is a fairly strong word; "spite" or> even "annoyance" come closer to expressing what seems to me to> be behind some negative comments.That's a question of degree, not kind. If we get into some kind ofquantitative analysis this might become relevant. :P> I dunno.  You seem to have a fairly unusual take on human> interactionI suppose I do, in that I am evidently far more logical than mostothers I routinely encounter.> Further, I wouldn't assume that if someone says "I really like> Microsoft Word" it means he/she thinks OpenOffice is junk;> maybe it means he/she has tried them both, found something to> like about each of them, but in the end found more to like> about Word.Then there's a padded cell somewhere with their name on it. :P> [ snip most of long digression ]>> And where did *that* come from ....  <shrug>Placing it all in context. There's a more general shaping of humanbehavior, social organization, and norms that at least partiallyinvolves bottom-up forces, but that includes a number of things beingsubtly manipulated to benefit corporate elites of various sorts,partly financially but partly with direct power and influence. Thecommercial-software-promotion issue that periodically arises here isthus just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. On the other hand there'snot necessarily much in the way of conscious conspiracy involvedeither; just psychological forces and independently-acting self-interested actors producing a game with a fairly shoddy Nashequilibrium, one the internet may destabilize ... in favor of whoknows what. There's a chance the new equilibrium might actually beworse, although I doubt it.
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Twisted
8/24/2007 2:17:01 PM
Twisted <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> Isn't that a moderated newsgroup only suitable for submitting major> Java-related news? My Pet Project would probably not be accepted> there, unlike say the fanfare announcing the release of Java 7> whenever that happens.As a former moderator of that group, I can say I'd expect that an announcement of a project in Java would probably be accepted.  The newsgroup charter explicitly allows publicly accessible applets, so an open-source example of a Java SWT application seems quite on-topic as well.The rest of this, though, is that the author lied to everyone.  People are upset.  I think they are right to be upset.-- Chris Smith
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Chris
8/24/2007 2:24:15 PM
In article <1187965021.250764.44160@q3g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Aug 24, 6:14 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> [snip assorted stuff, including insidious suggestion that something> insulting might be true, or honestly perceived as true without malice> aforethought]Insidious?  Yeah, whatever.  Just for the record, here's what I said:>>  As best I can tell, you regard "you are wrong" as an insult, and>>  claim that anyone who says this to you is motivated by malice.>>  I don't think anyone would deny that "you are wrong" is negative>>  in some sense, but I also don't think many people regard it as>>  an insult.  So someone saying "you are wrong" may be motivated by>>  a desire to express the truth as he/she views it, and genuinely>>  unaware that you will perceive this as an insult.And in general, something insulting *MIGHT* be true.  Well, unlessit applies to you, of course.  Hm, to add a :-) or not ....[ snip]> > I dunno.  You seem to have a fairly unusual take on human> > interaction> > I suppose I do, in that I am evidently far more logical than most> others I routinely encounter.To use another pop-culture catchphrase (which I may be gettingwrong, since I'm getting it secondhand at best):  How's thatworking for you?  Does it help you accurately predict thebehavior of others?> > Further, I wouldn't assume that if someone says "I really like> > Microsoft Word" it means he/she thinks OpenOffice is junk;> > maybe it means he/she has tried them both, found something to> > like about each of them, but in the end found more to like> > about Word.> > Then there's a padded cell somewhere with their name on it. :PAs I said -- hard to imagine.  (Why did you snip that out of the quoted text?  It was on the same line as "about Word", andremoving it makes me look like someone who likes Word, whichI most emphatically am not.)> > [ snip most of long digression ]> >> > And where did *that* come from ....  <shrug>My comment referred specifically to the paragraph I *did*quote, not to the part I snipped.  That's not apparent fromyour selective quoting.  And I suppose you only bother with "[snip ]" when you want to summarize, in your, um, distinctive?way, the snipped content.[ snip ]But as someone else said in another thread -- there is a lotof off-topic stuff in this group lately, and this is surelyin that category.  So -- sorry about that, folks, and I'll tryto shut up now.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
8/24/2007 3:25:39 PM
On Aug 24, 11:25 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:[snip stuff that seems snarky, but that I can't *prove* is hostile; itcertainly is OT]> > I suppose I do, in that I am evidently far more logical than most> > others I routinely encounter.>> To use another pop-culture catchphrase (which I may be getting> wrong, since I'm getting it secondhand at best):  How's that> working for you?  Does it help you accurately predict the> behavior of others?If you're asking if I model others as perfectly rational, the answeris no. I model them stochastically, to a significant degree. I doanticipate the possible moves of an opponent in an adversarialsituation using logic, of course; while keeping in mind that theymight do something illogical (i.e. make a mistake) so I'm ready topounce on any such opportunity. Determining their worst-case attacksand the defense to employ against same necessarily means assuming theycarry out their attack logically and compute and use those worst-caseattacks though. It's a nice relief when (and this happens quite often)they don't, or miss the mark in some other way, though.Of course, my own behavior tends to be logical with respect to thegoals involved at the time.> > > Further, I wouldn't assume that if someone says "I really like> > > Microsoft Word" it means he/she thinks OpenOffice is junk;> > > maybe it means he/she has tried them both, found something to> > > like about each of them, but in the end found more to like> > > about Word.>> > Then there's a padded cell somewhere with their name on it. :P>> As I said -- hard to imagine.  (Why did you snip that out of> the quoted text?  It was on the same line as "about Word", and> removing it makes me look like someone who likes Word, which> I most emphatically am not.)That wasn't the intent. It's just that my own response was to theportion actually quoted, but not to the rest.> > > [ snip most of long digression ]>> > > And where did *that* come from ....  <shrug>>> My comment referred specifically to the paragraph I *did*> quote, not to the part I snipped.  That's not apparent from> your selective quoting.  And I suppose you only bother with "[> snip ]" when you want to summarize, in your, um, distinctive?> way, the snipped content.This is precisely why I don't leave other quoted material between thequoted material I'm actually responding to and my response to thatbit.In any event, the quoted part you seem to have been referring to wasstill part of the "long digression". The end portion applied thereasoning in that digression to another observed and sometimes odd-seeming phenomenon to prove its predictive power and provide anexample.
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Twisted
8/31/2007 5:42:37 PM
In article <1188582157.365621.29590@y42g2000hsy.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Aug 24, 11:25 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> wrote:> > [snip stuff that seems snarky, but that I can't *prove* is hostile; it> certainly is OT]Oh sure (on the "OT").  But this whole subthread is off-topic,isn't it?By the way, I find your practice of replacing quoted text with yourinterpretation of it, as you do above, more than a little annoying --in order to find out whether I think your characterizationis accurate, I have to look at the previous post, which sortof defeats the purpose of snipping.  But I don't really want topursue that.  Just stating an opinion.> > > I suppose I do, in that I am evidently far more logical than most> > > others I routinely encounter.> >> > To use another pop-culture catchphrase (which I may be getting> > wrong, since I'm getting it secondhand at best):  How's that> > working for you?  Does it help you accurately predict the> > behavior of others?> > If you're asking if I model others as perfectly rational, the answer> is no. No, I'm asking whether whatever you're doing is "working", in thesense of helping you interact with other human beings in a waythat meets your goals, whatever those may be.  More later.> I model them stochastically, to a significant degree. I do> anticipate the possible moves of an opponent in an adversarial> situation using logic, of course; while keeping in mind that they> might do something illogical (i.e. make a mistake) so I'm ready to> pounce on any such opportunity. Determining their worst-case attacks> and the defense to employ against same necessarily means assuming they> carry out their attack logically and compute and use those worst-case> attacks though. It's a nice relief when (and this happens quite often)> they don't, or miss the mark in some other way, though.> > Of course, my own behavior tends to be logical with respect to the> goals involved at the time.To me this all feels like using the wrong tool for a job -- the toolbeing logic, and the job getting along with other human beings.For example, in this newsgroup, one of your goals seems to be tohave people think well of you.  I think some of your posts move youaway from that goal rather than toward it.  It seems that you'retrying to "win" a debate according to some rules that many peopledon't recognize.  You might be better served by taking a differentapproach, even if it's one that doesn't seem logical to you.  Mytwo cents' worth, which I don't really think you're going to finduseful or valid, but -- for the record, maybe.[ snip stuff I'm no longer interested in pursuing ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/1/2007 5:08:01 PM
On Sep 1, 1:08 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> By the way, I find your practice of replacing quoted text with your> interpretation of it, as you do above, more than a little annoying --> in order to find out whether I think your characterization> is accurate, I have to look at the previous post, which sort> of defeats the purpose of snipping.  But I don't really want to> pursue that.  Just stating an opinion.You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;just accept that it surely was, and move on.> No, I'm asking whether whatever you're doing is "working", in the> sense of helping you interact with other human beings in a way> that meets your goals, whatever those may be.  More later.It's difficult to extricate the effects of my choices from the effectsof others' choices in these cases. For example, if a hostage taker isdetermined to kill the hostage no matter what, nothing the hostagenegotiator says will make any difference, and the negotiator'sattempts "won't work" but not because the negotiator necessarily didanything wrong. In a less extreme way, the outcome of any interactionresults from the choices made by all participants and praise/blamecannot be solely assigned to just one of them -- any one of them.> > Of course, my own behavior tends to be logical with respect to the> > goals involved at the time.>> To me this all feels like using the wrong tool for a job -- the tool> being logic, and the job getting along with other human beings.Who said that was the goal? I certainly didn't; I didn't specify anygoal. As I recall, the goal here is nominally the exchange of usefulinformation about Java, although many of the people here clearly haveother, more dubious goals, as evidenced by various forms of behaviorthat do not further the first goal. (Most of this behavior also doesnot further a goal of "getting along" either, for that matter.)[something that smells like an attempt to trick me snipped]I'm sorry, but I seem to still be under attack, and while that remainsthe case I cannot and will not lay down my arms -- in this case, mywits, which you seem to have just suggested I not use. It would leaveme wide open to further attack, and unable to defend myself. (Nor do Isee any benefit in ever behaving stupidly or irrationally, even in theabsence of an immediate threat.)> [ snip stuff I'm no longer interested in pursuing ]I thought you said that that included this entire thread, butapparently I was once again being lied to. (Still waiting for Attackito prove that *his* latest promise to STFU was, once again, a lie...)
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Twisted
9/3/2007 3:21:06 AM
In article <1188789666.017947.185380@y42g2000hsy.googlegroups.com>,
Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 1, 1:08 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > By the way, I find your practice of replacing quoted text with your
> > interpretation of it, as you do above, more than a little annoying --
> > in order to find out whether I think your characterization
> > is accurate, I have to look at the previous post, which sort
> > of defeats the purpose of snipping.  But I don't really want to
> > pursue that.  Just stating an opinion.
> 
> You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;
> just accept that it surely was, and move on.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at
the arrogance of the above sentence.  Maybe it would be better
to reply thus:

Even though in most of the cases in which I *have* looked at
the previous post, I've found myself disagreeing with your
characterization?  

(There's an excellent example in the thread with subject line
'Post not appear on group "comp.lang.java.programmer"'; you label
a post from Arne [*], which I'd have said was mostly about FSF
and copyright, with a "PS" to you that was a mild corrective, an
"attack post".)

[*] Whose last name I'm not including because I'm not sure how
to include the required non-ASCII characters.  My fault for
not knowing enough about relevant standards and how to make my
preferred tools meet them, but I don't want to let it hold up
this Critically!  Important!  post.  :-)?

> > No, I'm asking whether whatever you're doing is "working", in the
> > sense of helping you interact with other human beings in a way
> > that meets your goals, whatever those may be.  More later.
> 
> It's difficult to extricate the effects of my choices from the effects
> of others' choices in these cases. For example, if a hostage taker is
> determined to kill the hostage no matter what, nothing the hostage
> negotiator says will make any difference, and the negotiator's
> attempts "won't work" but not because the negotiator necessarily did
> anything wrong. In a less extreme way, the outcome of any interaction
> results from the choices made by all participants and praise/blame
> cannot be solely assigned to just one of them -- any one of them.

Well, my take on this is that when something goes wrong, it's
usually a mistake to focus too much on whose fault it was -- better
to try to figure out what went wrong in a way that avoids, as much
as possible, people taking criticism personally.  Some assessment
of blame may contribute to an understanding of what went wrong and
how to avoid things going wrong in the future.  Too much attention
to whose fault it was -- to me it seems more likely to result
in pointless arguing than to productive discussion.  I admit
that I'm often guilty myself of taking criticism personally and
reacting defensively in a way that doesn't advance the discussion.
But I try not to.

> > > Of course, my own behavior tends to be logical with respect to the
> > > goals involved at the time.
> >
> > To me this all feels like using the wrong tool for a job -- the tool
> > being logic, and the job getting along with other human beings.
> 
> Who said that was the goal? I certainly didn't; I didn't specify any
> goal. As I recall, the goal here is nominally the exchange of useful
> information about Java, although many of the people here clearly have
> other, more dubious goals, as evidenced by various forms of behavior
> that do not further the first goal. (Most of this behavior also does
> not further a goal of "getting along" either, for that matter.)
> 
> [something that smells like an attempt to trick me snipped]

Oh my.  I would characterize the snipped text as a sincere if
misguided attempt to suggest a course of action that would serve
you better.  In it I assume that your goal is for people to think
well of you, but it applies equally well if the goal is to have
discussions in this group be exchanges of technical information
rather than insults.  I'm not nearly good enough at manipulating
other human beings to think I could trick you, so it wouldn't
occur to me to try.  I'm not optimistic you'll believe that just
on my say-so, but -- <shrug>.

But you know, I think we've been over this ground, or similar
ground, before -- a long thread some months ago in which I
suggested, as I'm doing here, that you consider altering your
behavior.  You didn't find my arguments persuasive then, so I'm
not sure why I'm trying similar ones again.  "Hope springs eternal"
or "Insanity is doing the same thing again but expecting different
results" ?

> I'm sorry, but I seem to still be under attack, and while that remains
> the case I cannot and will not lay down my arms -- in this case, my
> wits, which you seem to have just suggested I not use. 

Well, I'd say I'm suggesting not that you not use your wits,
but that you use them differently.

> It would leave
> me wide open to further attack, and unable to defend myself. (Nor do I
> see any benefit in ever behaving stupidly or irrationally, even in the
> absence of an immediate threat.)
> 
> > [ snip stuff I'm no longer interested in pursuing ]
> 
> I thought you said that that included this entire thread, but
> apparently I was once again being lied to. (Still waiting for Attacki
> to prove that *his* latest promise to STFU was, once again, a lie...)

"Lie" seems like a rather strong and inflammatory word here.
However:

I reviewed my previous posts, and reading carefully, I believe
I left myself a bit of wiggle room -- "probably not interested"
and "try to shut up".  But the real explanation for my continuing
this thread:  In the week between my previous post and your reply,
apparently I forgot my good intentions.  

I'd invoke the traditional "woman's prerogative to change her
mind", but -- nah, that would be reinforcing a gender stereotype
I don't approve of anyway.  :-)?

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/3/2007 5:57:30 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:>> You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was>> accurate; just accept that it surely was, and move on.>> I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at> the arrogance of the above sentence.I think the indicated response is to back away.  Carefully. 
0
Mike
9/3/2007 7:20:07 PM
On Sep 3, 1:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;> > just accept that it surely was, and move on.>> I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at> the arrogance of the above sentence.Ex-fucking-SCUSE-me? Now you're calling me names. :P And all because Isaid something that, though more verbose, boils down to "I am not aliar". :P> Even though in most of the cases in which I *have* looked at> the previous post, I've found myself disagreeing with your> characterization?Are you, then, calling me a liar? :P> (There's an excellent example in the thread with subject line> 'Post not appear on group "comp.lang.java.programmer"'; you label> a post from Arne [*], which I'd have said was mostly about FSF> and copyright, with a "PS" to you that was a mild corrective, an> "attack post".)I labeled it an attack post because it was -- its pure purpose was toindirectly slander me by contradicting most of my previous post andimplying that I was some sort of ignoramus in the bargain. That almostnothing in it failed to imply something negative about me, while atthe same time nothing at all in it was Java-related, is sufficient formy purposes.Your criteria obviously allow an attacker to slip subtle but seriousput-downs under your radar by simply making their claims indirectly byimplication instead of explicitly, which doesn't do a whole lot ofgood.> [*] Whose last name I'm not including because I'm not sure how> to include the required non-ASCII characters.  My fault for> not knowing enough about relevant standards and how to make my> preferred tools meet them, but I don't want to let it hold up> this Critically!  Important!  post.  :-)?There's alt-numpad and CharMap copy/paste, but it's a pain.Attributions and such are generated automatically and people entertheir From: info into their news agent just once, so it's not soawkward there of course.One guy keeps posting with block quotes offset with single untypablecharacters resembling >> and << -- I wonder how he can stand the pain,or if he keeps a text file open in Notepad with just those twocharacters to copy and paste from or something...:P> Well, my take on this is that when something goes wrong, it's> usually a mistake to focus too much on whose fault it was -- better> to try to figure out what went wrong in a way that avoids, as much> as possible, people taking criticism personally.Unfortunately there are plenty of people in cljp who take greatpleasure in finger-pointing, blame assignment, and issuing put-downsand other criticism that will be taken personally. I don't know why.It seems to have been elevated to a form of sport by some usenettersmore generally, proving themselves to be King Knowitall and everyoneelse to be idiots, or at the very least trying very hard.> Some assessment> of blame may contribute to an understanding of what went wrong and> how to avoid things going wrong in the future.  Too much attention> to whose fault it was -- to me it seems more likely to result> in pointless arguing than to productive discussion.  I admit> that I'm often guilty myself of taking criticism personally and> reacting defensively in a way that doesn't advance the discussion.> But I try not to.Eh? I thought you said the problem was people dishing out personalcriticism where not warranted. Now you're saying that instead theproblem is people not simply rolling over and taking whatever punchesare thrown their way?I know which of those seemed to me to make more sense. :P> Oh my.  I would characterize the snipped text as a sincere if> misguided attempt to suggest a course of action that would serve> you better.Cease to use my brain? Serve me better? I don't see any possible waythat that can help. Actually having an IQ of 80 or something like thatmight be sort of nice -- it would mean being too stupid to realizethey were not laughing *with* me but *at* me, so it wouldn't matter tobe so stupid as to become the target of such laughter in the firstplace. OTOH, merely pretending to be stupid while knowing exactly whatwas going on strikes me as simply masochistic. And either results in areputation for idiocy...> In it I assume that your goal is for people to think> well of you, but it applies equally well if the goal is to have> discussions in this group be exchanges of technical information> rather than insults.What, not being intelligent? I'm sorry, but you're not making a wholelot of sense here. Intelligence is important in understanding anddiscussing highly technical subject matter as I'm sure you'll agree.Also intelligence correlates with doing better at just about anything,and stupidity with success rates dropping towards those predicted forpurely random inputs. Yet you did suggest I not use my intelligence.Strange.> But you know, I think we've been over this ground, or similar> ground, before -- a long thread some months ago in which I> suggested, as I'm doing here, that you consider altering your> behavior.Nothing in my behavior needs any altering. To suggest otherwise is toinsult me.[insults my mental health]> Well, I'd say I'm suggesting not that you not use your wits,> but that you use them differently."Differently" how?> > I thought you said that that included this entire thread, but> > apparently I was once again being lied to. (Still waiting for Attacki> > to prove that *his* latest promise to STFU was, once again, a lie...)>> "Lie" seems like a rather strong and inflammatory word here.True; it's more applicable to Attacki and his ilk.> I'd invoke the traditional "woman's prerogative to change her> mind", but -- nah, that would be reinforcing a gender stereotype> I don't approve of anyway.  :-)?It's obviously false anyway, unless Joe Attacki has no Y chromosome.The aggression alone suggests otherwise, never mind the first name.
0
Twisted
9/5/2007 12:14:50 AM
In article <1188951290.635029.298240@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 3, 1:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;> > > just accept that it surely was, and move on.> >> > I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at> > the arrogance of the above sentence.> > Ex-fucking-SCUSE-me? Now you're calling me names. :P And all because I> said something that, though more verbose, boils down to "I am not a> liar". :P> > > Even though in most of the cases in which I *have* looked at> > the previous post, I've found myself disagreeing with your> > characterization?> > Are you, then, calling me a liar? :P(I don't really have time to respond at length, but may nothave Usenet access for a few days, so briefly .... )I'm not quite sure whether lacing your posts with ":P" is supposedto take the sting out of words that seem a little hostile.No, I'm not calling you a liar.  I'm saying that I often don'tinterpret other people's words in the same way you do.  It maybe a "your mileage may vary" thing.[ snip ]> > But you know, I think we've been over this ground, or similar> > ground, before -- a long thread some months ago in which I> > suggested, as I'm doing here, that you consider altering your> > behavior.> > Nothing in my behavior needs any altering. To suggest otherwise is to> insult me.> > [insults my mental health]Say what?  I wrote>>>> You didn't find my arguments persuasive then, so I'm>>>> not sure why I'm trying similar ones again.  "Hope springs eternal">>>> or "Insanity is doing the same thing again but expecting different>>>> results" ?Isn't it obvious that the possibly insanity here is mine, not yours?[ snip ]> > > I thought you said that that included this entire thread, but> > > apparently I was once again being lied to. (Still waiting for Attacki> > > to prove that *his* latest promise to STFU was, once again, a lie...)> >> > "Lie" seems like a rather strong and inflammatory word here.> > True; it's more applicable to Attacki and his ilk.> > > I'd invoke the traditional "woman's prerogative to change her> > mind", but -- nah, that would be reinforcing a gender stereotype> > I don't approve of anyway.  :-)?> > It's obviously false anyway, unless Joe Attacki has no Y chromosome.> The aggression alone suggests otherwise, never mind the first name.> I meant it to apply to myself.  As far as I know, I don't have a Ychromosome.More another time, maybe.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/5/2007 8:12:24 AM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> (I don't really have time to respond at length, but may not> have Usenet access for a few days, so briefly .... )Don't feed the trolls.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/5/2007 1:53:13 PM
On Sep 5, 4:12 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> >>>> You didn't find my arguments persuasive then, so I'm> >>>> not sure why I'm trying similar ones again.  "Hope springs eternal"> >>>> or "Insanity is doing the same thing again but expecting different> >>>> results" ?>> Isn't it obvious that the possibly insanity here is mine, not yours?Eh ... yeah it could be, although the usual target for such insultsaround here is me, and you had also been suggesting I change somethingin my behavior for some reason...> > > I'd invoke the traditional "woman's prerogative to change her> > > mind", but -- nah, that would be reinforcing a gender stereotype> > > I don't approve of anyway.  :-)?>> > It's obviously false anyway, unless Joe Attacki has no Y chromosome.> > The aggression alone suggests otherwise, never mind the first name.>> I meant it to apply to myself.  As far as I know, I don't have a Y> chromosome.I was referring to Attacki's repeated false promises to leave mealone, killfile me, etc. there -- he therefore doesn't fit thestereotype.As it just so happens I found unsolicited email with his john hancocksitting in my inbox today alongside the usual assortment of spam todelete. So it looks like he is still not 100% willing to leave mealone, though he's not posting anything about me to the newsgroupstill. Hmm. I seem to readily become the subject of peoples'obsessions. I wonder why -- I don't have a cute butt or anything likethat, and even if I did it wouldn't show in my usenet posts!
0
Twisted
9/5/2007 6:11:20 PM
On Sep 5, 9:53 am, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:[implied insult]You are now placed on notice. You had been keeping out of this, inlarge part. I'm not sure you want to get dragged into it. If you do,posting more like that last one is an excellent way to ensure ithappens.
0
Twisted
9/5/2007 6:12:51 PM
On Sep 5, 9:53 am, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> [implied insult]Lew, did I misread you?  It looked pretty explicit to me.
0
Mike
9/5/2007 7:11:48 PM
Mike Schilling wrote:> On Sep 5, 9:53 am, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> [implied insult]> > Lew, did I misread you?  It looked pretty explicit to me.You must have.  I never wrote "[implied insult]".-- Lew
0
Lew
9/5/2007 10:11:27 PM
Twisted wrote:> On Sep 3, 1:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:>>> You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;>>> just accept that it surely was, and move on.>> I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at>> the arrogance of the above sentence.> > Ex-fucking-SCUSE-me? Now you're calling me names. :P And all because I> said something that, though more verbose, boils down to "I am not a> liar". :PNo, it boils down to "I am infallible.".To err is human. To get upset when people consider the possibility thatyou might make a mistake is seriously arrogant.Patricia
0
Patricia
9/6/2007 1:38:56 PM
On Sep 6, 9:38 am, Patricia Shanahan <p...@acm.org> wrote:> Twisted wrote:> > On Sep 3, 1:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> >>> You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;> >>> just accept that it surely was, and move on.> >> I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at> >> the arrogance of the above sentence.>> > Ex-fucking-SCUSE-me? Now you're calling me names. :P And all because I> > said something that, though more verbose, boils down to "I am not a> > liar". :P>> NoAnd now you join the ranks of the hostile.[name-calling snipped]So sad. And I had been thinking that this latest round of BS was over;that those who feel compelled to attack others viciously had gotten itout of their system for the time being and we'd have months of peaceonce again.Apparently not...
0
Twisted
9/6/2007 8:19:24 PM
In article <1188951290.635029.298240@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 3, 1:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > You don't need to "find out" whether my characterization was accurate;> > > just accept that it surely was, and move on.> >> > I'm not sure whether to laugh or shake my head in amazement at> > the arrogance of the above sentence.> > Ex-fucking-SCUSE-me? Now you're calling me names. :P And all because I> said something that, though more verbose, boils down to "I am not a> liar". :P> > > Even though in most of the cases in which I *have* looked at> > the previous post, I've found myself disagreeing with your> > characterization?> > Are you, then, calling me a liar? :PPreviously responded to.  Now for the other things I was goingto say ....> > (There's an excellent example in the thread with subject line> > 'Post not appear on group "comp.lang.java.programmer"'; you label> > a post from Arne [*], which I'd have said was mostly about FSF> > and copyright, with a "PS" to you that was a mild corrective, an> > "attack post".)> > I labeled it an attack post because it was -- its pure purpose was to> indirectly slander me by contradicting most of my previous post and> implying that I was some sort of ignoramus in the bargain. That almost> nothing in it failed to imply something negative about me, while at> the same time nothing at all in it was Java-related, is sufficient for> my purposes.Nevertheless, labeling it an "attack post" without quoting any of itleaves the impression -- to me anyway -- that it was nothing butpersonal attacks and name-calling, which -- oh well, maybe that *is*what you think.> Your criteria obviously allow an attacker to slip subtle but serious> put-downs under your radar by simply making their claims indirectly by> implication instead of explicitly, which doesn't do a whole lot of> good.My criteria?  Huh?> > [*] Whose last name I'm not including because I'm not sure how> > to include the required non-ASCII characters.  My fault for> > not knowing enough about relevant standards and how to make my> > preferred tools meet them, but I don't want to let it hold up> > this Critically!  Important!  post.  :-)?> > There's alt-numpad and CharMap copy/paste, but it's a pain.> Attributions and such are generated automatically and people enter> their From: info into their news agent just once, so it's not so> awkward there of course.What is this CharMap of which you speak?  Googling ....  Okay,maybe there's more than one thing by that name, at least one ofwhich would work under my preferred operating system.  I'm stilla little dubious about what those preferred tools of mine [*] woulddo with Unicode characters, or anything other than 7-bit ASCII.[*] vim and trn, under Linux.  Yes, really.  (Just curious --what were you thinking I was using?)[ snip ]> > Some assessment> > of blame may contribute to an understanding of what went wrong and> > how to avoid things going wrong in the future.  Too much attention> > to whose fault it was -- to me it seems more likely to result> > in pointless arguing than to productive discussion.  I admit> > that I'm often guilty myself of taking criticism personally and> > reacting defensively in a way that doesn't advance the discussion.> > But I try not to.> > Eh? I thought you said the problem was people dishing out personal> criticism where not warranted. Now you're saying that instead the> problem is people not simply rolling over and taking whatever punches> are thrown their way?Actually what I had in mind is that discussion can descend intounproductive wrangling when someone starts dishing out personalinsults, and also when someone responds to any criticism bydefending his/her behavior.  You can label the latter refusing toroll over and take whatever.  Generally speaking, I wouldn't.> I know which of those seemed to me to make more sense. :P[ snip ]> > But you know, I think we've been over this ground, or similar> > ground, before -- a long thread some months ago in which I> > suggested, as I'm doing here, that you consider altering your> > behavior.> > Nothing in my behavior needs any altering. To suggest otherwise is to> insult me.> > [insults my mental health]> > > Well, I'd say I'm suggesting not that you not use your wits,> > but that you use them differently.> > "Differently" how?By recognizing that your perception of how humans interact isdistorted, and adopting a more accurate view.I know, I just insulted you, by your definition of "insult" anyway.My mileage varies -- when I'm doing something that strikes otherpeople as counterproductive, in general I'd probably rather hearabout it than not.  It's then up to me whether I want to changemy behavior, disagree with the person making the criticism (if onecan call it that), or tell them "you may be right, but I'm probablynot going to change", with or without an explanation of why.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/10/2007 10:35:06 AM
In article <prqdndhJ1MpUKUPbnZ2dnUVZ_rzinZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > (I don't really have time to respond at length, but may not> > have Usenet access for a few days, so briefly .... )> > Don't feed the trolls.I think I know what you're getting at, and I agree (with somereservations along the lines of "even when you really wantto?") -- but "troll" doesn't seem like quite the word for anyoneparticipating in this admittedly off-topic and probably pointlessdiscussion.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/10/2007 10:39:20 AM
In article <1189015880.306871.11730@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>,Twisted  <twisted0n3@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 5, 4:12 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip ]> > > > I'd invoke the traditional "woman's prerogative to change her> > > > mind", but -- nah, that would be reinforcing a gender stereotype> > > > I don't approve of anyway.  :-)?> >> > > It's obviously false anyway, unless Joe Attacki has no Y chromosome.> > > The aggression alone suggests otherwise, never mind the first name.> >> > I meant it to apply to myself.  As far as I know, I don't have a Y> > chromosome.> > I was referring to Attacki's repeated false promises to leave me> alone, killfile me, etc. there -- he therefore doesn't fit the> stereotype.But you mentioned not only what Joe Attardi [*] had said, butwhat I said.[*] I can't imagine what you hope to accomplish by misspellinghis name.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/10/2007 10:42:33 AM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> In article <prqdndhJ1MpUKUPbnZ2dnUVZ_rzinZ2d@comcast.com>,> Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:>>> (I don't really have time to respond at length, but may not>>> have Usenet access for a few days, so briefly .... )>> Don't feed the trolls.> > I think I know what you're getting at, and I agree (with some> reservations along the lines of "even when you really want> to?") -- but "troll" doesn't seem like quite the word for anyone> participating in this admittedly off-topic and probably pointless> discussion.It's not the word for anyone participating in this discussion.  It's the word for trolls.  It has a specific, googlable meaning with respect to online forums.  Wikipedia has a particular fine entry under "Internet troll".And wanting to feed the troll is the temptation you must resist.  I know, I feel the undertow.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/10/2007 12:48:44 PM
On Sep 10, 8:48 am, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:[further indirect insults targeted at me]Shut up.
0
nebulous99
9/11/2007 2:57:30 AM
On Sep 10, 6:42 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> But you mentioned not only what Joe Attardi [*] had said, but> what I said.I didn't mention *only* what you said, and I mentioned Attackiimmediately prior to the stuff in question, and you earlier than that.> [*] I can't imagine what you hope to accomplish by misspelling> his name.Shame him into not posting an output that is 99% attacks and only 1%off-topic -- what else? Moreover, it may actually be working -- hehasn't posted anything off-topic or even in questionable taste in aweek now.
0
nebulous99
9/11/2007 3:02:11 AM
On Sep 10, 6:35 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > I labeled it an attack post because it was -- its pure purpose was to> > indirectly slander me by contradicting most of my previous post and> > implying that I was some sort of ignoramus in the bargain. That almost> > nothing in it failed to imply something negative about me, while at> > the same time nothing at all in it was Java-related, is sufficient for> > my purposes.>> Nevertheless, labeling it an "attack post" without quoting any of it> leaves the impression -- to me anyway -- that it was nothing but> personal attacks and name-calling, which -- oh well, maybe that *is*> what you think.That is what it was, aside from the detail that the attacks wereimplied rather than explicit.> > Your criteria obviously allow an attacker to slip subtle but serious> > put-downs under your radar by simply making their claims indirectly by> > implication instead of explicitly, which doesn't do a whole lot of> > good.>> My criteria?  Huh?Your criteria for what constitutes an "attack post". If you requirethe attacks be explicit before you treat it as such and rebut,attackers will simply learn to sneak their attacks in under the radarif they want whatever nasty beliefs about you that they are trying topromulgate to be promulgated unchallenged.Oops. Better rebut implied ones as well then.> [*] vim and trn, under Linux.  Yes, really.  (Just curious --> what were you thinking I was using?)Nothing specific, since you hadn't specified anything. But you'd needsome tool to enter untypable characters into a document no matterwhat. A hex editor if nothing else was handy.Of course, now you've mentioned the editors you're using, I think youshould probably get with the times. Console-mode archaisms from the70s simply cannot and will not ever decently support unicode, anyway.You're lucky if latin-1 accented characters work with that setup; mostlikely you're limited to 7-bit ASCII.Gobs of software got written during the 80s and 90s, and more has beenwritten so far this millennium; I suggest that you find and usesome. :)> Actually what I had in mind is that discussion can descend into> unproductive wrangling when someone starts dishing out personal> insults, and also when someone responds to any criticism by> defending his/her behavior.  You can label the latter refusing to> roll over and take whatever.  Generally speaking, I wouldn't.Regardless, the place to stop such "unproductive wrangling" is with nomore personal insults, since no reasonable person can be expected tosimply allow some to stand unchallenged and permanently damage theirreputation (well, if an insulting posting had X-No-Archive: Yes on it,it might not be so bad to let that one slide, since it won't be aroundvirtually forever waiting to pop up when someone googles you; OTOH ifit will pop up in a search you'll surely want the very next thing inthe thread to be your followup explaining why the insulting post iswrong so it's maximally likely that whoever reads the insulting postalso reads a rebuttal.)> By recognizing that [insults my mental health]I do not hallucinate and I do not believe it is appropriate for you tobe publicly making false claims that imply I have a mental defect.Desist at once.> I know, I just insulted you, by your definition of "insult" anyway.So at least you won't be claiming later that it was an "accident" andyou didn't mean to insult me; you knew darn well what you were doingand now you've admitted it.> My mileage varies -- when I'm doing something that strikes other> people as counterproductive, in general I'd probably rather hear> about it than not.I find, and you apparently find (see above), that publicly insultingpeople is counterproductive. So you shouldn't be bothered by followupsto public insults making rebuttals and calling the attacker on theirbehavior, based on what you just said.
0
nebulous99
9/11/2007 3:14:38 AM
In article <Or2dndiILuCxoHjbnZ2dnUVZ_hninZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > In article <prqdndhJ1MpUKUPbnZ2dnUVZ_rzinZ2d@comcast.com>,> > Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> >> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> >>> (I don't really have time to respond at length, but may not> >>> have Usenet access for a few days, so briefly .... )> >> Don't feed the trolls.> > > > I think I know what you're getting at, and I agree (with some> > reservations along the lines of "even when you really want> > to?") -- but "troll" doesn't seem like quite the word for anyone> > participating in this admittedly off-topic and probably pointless> > discussion.> > It's not the word for anyone participating in this discussion.  It's the word > for trolls.  It has a specific, googlable meaning with respect to online > forums.  Wikipedia has a particular fine entry under "Internet troll".Agreed on all counts -- which is why I was nitpicking about your choiceof words.> And wanting to feed the troll is the temptation you must resist.  I know, I > feel the undertow.Sound advice, which maybe will soak in soon.  Just not quite yet.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/11/2007 12:01:18 PM
In article <1189480478.503657.140030@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 10, 6:35 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > > I labeled it an attack post because it was -- its pure purpose was to
> > > indirectly slander me by contradicting most of my previous post and
> > > implying that I was some sort of ignoramus in the bargain. That almost
> > > nothing in it failed to imply something negative about me, while at
> > > the same time nothing at all in it was Java-related, is sufficient for
> > > my purposes.
> >
> > Nevertheless, labeling it an "attack post" without quoting any of it
> > leaves the impression -- to me anyway -- that it was nothing but
> > personal attacks and name-calling, which -- oh well, maybe that *is*
> > what you think.
> 
> That is what it was, aside from the detail that the attacks were
> implied rather than explicit.
> 
> > > Your criteria obviously allow an attacker to slip subtle but serious
> > > put-downs under your radar by simply making their claims indirectly by
> > > implication instead of explicitly, which doesn't do a whole lot of
> > > good.
> >
> > My criteria?  Huh?
> 
> Your criteria for what constitutes an "attack post". If you require
> the attacks be explicit before you treat it as such and rebut,
> attackers will simply learn to sneak their attacks in under the radar
> if they want whatever nasty beliefs about you that they are trying to
> promulgate to be promulgated unchallenged.

What I require before calling something an "attack post" is that 
it be nothing *but* attack, explicit or implicit.  I don't think
the post I was talking about met that criterion.  I guess you do.
Your mileage varies from mine, again.

> Oops. Better rebut implied ones as well then.

> > [*] vim and trn, under Linux.  Yes, really.  (Just curious --
> > what were you thinking I was using?)
> 
> Nothing specific, since you hadn't specified anything. But you'd need
> some tool to enter untypable characters into a document no matter
> what. A hex editor if nothing else was handy.
> 
> Of course, now you've mentioned the editors you're using, 

I only mentioned one editor -- trn is a newsreader, and like
the good old-Unix-style program it is, it calls a program of the
user's choice (vim in my case) for text editing.

> I think you
> should probably get with the times. Console-mode archaisms from the
> 70s simply cannot and will not ever decently support unicode, anyway.
> You're lucky if latin-1 accented characters work with that setup; most
> likely you're limited to 7-bit ASCII.

Yes, I am.  In part that's deliberate -- I'm fairly sure that
7-bit ASCII complies with all relevant standards, but unsure
that any particular way of getting other characters into Usenet
posts would.  Something to research sometime (what the standards
actually are).

> Gobs of software got written during the 80s and 90s, and more has been
> written so far this millennium; I suggest that you find and use
> some. :)

It will probably happen someday, though more in spite of your
suggesting it than because of it.  I've spent a lot of hours
editing text with vim (and vi before that), though, and I'm
reluctant to set that aside.  "Modern" tools are superior in 
some respects, inferior (IMO) in others.  <shrug>

> > Actually what I had in mind is that discussion can descend into
> > unproductive wrangling when someone starts dishing out personal
> > insults, and also when someone responds to any criticism by
> > defending his/her behavior.  You can label the latter refusing to
> > roll over and take whatever.  Generally speaking, I wouldn't.
> 
> Regardless, the place to stop such "unproductive wrangling" is with no
> more personal insults, since no reasonable person can be expected to
> simply allow some to stand unchallenged and permanently damage their
> reputation (well, if an insulting posting had X-No-Archive: Yes on it,
> it might not be so bad to let that one slide, since it won't be around
> virtually forever waiting to pop up when someone googles you; OTOH if
> it will pop up in a search you'll surely want the very next thing in
> the thread to be your followup explaining why the insulting post is
> wrong so it's maximally likely that whoever reads the insulting post
> also reads a rebuttal.)
> 
> > By recognizing that [insults my mental health]

Uh-huh.  The alleged insult, for anyone who's curious but can't
be bothered to look upthread:

> > By recognizing that your perception of how humans interact is
> > distorted, and adopting a more accurate view.

Have I said earlier that I agree with those who have said that the
person doing the most damage to your reputation in this newsgroup
is you yourself?  

> I do not hallucinate and I do not believe it is appropriate for you to
> be publicly making false claims that imply I have a mental defect.
> Desist at once.

I stand by my opinion -- but it's only that, since all I know about
you is what I read in this and other newsgroups.  

> > I know, I just insulted you, by your definition of "insult" anyway.
> 
> So at least you won't be claiming later that it was an "accident" and
> you didn't mean to insult me; you knew darn well what you were doing
> and now you've admitted it.

No.  What I'm saying is that my words meet *your* definition of 
"insult", but not mine.  

> > My mileage varies -- when I'm doing something that strikes other
> > people as counterproductive, in general I'd probably rather hear
> > about it than not.
> 
> I find, and you apparently find (see above), that publicly insulting
> people is counterproductive. So you shouldn't be bothered by followups
> to public insults making rebuttals and calling the attacker on their
> behavior, based on what you just said.

But I don't consider "you're wrong" an insult.  

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/11/2007 12:30:35 PM
In article <1189479731.335289.109160@r29g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 10, 6:42 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > But you mentioned not only what Joe Attardi [*] had said, but> > what I said.> > I didn't mention *only* what you said, and I mentioned Attacki> immediately prior to the stuff in question, and you earlier than that.> > > [*] I can't imagine what you hope to accomplish by misspelling> > his name.> > Shame him into not posting an output that is 99% attacks and only 1%> off-topic -- what else? Moreover, it may actually be working -- he> hasn't posted anything off-topic or even in questionable taste in a> week now.Juvenile insults based on misspelling someone's name don't strikeme as an effective way of getting the response you say you want --unless Joe has concluded that further debate with someone who findsthem an effective technique is pointless.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/11/2007 1:04:41 PM
<blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote in message news:5kng3aF4gq7tU1@mid.individual.net.....>> Yes, I am.  In part that's deliberate -- I'm fairly sure that> 7-bit ASCII complies with all relevant standards, but unsure> that any particular way of getting other characters into Usenet> posts would.  Something to research sometime (what the standards> actually are).Even more to the point, you know that everyone will be able to read ASCII correctly.  ("7-bit ASCII" is, by the way, a bit redundant; ASCII is a 7-bit encoding.)   Even if there are standards for representing other encodings, not all newsreaders support them, so using them means failing to communicate with some fraction of your audience.  (Some people, inexplicably to me, enjoy that, like the idiots who start their posts with "begin", so OE users can't easily read them.) 
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Mike
9/11/2007 1:43:29 PM
Lew  wrote:>> It's not the word for anyone participating in this discussion.  It's the word >> for trolls.  It has a specific, googlable meaning with respect to online >> forums.  Wikipedia has a particular fine entry under "Internet troll".blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> Agreed on all counts -- which is why I was nitpicking about your choice> of words.Well, the Wikipedia link and others describe trollish behavior, which apparently you believe doesn't apply to anyone in this conversation.  Some might say they've seen this behavior.You are probably right, which is why I suppose I'm now saying, "[i]t's not the word for anyone participating in this discussion."  However, the principle that some arguments cannot resolve applies.  BTW, I find your arguments cogent and patient.-- Lew
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Lew
9/11/2007 2:11:27 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> Juvenile insults based on misspelling someone's name don't strike> me as an effective way of getting the response you say you want --> unless Joe has concluded that further debate with someone who finds> them an effective technique is pointless.You hit the nail right on the head. I got sick of the public back-and-forths with Paul, so I finally killfiled him. Although I have noticed from other people's quotes replies to him that he continues to go on and on about me. Obsession is never a healthy thing...
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Joe
9/12/2007 3:35:00 AM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> >> I think you should probably get with the times. Console-mode>> archaisms from the 70s simply cannot and will not ever decently>> support unicode, anyway. You're lucky if latin-1 accented>> characters work with that setup; most likely you're limited to>> 7-bit ASCII.> > > Yes, I am.  In part that's deliberate -- I'm fairly sure that 7-bit> ASCII complies with all relevant standards, but unsure that any> particular way of getting other characters into Usenet posts would.> Something to research sometime (what the standards actually are).> vi under Linux usually means vim:http://www.vim.org/htmldoc/mbyte.html#Unicode   "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:    - xterm with utf-8 support enabled    - Athena, Motif and GTK GUI    - MS-Windows GUI"
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RedGrittyBrick
9/12/2007 9:09:10 AM
On Sep 11, 11:35 pm, Joe Attacki <jatta...@gmail.com> wrote:[attacks me again and also gets my name wrong]So, you were once again lying about not posting any more off-topic,Twisted-bashing bullshit.Why the hell aren't I surprised?Now might I suggest some more constructive activities? Same forblmblm, who just attempted to insult my *age* of all things (as ifbeing any particular age were bad, and thus saying someone was were aninsult; hence "attempted" above). I have a number of ideas foractivities that should fascinate the both of you and have the niceside effect of getting both of you and your almost-universally-off-topic posts the hell out of cljp:* Bungee jumping. May I suggest London Bridge? It's nice this time ofyear. I recommend a bungee cord with a maximum extension of 30ft.* Playing in traffic is an old favorite.* Picking your arse with shards of broken glass.* Gambling is a fine tradition in many parts of the world.Particularly roulette. Might I suggest the variety invented in Russia,in particular?* Recreating the circumnavigation voyage of Magellan. Historicauthenticity would be a good idea -- this means no radio or GPS, andmeeting the same eventual fate as Magellan himself did. Right nowwould be a great time to set out, as the hurricane season approachesits peak.* If that's too iffy for you, try just plain storm chasing. The worldrecord for the "SUV toss" event at the Tornado Olympics currentlystands at 197 metres, in case you wanted to know; but it's probablypossible to beat that...* A wide variety of pastoralist and ascetic sects exist. Were you tojoin you would get away from all the stresses of modern life; think ofit as a free vacation. No, early retirement even. Of course most ofthem expect you to take a vow of poverty, and I'm not aware of anymonasteries having broadband or WiFi hotpoints...oh well.* If you're car aficionados, you might like the long and storied gamesof "chicken" and "train racing".* Finally, one thing that might at least give a physician somewhere anamusing anecdote at the end of the day, and which I saw creativelysuggested somewhere once as a method of pain relief after exposure toatrociously-designed third-party game mods: inhaling boiling Dranothrough a straw.* Oh, and since you two seem made for each other, there's always theold fashioned man and woman thing, you know? Complete with gettingaway from it all (including usenet) for a two week honeymoon. I hearit's warm in Hades this time of year...Have fun you two! :P
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nebulous99
9/13/2007 6:40:24 AM
On Sep 11, 8:30 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Your criteria for what constitutes an "attack post". If you require> > the attacks be explicit before you treat it as such and rebut,> > attackers will simply learn to sneak their attacks in under the radar> > if they want whatever nasty beliefs about you that they are trying to> > promulgate to be promulgated unchallenged.>> What I require before calling something an "attack post" is that> it be nothing *but* attack, explicit or implicit.  I don't think> the post I was talking about met that criterion.  I guess you do.> Your mileage varies from mine, again.This is silly. Your new criteria are just as full of loopholes as theold. "You're an idiot. You're a wanker. You're a jerk. Eclipse isbetter than Netbeans!" <- hypothetical attack post you'd fail toclassify as such by those criteria. I only require that its primaryfunction or effect appear to be to smear a person.> I only mentioned one editor -- trn is a newsreader, and like> the good old-Unix-style program it is, it calls a program of the> user's choice (vim in my case) for text editing.A news editor, not just reader, given the implication that you can useit to post, and it presumably manages editing the stuff other than theactual bodies of news posts. (Account details, favorite-newsgrouplist, etc...)> Yes, I am.  In part that's deliberate -- I'm fairly sure that> 7-bit ASCII complies with all relevant standards, but unsure> that any particular way of getting other characters into Usenet> posts would.  Something to research sometime (what the standards> actually are).My observation is that it's hit-and-miss depending on what the posterdoes, but modern reading software (or Google Groups) will show unicodecharacters correctly that were entered correctly at the posting end(including the character encoding information in the post header beingcorrect).> It will probably happen someday, though more in spite of your> suggesting it than because of it.  I've spent a lot of hours> editing text with vim (and vi before that), though, and I'm> reluctant to set that aside.  "Modern" tools are superior in> some respects, inferior (IMO) in others.  <shrug>Oh, no, not this shit again. :P> > > By recognizing that [insults my mental health]>> Uh-huh.  The alleged insult, for anyone who's curious but can't> be bothered to look upthread: [repeats the insult]Christ, I *hate* it when my detractors do that. I snipped the insultfor a very good reason, namely that the fewer copies of it arefloating around having a bad effect the better. It's the same reasonpeople that follow up to spam here often change the URLs to end in".spam".There's no need to repeat your insult (or at best stupid, tastelessattempt at a weak joke -- failed attempt I might add, since I didn'tfind it funny, not one damn bit). We all (unfortunately) heard you thefirst time.[more insults]I will reiterate. I do not hallucinate. I do not self-attack. I do notexhibit any of these signs and symptoms of mental illness. I neverhave. I never will -- at least, I certainly have no intention of everdoing so, or taking the sorts of drugs that would bring on suchsymptoms by choice.> > I do not hallucinate and I do not believe it is appropriate for you to> > be publicly making false claims that imply I have a mental defect.> > Desist at once.>> I stand by my opinion -- but it's only that, since all I know about> you is what I read in this and other newsgroups.Forming an opinion that I hallucinate simply from reading usenet isreally, really silly anyway. It's rather like forming an opinion thatthe emperor of Zulu has cancer from reading tea leaves, or forming anopinion that the President is a fucktard from watching Sesame Street.In the latter case, you'd actually be right -- he IS a fucktard -- butthat's just an example of a stopped clock being right twice a day.In your case though you weren't that lucky. You were flat wrong -- Idon't hallucinate.End of discussion.> No.  What I'm saying is that my words meet *your* definition of> "insult", but not mine.So you have no problem insulting me as long as you wouldn't find thesame thing insulting? I suppose then you would also have no problemswith the old classics of suggesting I were female or liked other guys,since you wouldn't be insulted if someone suggested you were female orliked guys, then? That leaves a lot of options open. Your ethics areas full of loopholes as your attack-detection rules, it would appear.> But I don't consider "you're wrong" an insult.You're strange.
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nebulous99
9/13/2007 6:53:32 AM
On Sep 11, 9:43 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> Even more to the point, you know that everyone will be able to read ASCII> correctly.  ("7-bit ASCII" is, by the way, a bit redundant; ASCII is a 7-bit> encoding.)   Even if there are standards for representing other encodings,> not all newsreaders support them, so using them means failing to communicate> with some fraction of your audience.In practise, it's not likely that severe. They'll see some garbleswhere accented characters were used, and that's about it. Ugly, butusually comprehensible anyway.> (Some people, inexplicably to me,> enjoy that, like the idiots who start their posts with "begin", so OE users> can't easily read them.)I find that the people that "enjoy that" (i.e. deliberately makingtheir posts hard to understand for a fraction of the audience) do itwith gratuitous obscurity, especially unusual acronyms, and then starta flamewar if asked to clarify what they said (i.e. to spell it out inplain English). :PWhy would use of the word "begin" garble a post in OE? That's passingstrange -- bugs aren't usually highly specific to one English word.Then again, it *is* Microsoft software we're discussing...
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nebulous99
9/13/2007 6:57:42 AM
On Sep 12, 5:09 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>wrote:>    "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:That's like mounting a rocket motor on an Edsel, and trying to steerand throttle it using the usual car controls. There's a reason mostrocket ships have cockpits full of dials and switches like the SpaceShuttle, you know. And there's a reason that unicode support isnormally only found in GUI apps, not on the console...it's bad enoughnot being able to type some characters easily, let alone having to seethem as some weird escape codes or whatever they will appear as on adisplay limited to one code page of characters at a time.Unless you stick to just the one code page I suppose. Fairly oftenpeople are using Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1, and basically the zeroth codepage of Unicode) when they speak of using "ASCII" (hence also "7-bitASCII" to disambiguate with certainty), and get the accentedcharacters used in French and maybe Spanish and Italian and a fewother things this way; most consoles and console apps have supportedLatin-1 for a while, and sometimes other code pages, albeit one at atime.
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nebulous99
9/13/2007 7:02:30 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1189666662.333105.229290@r29g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...>> Why would use of the word "begin" garble a post in OE?When the first line is    begin WORD(where WORD could be almost anything), OE assumes the post is uuencoded. 
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Mike
9/13/2007 8:33:11 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1189666950.205724.81990@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...> On Sep 12, 5:09 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>> wrote:>>    "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:>> That's like mounting a rocket motor on an Edsel, and trying to steer> and throttle it using the usual car controls. There's a reason most> rocket ships have cockpits full of dials and switches like the Space> Shuttle, you know. And there's a reason that unicode support is> normally only found in GUI apps, not on the console...gvim, which I believe is the most common way people use vim (it is for me), is a GUI app 
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Mike
9/13/2007 8:38:08 AM
Mike Schilling wrote:> <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message > news:1189666950.205724.81990@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...> >> On Sep 12, 5:09 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>>> wrote:>>>>>   "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:>>>> That's like mounting a rocket motor on an Edsel, and trying to steer>> and throttle it using the usual car controls. There's a reason most>> rocket ships have cockpits full of dials and switches like the Space>> Shuttle, you know. And there's a reason that unicode support is>> normally only found in GUI apps, not on the console...> > > gvim, which I believe is the most common way people use vim (it is for me), > is a GUI app > > AFAIK Vim supports unicode whether used from console, telnet, SSH, xterm or GUI.Here's some stuff cut & pasted out of gvim running on WinXPEntered using digraph h backspace uU+3075: Hiragana Letter Hu ふEntered using digraph w backspace :U+1e85: Latin small letter w with Diaeresis ẅEntered using code point value in hex ^VUFC12U+FC12: Arabic ligature Theh with Meem Isolated Form ﰒEntered using Windows charmapU+CEF9: Hangul syllable Khieukh Eo leung 컹U+03C8: Greek Small Letter Psi ψHeres some stuff cut & pasted out of vim running on Linux via SSH (Putty)digraph hu ふdigraph w: ẅ^VUFC12 ﰒI guess this means that either1) Vim is *not* one of the "Console-mode archaisms from the 70s".or2) "Console-mode archaisms from the 70s simply cannot and will not ever decently support unicode" is wrong.
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RedGrittyBrick
9/13/2007 11:30:13 AM
In article <raSdnUwczNGSP3vbnZ2dnUVZ_vCknZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> Lew  wrote:> >> It's not the word for anyone participating in this discussion.  It's> the word > >> for trolls.  It has a specific, googlable meaning with respect to online > >> forums.  Wikipedia has a particular fine entry under "Internet troll".> > blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > Agreed on all counts -- which is why I was nitpicking about your choice> > of words.> > Well, the Wikipedia link and others describe trollish behavior, which > apparently you believe doesn't apply to anyone in this conversation.  Some > might say they've seen this behavior.Bad behavior, yes.  Trollish behavior, I'm not sure.  But eitherway ....> You are probably right, which is why I suppose I'm now saying, "[i]t's not the > word for anyone participating in this discussion."  However, the principle > that some arguments cannot resolve applies.  BTW, I find your arguments cogent > and patient.Also pointless and off-topic.  :-)?  :-(?I'm asking myself now how I got into not one but two longand pointless wrangles, and more importantly how to get out.("Just stop"?  um, yeah, but .... )-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/13/2007 2:54:15 PM
In article <1189665624.670955.314580@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 11, 11:35 pm, Joe Attacki <jatta...@gmail.com> wrote:> [attacks me again and also gets my name wrong]> > So, you were once again lying about not posting any more off-topic,> Twisted-bashing bullshit.> > Why the hell aren't I surprised?> > Now might I suggest some more constructive activities? Same for> blmblm, who just attempted to insult my *age* of all things (as if> being any particular age were bad, and thus saying someone was were an> insult; hence "attempted" above). Say what?  Oh, maybe you mean my use of the phrase "juvenileinsults"?  But those can be slung by persons of any age, thoughthey're more forgivable coming from those who aren't old enoughto know better.  I don't know whether that applies to you, andI doubt it would be interesting or useful to speculate.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/13/2007 2:55:56 PM
In article <1189666412.000398.326710@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 11, 8:30 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > Your criteria for what constitutes an "attack post". If you require> > > the attacks be explicit before you treat it as such and rebut,> > > attackers will simply learn to sneak their attacks in under the radar> > > if they want whatever nasty beliefs about you that they are trying to> > > promulgate to be promulgated unchallenged.> >> > What I require before calling something an "attack post" is that> > it be nothing *but* attack, explicit or implicit.  I don't think> > the post I was talking about met that criterion.  I guess you do.> > Your mileage varies from mine, again.> > This is silly. Your new criteria are just as full of loopholes as the> old. "You're an idiot. You're a wanker. You're a jerk. Eclipse is> better than Netbeans!" <- hypothetical attack post you'd fail to> classify as such by those criteria. I only require that its primary> function or effect appear to be to smear a person.Well, you're right that my new definition isn't very precise either.Yours ("primary function or effect") is better, though it might bepossible to find an example ....  Nah.  You're right, this *is* silly.> > I only mentioned one editor -- trn is a newsreader, and like> > the good old-Unix-style program it is, it calls a program of the> > user's choice (vim in my case) for text editing.> > A news editor, not just reader, given the implication that you can use> it to post, and it presumably manages editing the stuff other than the> actual bodies of news posts. (Account details, favorite-newsgroup> list, etc...)The use of the term "news editor" to refer to something used toread and post news is new to me; I thought the generic term was"newsreader".  Perhaps this reflects a gap in my knowledge.As for editing things other than the text of posts being composed,hm ....  for most of that I would probably use a text editorto change one of trn's configuration files, which of course :-)are plain text.  But this also is probably a pointless wrangle, in which bothparties are more interested in proving the other wrong than inanything useful.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/13/2007 3:15:11 PM
In article <1189666412.000398.326710@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 11, 8:30 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip stuff replied to earlier ][ more snip ]> I will reiterate. I do not hallucinate. I do not self-attack. I do not> exhibit any of these signs and symptoms of mental illness. I never> have. I never will -- at least, I certainly have no intention of ever> doing so, or taking the sorts of drugs that would bring on such> symptoms by choice.> > > > I do not hallucinate and I do not believe it is appropriate for you to> > > be publicly making false claims that imply I have a mental defect.> > > Desist at once.> >> > I stand by my opinion -- but it's only that, since all I know about> > you is what I read in this and other newsgroups.> > Forming an opinion that I hallucinate simply from reading usenet is> really, really silly anyway. Not even if you say you see flying purple elephants?  (Rhetoricalquestion only.  Not saying you *did* say that.)But I didn't express an opinion one way or another about whetheryou hallucinate, only that you seem to me to have a distorted viewof human interaction.  > It's rather like forming an opinion that> the emperor of Zulu has cancer from reading tea leaves, or forming an> opinion that the President is a fucktard from watching Sesame Street.Gratuitous political flamebait.  Why?> In the latter case, you'd actually be right -- he IS a fucktard -- but> that's just an example of a stopped clock being right twice a day.> > In your case though you weren't that lucky. You were flat wrong -- I> don't hallucinate.Congratulations:  You've found a way of saying "you're wrong" thatI find insulting.  (Upthread I said, more than once, that it washard to say in the abstract whether "you're wrong" is an insult.Now we have a concrete example I find at least mildly insulting.I *think*, though I'm not sure, that what makes the differenceis the implication that if I'm ever other than wrong it's byluck only.)> End of discussion.> > > No.  What I'm saying is that my words meet *your* definition of> > "insult", but not mine.> > So you have no problem insulting me as long as you wouldn't find the> same thing insulting? Before this discussion, I'd have said that I generally try to avoidsaying things others would perceive as offensive, even if I didn'tshare their opinion.  Apparently there are exceptions.  > I suppose then you would also have no problems> with the old classics of suggesting I were female or liked other guys,Those "old classics" are insulting, all right, but not to the personat whom they're aimed.  > since you wouldn't be insulted if someone suggested you were female or> liked guys, then? What a poor opinion of my reasoning ability you must have, to suggestthat I would find this an equivalent situation.  (No need to tell mejust how much of an idiot you think I am.) > That leaves a lot of options open. Your ethics are> as full of loopholes as your attack-detection rules, it would appear.Ethics, or manners?As for attack-detection rules, I'm not sure I really have any.  Tome there seems to be more downside in perceiving insult where nonewas meant than in not perceiving insult where it was meant.  I suspectyour mileage varies in that regard.> > But I don't consider "you're wrong" an insult.Or not always, anyway.> You're strange.Thank you!  I try.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/14/2007 1:00:03 AM
<blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote in message news:5kt18mF5cv2dU2@mid.individual.net...>> Well, the Wikipedia link and others describe trollish behavior, which>> apparently you believe doesn't apply to anyone in this conversation. >> Some>> might say they've seen this behavior.>> Bad behavior, yes.  Trollish behavior, I'm not sure.  But either> way ....The chief goal of a troll is to get other posters hot and bothered.  A troll is happiest when he's ignited a flame war with a single post.  On a Java group, a troll might start with "Why is Java so much slower than .NET?", and then sit back and watch the fun.  Someone who exerts far more effort and emotion than anyone else in the vicinity might be a lot of things, but he's not a troll.> I'm asking myself now how I got into not one but two long> and pointless wrangles, and more importantly how to get out.> ("Just stop"?  um, yeah, but .... )No buts.  Just stop.  Now.  Anything else digs you in deeper. 
0
Mike
9/14/2007 5:03:57 AM
On Sep 13, 10:54 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:> In article <raSdnUwczNGSP3vbnZ2dnUVZ_vCkn...@comcast.com>,> > Well, the Wikipedia link and others describe trollish behavior, which> > apparently you believe doesn't apply to anyone in this conversation.  Some> > might say they've seen this behavior.>> Bad behavior, yes.If this is intended to describe me, be it known that it's not anaccurate description.
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nebulous99
9/15/2007 2:59:36 AM
On Sep 13, 10:55 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:> In article <1189665624.670955.314...@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>,>>  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 11, 11:35 pm, Joe Attacki <jatta...@gmail.com> wrote:> > [attacks me again and also gets my name wrong]>> > So, you were once again lying about not posting any more off-topic,> > Twisted-bashing bullshit.>> > Why the hell aren't I surprised?>> > Now might I suggest some more constructive activities? Same for> > blmblm, who just attempted to insult my *age* of all things (as if> > being any particular age were bad, and thus saying someone was were an> > insult; hence "attempted" above).>> Say what?  [more subtly insulting stuff]This is getting tiresome. You say or imply untrue nasty things aboutme; I point out that they're a) untrue and b) nasty; cycle repeats.Anything new and interesting you'd like to discuss, or should we justcall it a draw and move on with our lives? :P
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nebulous99
9/15/2007 3:01:10 AM
On Sep 13, 11:15 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
wrote:
> Well, you're right that my new definition isn't very precise either.
> Yours ("primary function or effect") is better, though it might be
> possible to find an example ....  Nah.  You're right, this *is* silly.

Well, actually, having a properly functioning threat-detection system
is a matter of deadly seriousness, but I digress...

> The use of the term "news editor" to refer to something used to
> read and post news is new to me; I thought the generic term was
> "newsreader".  Perhaps this reflects a gap in my knowledge.

The generic term *is* "newsreader". Nonetheless, most of them are not
read-only, and so constitute editing software however typically named.

> As for editing things other than the text of posts being composed,
> hm ....  for most of that I would probably use a text editor
> to change one of trn's configuration files, which of course :-)
> are plain text.

What, as in hand-hack the config files instead of use the options
interface of the newsreader? That's asking for trouble. One cack-
handed edit and you're posting binhexed multipart messages partitioned
every 13 bytes containing gibberish from code page 0x4B as
"Jarkdengler III of Waterloo" or something, with a giant zipped and
uuencoded copy of an old forgotten core file as .signature appended to
every single part. Or more likely it just plain doesn't work, or
worse, forgets all your read/unread info.

Basically it's the equivalent of a Windoze user wanting to change the
font size in something and immediately fiddling around in the registry
instead of trying the Tools->Options route first.

Of course, it may be that this newsreader you use is so crufty as to
lack a proper user interface, or perhaps even any user interface, at
all (or specifically for configuring accounts and etc.) but if so,
it's a sign that you need to replace it with something sane, not that
you need to hand-hack the config files. :P If I ever downloaded
Windoze software that required me to hand-hack the registry to do
various basic things I'd quickly be shopping around for an
alternative.

Getting your hands dirty by sticking them up to the elbows into
machinery may be a turn-on for some people of the "mechanic" type --
the sort that do their own car repairs, randomly fiddle with it when
it's already working, etc. -- but it's really rather silly. Even us
programmers, whose normal job necessarily involves getting hip-deep in
the innards of systems, usually realize that there's work (or even
play) and then there's productivity and usability and not having to do
that just to do ordinary non-novel tasks (and certainly not to inflict
such a requirement on our users!)

All too many techies are too fond of getting their hands dirty. What
happens when an avid car mechanic is always messing with his car?
Sometimes he goofs and the car doesn't work properly for a while until
he fixes whatever he changed. OK. What happens when a sysadmin at a
national ISP or major web site host decides to tinker in the guts of
the system just for the heck of it, even though it had been working
perfectly? The usual answer is thousands of users inconvenienced by
hours of downtime, since casual tinkering never goes hand-in-hand with
proper change management and testing procedures of course! "Bored ...
what to do ... ah, hell, I think maybe I can squeeze 0.3% more
performance out of our DBMS by twiddling this configuration here --
eh, what's this mean? out of memory? Traffic's gone to zero? Phone's
lit up like a Christmas tree?? Uh-oh..."

What we really need in IT is pragmatic people who know the rule "if it
ain't broke, don't fix it" and live by it ... and programmers that
don't enjoy getting up to their elbows in machine-readable files *so*
much that they neglect to provide a better interface than that for the
users of their software...

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nebulous99
9/15/2007 3:16:49 AM
On Sep 13, 9:00 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Forming an opinion that I hallucinate simply from reading usenet is> > really, really silly anyway.>> Not even if you say you see flying purple elephants?  (Rhetorical> question only.  Not saying you *did* say that.)If I ever *did* say that you can be sure it would be because they werereal (or, at least, they were on TV or something as part of some kids'show that came on due to my having watched something earlier and thenignored it instead of changing the channel or turning it off).> But I didn't express an opinion one way or another about whether> you hallucinate, only that you [don't see straight, basically]Oh, do grow up. Such a silly insult. This *if true* would be hardlymore mature than calling some kid with glasses "four-eyes" in theschoolyard. :P> > It's rather like forming an opinion that> > the emperor of Zulu has cancer from reading tea leaves, or forming an> > opinion that the President is a fucktard from watching Sesame Street.>> Gratuitous political flamebait.  Why?That wasn't political flamebait. Political flamebait would be praisingthe moron in public. :P> > In your case though you weren't that lucky. You were flat wrong -- I> > don't hallucinate.>> Congratulations:  You've found a way of saying "you're wrong" that> I find insulting.  (Upthread I said, more than once, that it was> hard to say in the abstract whether "you're wrong" is an insult.> Now we have a concrete example I find at least mildly insulting.> I *think*, though I'm not sure, that what makes the difference> is the implication that if I'm ever other than wrong it's by> luck only.)No, I implied that if someone guessing at the value of some variablebased solely on studying completely irrelevant other variables isother than wrong it's by luck only.> Before this discussion, I'd have said that I generally try to avoid> saying things others would perceive as offensive, even if I didn't> share their opinion.  Apparently there are exceptions.A lot of people seem to go out of their way to make exceptions for meof a nasty sort. I've no idea why. It seems to be similar to thatschoolkid with the glasses, though -- people fixate on some random andirrelevant thing and unconsciously and collectively come to a decisionthat he's the local stress-reliever and act accordingly. Not caringthat he probably doesn't want to be used as other peoples' stressreliever. :PAll large enough groups of humans have a nasty tendency to do this --single someone out by some kind of weird unspoken consensus-formingmethod and treat them as though they had a "kick me" sign taped tothem. My current guess as to the mechanism is that the group formssomehow (e.g. they all enroll in a school one year) and people formand join cliques and alliances. The last person left unassociated withany of these becomes "it". Of course the same alliances tend topersist or get renewed from one year to the next. On the 'net theyprobably just persist continually. In this group it seems the peopleare unconsciously divided into three categories: the transients,mostly asking a question or a few about Java; the normal regulars, whoread and post frequently and have formed into loose associations ofsome sort with one another; and the targets, regulars who have not.This behavior, while identifiable and analyzable to some extent, isnonetheless morally wrong and should obviously stop immediately.> > I suppose then you would also have no problems> > with the old classics of suggesting I were female or liked other guys,>> Those "old classics" are insulting, all right, but not to the person> at whom they're aimed.Well, by implication they insult a whole gender too, the implicationbeing that it's bad to be that gender. Same way, mind you, that yourearlier attempt to insult me based on age (and guessing it wrong --way wrong) insults everyone genuinely of that age. :P> What a poor opinion of my reasoning ability you must have, to suggest> that I would find this an equivalent situation.  (No need to tell me> just how much of an idiot you think I am.)I was just working out the logical consequences of your policyregarding considering saying something about someone fair game if*you* wouldn't find it insulting. This clearly means you would have noqualms about comparing me to a female, for example, or whatever elsewouldn't mischaracterize you but would mischaracterize me.> > That leaves a lot of options open. Your ethics are> > as full of loopholes as your attack-detection rules, it would appear.>> Ethics, or manners?Maybe both.
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nebulous99
9/15/2007 3:31:14 AM
On Sep 13, 4:33 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message>> news:1189666662.333105.229290@r29g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...>>>> > Why would use of the word "begin" garble a post in OE?>> When the first line is>>     begin WORD>> (where WORD could be almost anything), OE assumes the post is uuencoded.That *is* silly. It should have to say "begin UUE", and even then itshould obviously try to decode it, and render it as plain text if thisfails. Apparently it doesn't do that either. I suppose it also doesn'tbother checking the headers for the mime-type or whatever info isreally supposed to differentiate text from binaries and decide whetherto even look for any encoding scheme...
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nebulous99
9/15/2007 3:34:41 AM
On Sep 13, 4:38 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message>> news:1189666950.205724.81990@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...>> > On Sep 12, 5:09 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>> > wrote:> >>    "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:>> > That's like mounting a rocket motor on an Edsel, and trying to steer> > and throttle it using the usual car controls. There's a reason most> > rocket ships have cockpits full of dials and switches like the Space> > Shuttle, you know. And there's a reason that unicode support is> > normally only found in GUI apps, not on the console...>> gvim, which I believe is the most common way people use vim (it is for me),> is a GUI appAnd *that's* like building a space shuttle with an Edsel motor for theengine. :P
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nebulous99
9/15/2007 3:36:04 AM
On Sep 13, 7:30 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>wrote:> digraph hu  > digraph w:  > ^VUFC12  >> I guess this means that either>> 1) Vim is *not* one of the "Console-mode archaisms from the 70s".>> or>> 2) "Console-mode archaisms from the 70s simply cannot and will not ever> decently support unicode" is wrong.The key word here is "decently". These all look correct to me inGoogle Groups. (I won't vouch for their not being mangled when GGsends this followup though.) But you won't be able to see themproperly when editing in text-mode, unless you switch to a charsetwith the right glyphs. Which means either you're hand-hacking stufflike "^VUFC12" or the *English* text nearby is unreadable...And I don't consider having to edit blind to be "decent" support forwhatever it is I'm having to edit blind.For composing a post like the one I'm following up to, anythinglimited to displaying one code page at a time is crippling. Andanything that isn't so limited is obviously not (whatever itsancestry) what was originally under discussion.
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nebulous99
9/15/2007 3:40:31 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1189827281.166013.218560@w3g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...> On Sep 13, 4:33 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:>> <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message>>>> news:1189666662.333105.229290@r29g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...>>>>>>>> > Why would use of the word "begin" garble a post in OE?>>>> When the first line is>>>>     begin WORD>>>> (where WORD could be almost anything), OE assumes the post is uuencoded.>> That *is* silly. It should have to say "begin UUE",That's not what uuencoded files look like, though.  The fisrt line is    begin NAMEwhere the second word is the name of the file to create.> and even then it> should obviously try to decode it, and render it as plain text if this> fails.Now *that's* hard to argue with :-)
0
Mike
9/15/2007 4:26:59 AM
(I'd really like to change the subject line, but can't think of
a better one, and am not entirely convinced Google would do the
right thing about threading.)

In article <1189826209.235199.280300@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 13, 11:15 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
> wrote:
> > Well, you're right that my new definition isn't very precise either.
> > Yours ("primary function or effect") is better, though it might be
> > possible to find an example ....  Nah.  You're right, this *is* silly.
> 
> Well, actually, having a properly functioning threat-detection system
> is a matter of deadly seriousness, but I digress...

In real life, very true.  In Usenet, I disagree.  We don't need to
discuss that further, though, since your mileage obviously varies.
(I think you claimed a while back to have encountered real-world
damage incurred by words in Usenet, but you didn't, possibly
couldn't, provide enough detail for me to really understand.
Probably not worth pursuing.)

> > The use of the term "news editor" to refer to something used to
> > read and post news is new to me; I thought the generic term was
> > "newsreader".  Perhaps this reflects a gap in my knowledge.
> 
> The generic term *is* "newsreader". Nonetheless, most of them are not
> read-only, and so constitute editing software however typically named.
> 
> > As for editing things other than the text of posts being composed,
> > hm ....  for most of that I would probably use a text editor
> > to change one of trn's configuration files, which of course :-)
> > are plain text.
> 
> What, as in hand-hack the config files instead of use the options
> interface of the newsreader? That's asking for trouble. One cack-
> handed edit and you're posting binhexed multipart messages partitioned
> every 13 bytes containing gibberish from code page 0x4B as
> "Jarkdengler III of Waterloo" or something, with a giant zipped and
> uuencoded copy of an old forgotten core file as .signature appended to
> every single part. Or more likely it just plain doesn't work, or
> worse, forgets all your read/unread info.

As in "change the program's options by modifying the configuration
file with a text editor", which was considered standard operating
procedure when I first started using Unix, however many years ago
(probably at least twenty).  I don't remember anything such as
you describe ever happening, though I suppose there's always
a first time.  A careful person of course makes a backup of
the file first, and then if something goes wrong, the changes
are easily backed out.  I'm probably not always that careful,
though I often am.  <shrug>  My experience is that this method of
configuring things is not very novice-friendly, but it's less apt
to produce mysterious impossible-to-clean-up messes that the GUI
configuration tools typically provided now.  Your mileage may vary,
and probably does.

In some contexts "not very novice-friendly" is a significant
drawback.  Then again, sometimes the only way I can figure out
to clean up a GUI-tool-created mess is to just delete every
configuration file that looks like it might be related and let
the system start again from the defaults, which has its drawbacks
as well.  Perhaps someone more experienced with these tools would
do better.

And perhaps someone more experienced would also know good ways to
deal with another problem I routinely encounter with GUI tools:
lack of what I'd call "scriptability" (possibly not the best
choice of words, but I can't think of a better one). 

Example:  I dabble a little with Eclipse.  For reasons that seem
good to me (though that might be debatable), I often create groups
of small projects in which the source code lives somewhere other
than in Eclipse's workspace.  If I move that source code later,
I haven't found any way to tell Eclipse about that other than to
delete the old projects and create new ones, one at a time, using
the GUI, which I find tedious beyond words.  If configuration
information were stored in text files, I could just do a
mass edit and change all occurrences of OldPathToSource with
NewPathToSource, which would be a lot less work.  (Risky?  Maybe.
If I were worried, I'd make a backup copy of everything first.)

I have other examples, but lack the energy right now to describe
them.  But it just often seems to me that a task that ought to be
simple, or at least automatable with some sort of scripting --
"tell Eclipse that source for all of these projects has been
moved", in the example above -- is impossible to accomplish
without a lot of tedious pointing and clicking.  To me this
reflects a fundamental limitation of GUIs -- if the designer
didn't think of a particular function and provide an interface
to it, it can't be done.  It's a trade-off, I guess, with the
benefits of the GUI being novice-friendliness.  <shrug>

> Basically it's the equivalent of a Windoze user wanting to change the
> font size in something and immediately fiddling around in the registry
> instead of trying the Tools->Options route first.
> 
> Of course, it may be that this newsreader you use is so crufty as to
> lack a proper user interface, or perhaps even any user interface, at
> all (or specifically for configuring accounts and etc.) but if so,
> it's a sign that you need to replace it with something sane, not that
> you need to hand-hack the config files. :P If I ever downloaded
> Windoze software that required me to hand-hack the registry to do
> various basic things I'd quickly be shopping around for an
> alternative.

I don't think the two (configuring a Windows program by
hand-hacking the registry, and configuring a Unix program by
editing text files) are really comparable:  

As I understand it, the registry is a single entity, and it's
possible to cause damage to an entire system when all one set
out to do was configure one application.  (I could be wrong about
that.)  And I don't think Windows has a tradition of configuring
programs by modifying the registry.  Old-style Unix programs *do*
have such a tradition, and damage caused by misguided efforts to
configure one application shouldn't affect others.

I'm almost entirely sure you would find trn unbearably crufty:
It's solidly in the "old-style Unix programs" camp, and in fact
is orphaned software that hasn't been changed in many years.
To me, though, it's a familiar friend.  I made an attempt a few
years ago to figure out how to use a browser -- I think it was
Netscape -- as a newsreader, and -- I don't remember the details,
but at some point I had that "you are in a maze of twisty passages"
feeling, and I gave up the attempt.  I often have this feeling
with GUI tools.  Probably more practice with them would help.
Probably that would help me in other ways as well.  <shrug>

> Getting your hands dirty by sticking them up to the elbows into
> machinery may be a turn-on for some people of the "mechanic" type --
> the sort that do their own car repairs, randomly fiddle with it when
> it's already working, etc. -- but it's really rather silly. 

You seem to be addressing two groups here:  People who fix things
that ain't broke, and people who'd prefer to make changes by editing
a text file than by using a GUI.  I claim that I'm solidly in the
camp of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and that my preference
for configuring things in the old way actually supports that.  :-)?
I'm also solidly in the second group, in part because I'm vaguely
uneasy with tools that store information in locations and formats
I can't easily discover.  On some level I suppose that really applies
to text files as well.  <shrug>

[ snip rest of rant, most of which I more or less agree with ]

For the record, if I were developing software for non-techies to
use, I *think* I'd try to come up with some way of storing and
manipulating configuration information that would provide them with
the kind of interface they want and still allow expert users to go
in and modify things in other ways if they wanted to.  It's been
a while since I worked on a large program with an intended user
base other than myself, though, so it's hard to be sure.

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 2:38:18 PM
In article <1189825270.954009.237520@o80g2000hse.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:[ snip ]> This is getting tiresome. We agree about that, anyway.> You say or imply untrue nasty things about> me; I point out that they're a) untrue and b) nasty; cycle repeats.> Anything new and interesting you'd like to discuss, or should we just> call it a draw and move on with our lives? :PLet's do that.  I don't need to understand why you think callingsomeone's words "juvenile insults" is an attempt to make fun oftheir actual age; it certainly wasn't my intent, but I'll just tryto mentally file it as one of the things that you find insultingand allow us all to move on.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 2:43:04 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> Example:  I dabble a little with Eclipse.  For reasons that seem
> good to me (though that might be debatable), I often create groups
> of small projects in which the source code lives somewhere other
> than in Eclipse's workspace.  If I move that source code later,
> I haven't found any way to tell Eclipse about that other than to
> delete the old projects and create new ones, one at a time, using
> the GUI, which I find tedious beyond words.  If configuration
> information were stored in text files, I could just do a
> mass edit and change all occurrences of OldPathToSource with
> NewPathToSource, which would be a lot less work.  (Risky?  Maybe.
> If I were worried, I'd make a backup copy of everything first.)
> 
> I have other examples, but lack the energy right now to describe
> them.  But it just often seems to me that a task that ought to be
> simple, or at least automatable with some sort of scripting --
> "tell Eclipse that source for all of these projects has been
> moved", in the example above -- is impossible to accomplish
> without a lot of tedious pointing and clicking.  To me this
> reflects a fundamental limitation of GUIs -- if the designer
> didn't think of a particular function and provide an interface
> to it, it can't be done.  It's a trade-off, I guess, with the
> benefits of the GUI being novice-friendliness.  <shrug>


NetBeans lets you simply "open" the project from the new directory.  You can 
also configure project properties to point to arbitrary source directory 
locations.

Eclipse lets you build projects based on other projects.  For that IDE locate 
subprojects where you want them and refer to them from projects in other 
locations.

Neither of these answers might work, possibly, in your immediate problem, but 
they may provide future options.

-- 
Lew
0
Lew
9/15/2007 3:10:51 PM
In article <1189827074.886713.6430@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 13, 9:00 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip ]> > But I didn't express an opinion one way or another about whether> > you hallucinate, only that you [don't see straight, basically]> > Oh, do grow up. Such a silly insult. This *if true* would be hardly> more mature than calling some kid with glasses "four-eyes" in the> schoolyard. :PThe repeated calls for me to "grow up" are kind of amusing.I wonder which of us is chronologically older.  Not that that'sparticularly relevant, I suppose.  As I said elsewhere, anyonecan behave in a juvenile way, me included.Look, I don't mean to insult you by saying that you view things inwhat I think is a distorted way.  In my mind it's akin to sayingsomething like "hey, did you know you have a spider crawling upyour back?  might want to do something about that!"  Obviously inyour mind it's an insult, though, so let's drop that.  The moreI think about it, the more I think the most charitable way oflooking at my side of this conversation is futile do-gooderism.[ snip ]> > Before this discussion, I'd have said that I generally try to avoid> > saying things others would perceive as offensive, even if I didn't> > share their opinion.  Apparently there are exceptions.> > A lot of people seem to go out of their way to make exceptions for me> of a nasty sort. I've no idea why. It seems to be similar to that> schoolkid with the glasses, though -- people fixate on some random and> irrelevant thing and unconsciously and collectively come to a decision> that he's the local stress-reliever and act accordingly. Not caring> that he probably doesn't want to be used as other peoples' stress> reliever. :PWell, I have some guesses about why people pick on you.  But I'mpretty sure you don't want to me explicate them here.  Part of it*is* the pile-on effect you describe below, which I agree is anunpleasant and objectionable feature of human social interaction:> All large enough groups of humans have a nasty tendency to do this --> single someone out by some kind of weird unspoken consensus-forming> method and treat them as though they had a "kick me" sign taped to> them. My current guess as to the mechanism is that the group forms> somehow (e.g. they all enroll in a school one year) and people form> and join cliques and alliances. The last person left unassociated with> any of these becomes "it". Of course the same alliances tend to> persist or get renewed from one year to the next. On the 'net they> probably just persist continually. In this group it seems the people> are unconsciously divided into three categories: the transients,> mostly asking a question or a few about Java; the normal regulars, who> read and post frequently and have formed into loose associations of> some sort with one another; and the targets, regulars who have not.> > This behavior, while identifiable and analyzable to some extent, is> nonetheless morally wrong and should obviously stop immediately.And yet it doesn't, and as best I can tell your efforts to make itstop by responding to each and every perceived insult are makingthe situation worse rather than better.  I doubt you'll change yourbehavior based on this assessment, or even believe there's any truth to it, though, so no point in saying more.> > > I suppose then you would also have no problems> > > with the old classics of suggesting I were female or liked other guys,> >> > Those "old classics" are insulting, all right, but not to the person> > at whom they're aimed.> > Well, by implication they insult a whole gender too, the implication> being that it's bad to be that gender. Exactly my point.[ snip ]> I was just working out the logical consequences of your policy> regarding considering saying something about someone fair game if> *you* wouldn't find it insulting. This clearly means you would have no> qualms about comparing me to a female, for example, or whatever else> wouldn't mischaracterize you but would mischaracterize me.Well, no; it seems obvious to me that whether something isinsulting depends not only on the terms used but on theirtarget as well.  "What a cute girl you are!" might be fine fora six-year-old female, not so fine for someone older.This is getting a little tiresome, but maybe I should make one moreattempt to elucidate:  I try to imagine, as best I can, whether ifI were in the other person's situation I would find whatever-it-isinsulting.  Part of this "try to imagine" is based on what peoplein other situations say they find insulting, and why.  With youthe best attempt I can make at a general rule is "anything thatmight even suggest that Twisted/Nebulous is less than perfect"may be perceived as an insult.  That strikes me as unreasonable,but -- no, let's not go on, okay?  I think it's all been said.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 3:21:24 PM
In article <RbqdnRQtI4xmaHbbnZ2dnUVZ_uqvnZ2d@comcast.com>,
Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> > Example:  I dabble a little with Eclipse.  For reasons that seem
> > good to me (though that might be debatable), I often create groups
> > of small projects in which the source code lives somewhere other
> > than in Eclipse's workspace.  If I move that source code later,
> > I haven't found any way to tell Eclipse about that other than to
> > delete the old projects and create new ones, one at a time, using
> > the GUI, which I find tedious beyond words.  If configuration
> > information were stored in text files, I could just do a
> > mass edit and change all occurrences of OldPathToSource with
> > NewPathToSource, which would be a lot less work.  (Risky?  Maybe.
> > If I were worried, I'd make a backup copy of everything first.)

[ snip ]

> NetBeans lets you simply "open" the project from the new directory.  You can 
> also configure project properties to point to arbitrary source directory 
> locations.

Huh.  Not sure that would help, but maybe.  Might have to try
NetBeans in addition to Eclipse, though it's hard enough for me
to convince myself to get familiar with *one* IDE :-), and the
people I work with seem to favor Eclipse.

> Eclipse lets you build projects based on other projects.  For that IDE locate 
> subprojects where you want them and refer to them from projects in other 
> locations.
> 
> Neither of these answers might work, possibly, in your immediate problem, but 
> they may provide future options.

Yeah ....  I'm not hearing you say anything, though, about how to
cope with -- really, it's kind of the filesystem equivalent of
rearranging the furniture, and it's something I do, well, maybe
more often than some people -- putting stuff one place, and then
deciding that a different organization of files and directories
would be better, and moving things around.  I do sometimes wonder
whether I'm the only one that does such things, because some of
these new-fangled tools sure don't make it easy ....

Another way to cope, I suppose, would be to just put everything
in Eclipse's workspace (possibly having multiple workspaces), and
hope it provides drag-and-drop features that would make all that
rearranging easy.  Then the source code files are less easy to
find with other tools (yeah, sometimes I'd rather just compile
and run something from a command line), but ....  <shrug>

Hey, this is almost on topic?

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 3:33:03 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> Yeah ....  I'm not hearing you say anything, though, about how to
> cope with -- really, it's kind of the filesystem equivalent of
> rearranging the furniture, and it's something I do, well, maybe
> more often than some people -- putting stuff one place, and then
> deciding that a different organization of files and directories
> would be better, and moving things around.  I do sometimes wonder
> whether I'm the only one that does such things, because some of
> these new-fangled tools sure don't make it easy ....
> 
> Another way to cope, I suppose, would be to just put everything
> in Eclipse's workspace (possibly having multiple workspaces), and
> hope it provides drag-and-drop features that would make all that
> rearranging easy.  Then the source code files are less easy to
> find with other tools (yeah, sometimes I'd rather just compile
> and run something from a command line), but ....  <shrug>


Here's how I do it, and it lets me move projects from directory to directory, 
computer to computer or Eclipse to Netbeans and v.v.

Store everything in a source repository (CVS or Subversion).  Use your IDE to 
check it in and out (in CVS: 'cvs co <project> followed by a series of 'cvs 
update' / 'cvs commit' cycles).  All important IDEs play nicely with at least 
CVS, and most with Subversion.  When you want to pull the code into a 
directory not in the workspace, use the version control to do it.  Your 
workspace and other directory cannot be out of synch if you are careful always 
to check in changes through the version control.

Also, note that in the case of Java source, changing directory structures is 
equivalent to changing package structures.  Your IDE's refactoring 
capabilities will handle that for you.

The beauty of this is that you can use each tool for what it does best.  Use 
Eclipse to develop.  Use command-line tools to rearrange resource files.  Use 
Ant to deploy nightly.  Use JUnit and JMeter to test.  They all work off a 
sane basis when you use version control to coordinate them.

-- 
Lew
0
Lew
9/15/2007 3:59:12 PM
In article <1189827631.738245.304280@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 13, 7:30 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>
> wrote:
> > digraph hu  
> > digraph w:  
> > ^VUFC12  
> >
> > I guess this means that either
> >
> > 1) Vim is *not* one of the "Console-mode archaisms from the 70s".
> >
> > or
> >
> > 2) "Console-mode archaisms from the 70s simply cannot and will not ever
> > decently support unicode" is wrong.
> 
> The key word here is "decently". These all look correct to me in
> Google Groups. (I won't vouch for their not being mangled when GG
> sends this followup though.) But you won't be able to see them
> properly when editing in text-mode, unless you switch to a charset
> with the right glyphs. Which means either you're hand-hacking stuff
> like "^VUFC12" or the *English* text nearby is unreadable...

Well, I was curious ....

Running console-mode vim (not gvim) in GNOME's terminal emulator
program on my Linux system, I saw all the characters in the post
by RedGrittyBrick.  Not knowing all the relevant alphabets, 
I can't be sure they appeared correctly, though they all looked
at least plausible.  No idea how they look in Google Groups;
I guess I don't care enough to find out whether a search would
find RGB's post.

After spending a few minutes reading online help about digraphs,
I was able to enter the characters he mentions as being enterable
with digraphs, and there's a table readily accessible showing all
the ones that are currently available.  There's also a mention of
"keymaps" that sounds like it could be useful.

Hm, this is getting interesting ....

> And I don't consider having to edit blind to be "decent" support for
> whatever it is I'm having to edit blind.
> 
> For composing a post like the one I'm following up to, anything
> limited to displaying one code page at a time is crippling. And
> anything that isn't so limited is obviously not (whatever its
> ancestry) what was originally under discussion.
 
Well, I believe what was originally under discussion was the
combination of vim and trn, and now we know that vim probably
can do what's needed.  (For those who care about such things,
I did initially specify vim and not vi.)

trn I'm not so sure about -- I'm guessing it will probably transmit
whatever file is produced by the text editor used to compose posts,
but it probably won't add appropriate headers.  I'm guessing that
"appropriate headers" here means something along the lines of one
of the following, culled from my current archive of posts to cljp:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed

Hm, I wonder if such headers could be added manually ....

Well, after doing some experiments in misc.test, it appears
that one can, and that with or without them it's possible to
post something containing characters other than 7-bit ASCII and
have them come out okay (as best I can tell anyway).  My tools
only get confused when I put in such characters and then add a
Content-Type header specifying us-ascii, which seems utterly
reasonable.

I'm still curious, though, about standards.  If I put in Unicode
characters, and add the header

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

does anyone know if this complies with whatever standards exist?
(I'm thinking an RFC somewhere -- I did make a quick attempt to
find out via Google searches, but without success.)

I'll put in some of those Unicode characters here, as another
test ....

A copyright symbol (I hope):  ®

An a with an umlaut (I hope):  ä

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 4:05:17 PM
"Lew" <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote in message 
news:iLKdnR6m5ozNnHHbnZ2dnUVZ_qSonZ2d@comcast.com...
> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
>> Yeah ....  I'm not hearing you say anything, though, about how to
>> cope with -- really, it's kind of the filesystem equivalent of
>> rearranging the furniture, and it's something I do, well, maybe
>> more often than some people -- putting stuff one place, and then
>> deciding that a different organization of files and directories
>> would be better, and moving things around.  I do sometimes wonder
>> whether I'm the only one that does such things, because some of
>> these new-fangled tools sure don't make it easy ....
>>
>> Another way to cope, I suppose, would be to just put everything
>> in Eclipse's workspace (possibly having multiple workspaces), and
>> hope it provides drag-and-drop features that would make all that
>> rearranging easy.  Then the source code files are less easy to
>> find with other tools (yeah, sometimes I'd rather just compile
>> and run something from a command line), but ....  <shrug>
>
>
> Here's how I do it, and it lets me move projects from directory to 
> directory, computer to computer or Eclipse to Netbeans and v.v.
>
> Store everything in a source repository (CVS or Subversion).  Use your IDE 
> to check it in and out (in CVS: 'cvs co <project> followed by a series of 
> 'cvs update' / 'cvs commit' cycles).  All important IDEs play nicely with 
> at least CVS, and most with Subversion.  When you want to pull the code 
> into a directory not in the workspace, use the version control to do it. 
> Your workspace and other directory cannot be out of synch if you are 
> careful always to check in changes through the version control.
>
> Also, note that in the case of Java source, changing directory structures 
> is equivalent to changing package structures.  Your IDE's refactoring 
> capabilities will handle that for you.
>
> The beauty of this is that you can use each tool for what it does best. 
> Use Eclipse to develop.  Use command-line tools to rearrange resource 
> files.  Use Ant to deploy nightly.  Use JUnit and JMeter to test.  They 
> all work off a sane basis when you use version control to coordinate them.

All good ideas.  This also makes it easy to develop at multiple locations 
(say, home and work): let the SCM system keep track of your changes for you. 
Note that it requires that you work from a "private branch" (or however you 
say that in CVS-speak), since you need to be free to check in code that may 
not even compile. 


0
Mike
9/15/2007 4:08:31 PM
Mike Schilling wrote:> All good ideas [using version control].> This also makes it easy to develop at multiple locations > (say, home and work): let the SCM system keep track of your changes for you. > Note that it requires that you work from a "private branch" (or however you > say that in CVS-speak), since you need to be free to check in code that may > not even compile. I'd strongly, strongly urge one to avoid checking in any code that breaks the build (not the run), in particular, code that doesn't compile.  I see no benefit to doing that at all, quite the reverse.  It's easy to write code so that it at least compiles from the class template forward, so there is no additional effort involved in doing it, and much avoided down the road by adhering to that one simple, non-egregious rule.  Don't break the build.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/15/2007 4:23:13 PM
In article <iLKdnR6m5ozNnHHbnZ2dnUVZ_qSonZ2d@comcast.com>,
Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> > Yeah ....  I'm not hearing you say anything, though, about how to
> > cope with -- really, it's kind of the filesystem equivalent of
> > rearranging the furniture, and it's something I do, well, maybe
> > more often than some people -- putting stuff one place, and then
> > deciding that a different organization of files and directories
> > would be better, and moving things around.  I do sometimes wonder
> > whether I'm the only one that does such things, because some of
> > these new-fangled tools sure don't make it easy ....

[ snip ]

> Here's how I do it, and it lets me move projects from directory to directory, 
> computer to computer or Eclipse to Netbeans and v.v.
> 
> Store everything in a source repository (CVS or Subversion).  Use your IDE to 
> check it in and out (in CVS: 'cvs co <project> followed by a series of 'cvs 
> update' / 'cvs commit' cycles).  All important IDEs play nicely with at least 
> CVS, and most with Subversion.  When you want to pull the code into a 
> directory not in the workspace, use the version control to do it.  Your 
> workspace and other directory cannot be out of synch if you are careful always 
> to check in changes through the version control.

Hm!!  You know, I think I did vaguely wonder whether CVS would help.
I think you do still need to make a good decision about where to put
the CVS repositories (the "master source"?), since changing that might
be a bit tedious, but not perhaps as tedious ....

I know only a very little bit about CVS, but it's been on my "to
learn more about" list for a while now.  And I do have access to a
local semi-expert.  Hm ....

> Also, note that in the case of Java source, changing directory structures is 
> equivalent to changing package structures.  Your IDE's refactoring 
> capabilities will handle that for you.

Well, when I talk about rearranging things, I'm not typically
talking about changes that would affect package structure; I'm
talking about moving a whole package directory/hierarchy from one
place in the filesystem to another.  Think moving something from
/home/username/javacode to /home/username/javacode-archives, maybe.

Though come to think about it, changing package names is something
I've been known to do as well.  Hm, apparently the "obsession with
rearranging the furniture" gene, which I thought somehow got left
off my X chromosomes, can express itself in different ways ....  :-)?

> The beauty of this is that you can use each tool for what it does best.  Use 
> Eclipse to develop.  Use command-line tools to rearrange resource files.  Use 
> Ant to deploy nightly.  Use JUnit and JMeter to test.  They all work off a 
> sane basis when you use version control to coordinate them.

I'm in favor of using the best tool for the job.  It's just that
sometimes "best" varies from person to person ....  :-)

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 4:25:11 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> Hm!!  You know, I think I did vaguely wonder whether CVS would help.> I think you do still need to make a good decision about where to put> the CVS repositories (the "master source"?), since changing that might> be a bit tedious, but not perhaps as tedious ....The repository should be a rarely-moving locations, you're absolutely correct.   In CVS's case the repository is merely a directory tree with certain files and can easily be copied.  Naturally only one copy can be considered authoritative, but it helps in that you can easily back up the CVS repository tree, and easily restore it.I keep mine on /opt/cvsrepo, seen as :local: when I'm working from here, but publishable via :pserver: or other CVS protocols.When on shared projects, I either make that repository available to collaborators (via SSH or a web interface), or use a different one provided to me by whoever manages the shared project.  In my own system there is only the one repository; why clutter things up with more?-- Lew
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Lew
9/15/2007 4:36:07 PM
In article <1189827364.504766.22570@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 13, 4:38 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:> > <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message> >> > news:1189666950.205724.81990@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...> >> > > On Sep 12, 5:09 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>> > > wrote:> > >>    "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:> >> > > That's like mounting a rocket motor on an Edsel, and trying to steer> > > and throttle it using the usual car controls. There's a reason most> > > rocket ships have cockpits full of dials and switches like the Space> > > Shuttle, you know. And there's a reason that unicode support is> > > normally only found in GUI apps, not on the console...> >> > gvim, which I believe is the most common way people use vim (it is for me),> > is a GUI app> > And *that's* like building a space shuttle with an Edsel motor for the> engine. :PEdsel motors are no good?  I guess it's possible.  All I reallyknow about the Edsel is that it was, considered as a businessventure, pretty much a total flop.  I wouldn't take that asevidence one way or another about the quality of its various parts.Still, that's a quibble.  You seem to be saying something negativeabout vim, and them's fightin' words ....    ( :-) !!  :-) !! )A better analogy, from my perspective, is that gvim is like ....hm, what's an example of a solidly-built and reliable butunglamorous workhorse vehicle?  some brand of pickup truck maybe?dolled up with lipstick and false eyelashes.  Fortunately thetruck's still there, and its controls still work, and the lipstick doesn't do any obvious harm.  That's not quite it either, since the GUI parts of gvim are really,in my opinion, more like training wheels than lipstick -- they have*some* purpose other than decoration -- but it's the best I can doright now.But I think we had a full-fledged editor flame war in this groupnot too long ago, so maybe this one could be just be -- a flick of a Bic?  -- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 5:03:01 PM
In article <c7qdnUEw64NllHHbnZ2dnUVZ_hisnZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > Hm!!  You know, I think I did vaguely wonder whether CVS would help.> > I think you do still need to make a good decision about where to put> > the CVS repositories (the "master source"?), since changing that might> > be a bit tedious, but not perhaps as tedious ....> > The repository should be a rarely-moving locations, you're absolutely correct. >   In CVS's case the repository is merely a directory tree with certain files > and can easily be copied.  Naturally only one copy can be considered > authoritative, but it helps in that you can easily back up the CVS repository > tree, and easily restore it.> > I keep mine on /opt/cvsrepo, seen as :local: when I'm working from here, but > publishable via :pserver: or other CVS protocols.> > When on shared projects, I either make that repository available to > collaborators (via SSH or a web interface), or use a different one provided to > me by whoever manages the shared project.  In my own system there is only the > one repository; why clutter things up with more?Well ....  I guess what I'm thinking is that I typically have,somewhere in my home directories, dozens of little bunches ofsource code that I might at some point want to interact with viaEclipse, and if I store each one as a separate project in a singleCVS repository, the repository could get pretty cluttered.  I caneasily imagine that someone who's more disciplined about throwingthings away might find this less of a problem, or that the kindsof things I do with code (think small-scale teaching examples,for myself or others) are different from the kinds of things youdo (larger-scale real-world development?).  Just the mention ofstoring things in /opt ....  I keep most work-related stuff inmy home directory on a departmental file server.  Mileage varies!-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 5:21:25 PM
In article <8EoGi.7995$z_5.3414@nlpi069.nbdc.sbc.com>,Mike Schilling <mscottschilling@hotmail.com> wrote:> > <blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote in message > news:5kt18mF5cv2dU2@mid.individual.net...> >> Well, the Wikipedia link and others describe trollish behavior, which> >> apparently you believe doesn't apply to anyone in this conversation. > >> Some> >> might say they've seen this behavior.> >> > Bad behavior, yes.  Trollish behavior, I'm not sure.  But either> > way ....> > The chief goal of a troll is to get other posters hot and bothered.  A troll > is happiest when he's ignited a flame war with a single post.  On a Java > group, a troll might start with "Why is Java so much slower than .NET?", and > then sit back and watch the fun.  Someone who exerts far more effort and > emotion than anyone else in the vicinity might be a lot of things, but he's > not a troll.Exactly.> > I'm asking myself now how I got into not one but two long> > and pointless wrangles, and more importantly how to get out.> > ("Just stop"?  um, yeah, but .... )> > No buts.  Just stop.  Now.  Anything else digs you in deeper. Excellent advice.  I can't say I'm following it 100%, but I'mtrying.  (I know:  "Yes, very.")The way I think I heard this expressed once by Molly Ivins wassomething like "First Rule of Holes:  When you're in one, stopdigging."  Words of wisdom, but surprisingly difficult to heed.Examples abound, and not just in this newsgroup ....  Sort ofa :-).-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 5:26:44 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> Well ....  I guess what I'm thinking is that I typically have,> somewhere in my home directories, dozens of little bunches of> source code that I might at some point want to interact with via> Eclipse, and if I store each one as a separate project in a single> CVS repository, the repository could get pretty cluttered.  I canThat's what repositories are for.  If you have that much stuff to store, how is it less cluttered anywhere else?Version control provides a single point of interaction for all the projects which need all those little pieces.  CVS, for example, will also let you build a catalog of your repository so that assemblies can be checked out into other projects as sub-components.When you have a lot of parts to manage, bringing order out of chaos is what makes you the professional.  You face it as a task irrespective of what toolkit you use.  Version control is one powerful tool to help with that task.> easily imagine that someone who's more disciplined about throwing> things away might find this less of a problem, or that the kindsI am in the "keep it forever" camp.  That's why I use CVS.> of things I do with code (think small-scale teaching examples,> for myself or others) are different from the kinds of things you> do (larger-scale real-world development?).  Just the mention ofBut the need for version control is common to both, and for pretty much the same reasons.  The only difference is that your small private projects might not have other programmers, but from the repository's point of view you yourself are just like multiple programmers, as you approach a code base with various needs in mind.> storing things in /opt ....  I keep most work-related stuff in> my home directory on a departmental file server.  Mileage varies!Exactly, which is why I keep harping on the fact that you can point your version control to the appropriate location as the need be.Ownership of a project generally corresponds to ownership of the repository for that project.I don't keep my work stuff at home or home stuff at work either.  However, since I do independent work from time to time, much of my "home" stuff serves a professional purpose.  Whether it does or not, it's my code so it goes in my repository.  Other people's code goes in their repositories, of course.You express the various needs for source code management that version control systems exist to serve.  You will find that everything you're expressing as a need here is common to many developers, and these products came about from that common pain.  I use CVS myself, to handle exactly the issues you've mentioned and others as well.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/15/2007 5:38:25 PM
"Lew" <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote in message news:Np-dndh7VNtvm3HbnZ2dnUVZ_i2dnZ2d@comcast.com...> Mike Schilling wrote:>> All good ideas [using version control].>> This also makes it easy to develop at multiple locations (say, home and >> work): let the SCM system keep track of your changes for you. Note that >> it requires that you work from a "private branch" (or however you say >> that in CVS-speak), since you need to be free to check in code that may >> not even compile.>> I'd strongly, strongly urge one to avoid checking in any code that breaks > the build (not the run), in particular, code that doesn't compile.  I see > no benefit to doing that at all, quite the reverse.  It's easy to write > code so that it at least compiles from the class template forward, so > there is no additional effort involved in doing it, and much avoided down > the road by adhering to that one simple, non-egregious rule.  Don't break > the build.That's the point of the "private branch": that this code gets built only when you build it.  No one else sees it until you're ready for them to.Anyway, I'd disagree (in my private branch, only) with the ironcladness of "Don't break the build"  for a few reasons:1. Some development projects can take multiple hours, even multiple days, and there will be times that all the code isn't consistent: interface or inherited abstract methods not all implemented, refactorings partially completed, method signatures changed without all the callers being updated, etc.  I reserve the right to go home while the code is in this state.2. To me, "the build" isn't just that the code compiles, it's that the unit tests all work.  That often isn't true at the end of the day.  (Mid-project, it's often true that the unit tests are still incomplete.)   When it's false, the code still needs to stay in my private branch, because it isn't ready to integrate.
0
Mike
9/15/2007 7:28:10 PM
In article <lv6dnToDZNAPhXHbnZ2dnUVZ_jqdnZ2d@comcast.com>,
Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> > Well ....  I guess what I'm thinking is that I typically have,
> > somewhere in my home directories, dozens of little bunches of
> > source code that I might at some point want to interact with via
> > Eclipse, and if I store each one as a separate project in a single
> > CVS repository, the repository could get pretty cluttered.  I can
> 
> That's what repositories are for.  If you have that much stuff to store, how 
> is it less cluttered anywhere else?

In truth it's probably not, but the clutter might be of a different
kind ....  Well.  Let me try to explain, but more as a way of
clarifying where I'm coming from than in hopes that someone will
suggest something better.  You're making a good case for version
control; it could be I just need to do some reading up and figure
out how to apply it .... :

What I think I have (and the fact that I say "I think" here
should tell you something, possibly quite a lot :-) ) is a lot
of little bunches of code, related in different ways.  Some of
the relationships are ones I find it very easy to imagine CVS,
or another version-control system, dealing with well -- "bunch A
is an early version of bunch B", for example.  Other relationships
I'm not so sure about -- "bunch X and bunch Y were both used as
examples in course Z".  Each of these little bunches of code
is currently stored in some directory related to its purpose
(e.g., code examples for course Z would be a subdirectory of the
directory for course Z, and code related to paper W would be in a
subdirectory of the directory for paper W), and everything lives
in a fairly deeply nested hierarchy.  I do employ a very primitive
form of version control, in that the directory for any bunch of
code that's been changed many times is apt to be littered with
subdirectories with names such as v1, v2, etc., each created just
before I embarked on some change I thought might be non-trivial.

None of this seems dreadfully cluttered to me because, well,
I more or less know where everything is, and there aren't too
many directories in which "ls" produces an unreadably long list,
and if I don't remember where I put something, well, that's what
"find" and "grep" are for.  :-)  

Clearly some things in this scheme just cry out for real version
control.  What I'm unsure about is how well that would mesh with my
current scheme of keeping code with other related files.  It may be
significant that for most of what I do, there are apt to be more of
those other files (usually documents of various sorts) than code.

In writing my earlier post I was also thinking of a CVS repository
as something without the ability to group related bunches of code
in any way other than "different versions of the same program".
That could well be wrong.

[ snip ]

> When you have a lot of parts to manage, bringing order out of chaos is what 
> makes you the professional.  You face it as a task irrespective of what 
> toolkit you use.  Version control is one powerful tool to help with that task.

"The problem is one of managing complexity" is something I first
started hearing in graduate school, and how true it is, in so many
contexts ....  "Bringing order out of chaos" may be even more
descriptive.

[ snip ]

> > of things I do with code (think small-scale teaching examples,
> > for myself or others) are different from the kinds of things you
> > do (larger-scale real-world development?).  Just the mention of
> 
> But the need for version control is common to both, and for pretty much the 
> same reasons.  The only difference is that your small private projects might 
> not have other programmers, but from the repository's point of view you 
> yourself are just like multiple programmers, as you approach a code base with 
> various needs in mind.

I guess what I'm thinking is that someone with a few large projects
might have different needs from someone with many small projects.
Maybe not.

> > storing things in /opt ....  I keep most work-related stuff in
> > my home directory on a departmental file server.  Mileage varies!
> 
> Exactly, which is why I keep harping on the fact that you can point your 
> version control to the appropriate location as the need be.
> 
> Ownership of a project generally corresponds to ownership of the repository 
> for that project.

So why put your repository in /opt, which I think of as being
files not owned by anyone (other than root) ....  

By the way, I didn't intend to make a "work versus home"
distinction; on all the systems where I control what goes where,
the only things that go in "system" directories are things I
don't associate with a particular owner.  This may be a result
of my having spent my formative years in mainframe environments,
in which I didn't have administrator privileges on most of the
systems I used.  

[ snip ]

> You express the various needs for source code management that version control 
> systems exist to serve.  You will find that everything you're expressing as a 
> need here is common to many developers, and these products came about from 
> that common pain.  I use CVS myself, to handle exactly the issues you've 
> mentioned and others as well.

Well said.  So, managing this particular kind of complexity is a
known problem, with known solutions, and a sane person would do well
to read up on wheels before attempting to invent something .... :-)?

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 7:33:25 PM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 13, 4:33 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:>> <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message>> news:1189666662.333105.229290@r29g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...>>> Why would use of the word "begin" garble a post in OE?>> When the first line is>>>>     begin WORD>>>> (where WORD could be almost anything), OE assumes the post is uuencoded.> > That *is* silly. It should have to say "begin UUE",That is not how the uuencode standard was define 20-30 years ago.>                                                     and even then it> should obviously try to decode it, and render it as plain text if this> fails. Apparently it doesn't do that either. I suppose it also doesn't> bother checking the headers for the mime-type or whatever info is> really supposed to differentiate text from binaries and decide whether> to even look for any encoding scheme...Uuencode is many years older than MIME.Most apps sending uuencode would not use MIME, becauseMIME goes hand in hand with uuencodes replacement base64.Outlook is far from perfect though, because an uuencode attachementshould be "begin" + space + 3 octal digits + space + filename.It should not try and decode anything starting with begin. Butapparently it does.Arne
0
ISO
9/15/2007 8:21:28 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:

Great questions.
> Clearly some things in this scheme just cry out for real version
> control.  What I'm unsure about is how well that would mesh with my
> current scheme of keeping code with other related files.  It may be
> significant that for most of what I do, there are apt to be more of
> those other files (usually documents of various sorts) than code.

I version-control documents, too.

> In writing my earlier post I was also thinking of a CVS repository
> as something without the ability to group related bunches of code
> in any way other than "different versions of the same program".
> That could well be wrong.

It is wrong.  CVS catalogs can relate all your projects to each other in a way 
that allows multiple projects to share code that is controlled in its own 
little piece.  You can inter-relate CVS projects at the server.

> I guess what I'm thinking is that someone with a few large projects
> might have different needs from someone with many small projects.
> Maybe not.

Maybe so, but version control serves both sets of needs.

> So why put your repository in /opt, which I think of as being
> files not owned by anyone (other than root) ....  

In my case, /opt/cvsrepo is owned by a fictitious developer owner.  The 
individual projects are owned by individuals, but the repository itself is a 
system resource.

You can use /var or /opt or /usr, or their .../local variants, for the 
repository.  I just wouldn't put it under /home/anyone.

Again, the repository is owned by a common owner; only the projects are owned 
by their owners.

> By the way, I didn't intend to make a "work versus home"
> distinction; on all the systems where I control what goes where,
> the only things that go in "system" directories are things I
> don't associate with a particular owner.  This may be a result

Like a version-control repository.  It is not associated with a particular 
owner either, other than the fake user that is used so I don't risk things 
being SUID root.

> of my having spent my formative years in mainframe environments,
> in which I didn't have administrator privileges on most of the
> systems I used.  

Ditto CVS.  Just belong to the same group as the CVS repository owner.

A version-control repository is shared by the system's users, not dedicated to 
any one (real) user.

It wouldn't be much use otherwise, would it?

-- 
Lew
0
Lew
9/15/2007 9:43:12 PM
In article <Iu2dnWh-Mt5szHHbnZ2dnUVZ_tuonZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > Great questions.> > Clearly some things in this scheme just cry out for real version> > control.  What I'm unsure about is how well that would mesh with my> > current scheme of keeping code with other related files.  It may be> > significant that for most of what I do, there are apt to be more of> > those other files (usually documents of various sorts) than code.> > I version-control documents, too.Yeah ....  I'm not sure whether to thank you or curse you forplanting the idea in my head that there might be a better way toorganize all those -- well, it's gigabytes' worth, but just barely --of data I've accumulated.  :-)  Still, perhaps the correcttake-home message is to read up on source-code management, andresolve to leave past sins where they lie but commit no new ones.[ snip ]> > I guess what I'm thinking is that someone with a few large projects> > might have different needs from someone with many small projects.> > Maybe not.> > Maybe so, but version control serves both sets of needs.I think the specific thing I'm wondering about is the prospectsof having some kind of hierarchical structure such as one findsin filesystems, since that seems to mesh okay with my mentalmodel of all of that data.  I'm getting the sense that it's probably possible.> > So why put your repository in /opt, which I think of as being> > files not owned by anyone (other than root) ....  > > In my case, /opt/cvsrepo is owned by a fictitious developer owner.  The > individual projects are owned by individuals, but the repository itself is a > system resource.Ohhhh ....  I get it now.  I guess I was thinking that each personwould have his/her own repository for code he/she owns, with accesscontrolled by permissions and group ID.  But of course what you'redescribing sounds sensible too.  The only downside I can think ofis that you have one more top-level directory that needs to bepreserved across system upgrades, and backed up more often thansystem-only directories need to be, but that's not a big downside.[ snip ]> A version-control repository is shared by the system's users, not dedicated to > any one (real) user.> > It wouldn't be much use otherwise, would it?Well, sure, but one can make selected files in one's homedirectory accessible to other users using file permissionsand group ID....  A couple of my colleagues are using CVS tomanage big-by-our-standards (think small academic department)code projects, and both of them *seem* to have at least triedthat approach.  Hard to be sure without rummaging around in therelevant directories, though, which wouldn't be a polite thingto do without permission, and in any case I doubt either of themwould claim to be experts on how to best set this kind of thing up.One more related thing, and I don't really expect an answer hereunless it's easy off the top of your head, and/or you think itwill help others:I did a few experiments myself, a while back, with setting up aCVS repository and accessing it with Eclipse.  One of the things Iremember being a little confused by was how to specify the locationof a repository that lived in a directory that was NFS-mounted onall the machines I planned to use; my recollection is that Eclipsesomehow wouldn't take just a path name, but wanted a machinename as well, and ....  Yeah well, I suppose one just gives thename of the machine that's actually connected to the filesystem,and it's not as if that loads it up more than access via NFS.Or you mentioned something about "localhost"?-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/15/2007 11:16:56 PM
You asked enough questions all at once about CVS that I'll point you to:
<http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/>

I am not knowledgeable about Subversion.

The parts to which I've alluded:

**
The modules file:
<http://ximbiot.com/cvs/wiki/index.php?title=CVS--Concurrent_Versions_System_v1.12.12.1:_Reference_manual_for_Administrative_files#The_modules_file>

or
<http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_18.html#SEC159>

The modules file lets you link together different projects in the repository, 
or different subdirectories of different projects.  Let's say you have a DAO 
layer in common across many projects.  You could make project 'dao' appear as 
a subsidiary to your 'src/' directory in any other projects that need the 
functionality.

**
The repository structure:
<http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_2.html#SEC9>

The CVS repository comprises a directory tree with special versioned files in 
them.  If you have a source file for project 'foo'

$workspace/foo/src/java/com/mycompany/dao/Dao.java
it will appear in
$repository/foo/src/java/com/mycompany/dao/Dao.java,v

This file has version information in it, so it's not identical to the 
checked-out working copies.

**
Accessing locally
<http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_2.html#SEC10>

  or remotely
<http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_2.html#SEC26>

CVS has software to let you access the repository either in the local filespace:

:local:/var/opt/local/repo (the ":local:" is optional)

or remotely through a server IP connection:

:pserver:yourname@host/var/opt/local/repo

or various other ways.

-- 
Lew
0
Lew
9/15/2007 11:58:07 PM
On Sun, 16 Sep 2007 00:58:07 +0100, Lew <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> You asked enough questions all at once about CVS that I'll point you to:> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/>>> I am not knowledgeable about Subversion.CVS is adequate, but it's probably worth looking at Subversion  (http://subversion.tigris.org) first before considering CVS, if only  because it specifically addresses some shortcomings of CVS (in particular,  the lack of atomic commits in CVS).http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.4/index.htmlhttp://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.4/svn.forcvs.htmlTool support for Subversion has progressed a lot in the last couple of  years, so that shouldn't be a problem any more (all the main Java IDEs  have Subversion support).Dan.-- Daniel Dyerhttp//www.uncommons.org
0
Daniel
9/16/2007 4:04:35 PM
In article <op.tyq79x048kxvgr@jack.local>,Daniel Dyer <"You don't need it"> wrote:> On Sun, 16 Sep 2007 00:58:07 +0100, Lew <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> > > You asked enough questions all at once about CVS that I'll point you to:> > <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/>> >> > I am not knowledgeable about Subversion.> > CVS is adequate, but it's probably worth looking at Subversion  > (http://subversion.tigris.org) first before considering CVS, if only  > because it specifically addresses some shortcomings of CVS (in particular,  > the lack of atomic commits in CVS).> > http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.4/index.html> http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.4/svn.forcvs.html> > Tool support for Subversion has progressed a lot in the last couple of  > years, so that shouldn't be a problem any more (all the main Java IDEs  > have Subversion support).Thanks, Dan.  One of the things I was going to ask, in a reply toLew's post, was whether anyone cared to recommend Subversion overCVS.  I'll put it on my to-read-up-on list too!-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/16/2007 5:11:59 PM
In article <f7-dnSfXcNIS7HHbnZ2dnUVZ_oCvnZ2d@comcast.com>,
Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> You asked enough questions all at once about CVS that I'll point you to:
> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/>

Thanks, Lew!  Very helpful (the specific links below also).  After
all these years on Usenet, I'm still pleasantly surprised at the
willingness of total strangers to provide help ....

I'm not as optimistic as I was yesterday about such a tool solving
the problems I was originally complaining about, but this is stuff
I needed to know anyway.  And the comment in the introduction about
how my current approach (keeping multiple copies of source files)
wasting disk space struck home.  (Ouch.)  Disk space is cheap, but!

> I am not knowledgeable about Subversion.
> 
> The parts to which I've alluded:
> 
> **
> The modules file:
> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/wiki/index.php?title=CVS--Concurrent_Versions_System_v1.12.12.1:_Reference_manual_for_Administrative_files#The_modules_file>
> 
> or
> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_18.html#SEC159>
> 
> The modules file lets you link together different projects in the repository, 
> or different subdirectories of different projects.  Let's say you have a DAO 
> layer in common across many projects.  You could make project 'dao' appear as 
> a subsidiary to your 'src/' directory in any other projects that need the 
> functionality.

Sounds like it could be very useful in some situations.  Not sure
it would help with any of the things that seem to me like potential
stumbling blocks, but -- <shrug>.

> **
> The repository structure:
> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_2.html#SEC9>
> 
> The CVS repository comprises a directory tree with special versioned files in 
> them.  If you have a source file for project 'foo'
> 
> $workspace/foo/src/java/com/mycompany/dao/Dao.java
> it will appear in
> $repository/foo/src/java/com/mycompany/dao/Dao.java,v
> 
> This file has version information in it, so it's not identical to the 
> checked-out working copies.

I think the significant thing from my point of view is that a
repository can contain hierarchies like those of a hierarchical
filesystem.  That feature pretty much addresses my concerns about
repositories becoming "cluttered".

> **
> Accessing locally
> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_2.html#SEC10>
> 
>   or remotely
> <http://ximbiot.com/cvs/manual/cvs-1.11.22/cvs_2.html#SEC26>
> 
> CVS has software to let you access the repository either in the local filespace:
> 
> :local:/var/opt/local/repo (the ":local:" is optional)
> 
> or remotely through a server IP connection:
> 
> :pserver:yourname@host/var/opt/local/repo
> 
> or various other ways.

Got it.  Somehow I don't remember seeing anything like that in
Eclipse's options, but I probably missed it.  I'll check more
carefully; no need to reply.


P.S.:  I didn't notice until after sending my previous reply that
you'd opened a previous round of comments with "Great questions".
Thanks for the kind words!  Positive reinforcement works (as a
way of encouraging more semi-OT stuff and less OT wrangling).

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/16/2007 5:24:44 PM
On 2007-09-16, nebulous99@gmail.com <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> Nope. I distinctly remember the usual format being "begin UUE name"> Of course that was decades ago, before the WWW more or less made> binary newsgroups obsolete (at least for me). The practise and> formatting might have changed since then; who knows?*I* remember it being begin 123 name where 123 represented the Unix filepermissions. :)-- Steve Sobol, Victorville, California     PGP:0xE3AE35ED"Drench yourself in words unspoken / Live your life with arms wide openToday is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten"      - Natasha Beddingfield
0
Steve
9/16/2007 11:22:52 PM
On Sep 15, 12:26 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> That's not what uuencoded files look like, though.  The fisrt line is>>     begin NAMENope. I distinctly remember the usual format being "begin UUE name"Of course that was decades ago, before the WWW more or less madebinary newsgroups obsolete (at least for me). The practise andformatting might have changed since then; who knows?> > and even then it> > should obviously try to decode it, and render it as plain text if this> > fails.>> Now *that's* hard to argue with :-)Indeed.
0
nebulous99
9/16/2007 11:34:18 PM
On Sep 15, 10:38 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
wrote:
> (I think you claimed a while back to have encountered real-world
> damage incurred by words in Usenet, but you didn't, possibly
> couldn't, provide enough detail for me to really understand.
> Probably not worth pursuing.)

Or maybe you don't want to understand?

> My experience is that this method of
> configuring things is not very novice-friendly, but it's less apt
> to produce mysterious impossible-to-clean-up messes that the GUI
> configuration tools typically provided now.

This is insane. LESS apt to? The GUI, if properly designed, constrains
things to reasonable values and can give helpful and immediate alerts
(e.g. that the .sig file you pointed it to doesn't exist). My
experience with things without proper configuration tools is that you
have to hand-edit them, with either inadequate or overly-verbose
documentation (never a straightforward how to do the basics type thing
-- it's either a comprehensive reference unsuited for answering "how
do I?" questions, or it's woefully lacking in any useful information
at all, often by the specific fault of not existing...) and then
separately, later, run whatever uses the file and cope with cryptic
and uninformative error messages or (worse) silent faulty behavior
(e.g. it says "File not found" without saying what file, or what it
wanted the file for; or just posts, apparently successfully, with
no .sig and you don't even know about it until the *next* time you
read news and see all your own posts from the previous session).

> In some contexts "not very novice-friendly" is a significant
> drawback.  Then again, sometimes the only way I can figure out
> to clean up a GUI-tool-created mess is to just delete every
> configuration file that looks like it might be related and let
> the system start again from the defaults, which has its drawbacks
> as well.  Perhaps someone more experienced with these tools would
> do better.

You must be running into a lot of poor GUI tools. Most likely, half-
assed attempts to graft a GUI onto something from the Stone Age rather
than something designed from the ground up by GUI-aware programmers in
a modern time frame. Crummy GUIs on graphical ports of console apps
being my main suspects here.

> And perhaps someone more experienced would also know good ways to
> deal with another problem I routinely encounter with GUI tools:
> lack of what I'd call "scriptability" (possibly not the best
> choice of words, but I can't think of a better one).

This would sometimes be nice for advanced users; the problem being
that as a rule scriptability comes at the expense of having a proper
UI, as the UI becomes a programming language instead of a human-
oriented interface. The real fix is to have a scriptable, not directly
human-usable engine and a GUI front-end driving it. If well-designed
such a system would satisfy both human usability concerns and
usability via automation concerns.

> Example:  I dabble a little with Eclipse.  For reasons that seem
> good to me (though that might be debatable), I often create groups
> of small projects in which the source code lives somewhere other
> than in Eclipse's workspace.  If I move that source code later,
> I haven't found any way to tell Eclipse about that other than to
> delete the old projects and create new ones, one at a time, using
> the GUI, which I find tedious beyond words.  If configuration
> information were stored in text files, I could just do a
> mass edit and change all occurrences of OldPathToSource with
> NewPathToSource, which would be a lot less work.  (Risky?  Maybe.
> If I were worried, I'd make a backup copy of everything first.)

Is it possible to move the files from within eclipse? It should keep
track of them properly then. Renaming within eclipse works and avoids
all the problems of renaming externally and then eclipse wondering
where the hell the files went. Moving probably works similarly.

> but at some point I had that "you are in a maze of twisty passages"
> feeling, and I gave up the attempt.  I often have this feeling
> with GUI tools.  Probably more practice with them would help.
> Probably that would help me in other ways as well.

If that's true you're probably not too familiar with the basics of
operating whatever GUI this was (Windoze, Mac, or some X WM I guess).
The good news is you only have to learn one of these once, and the
knowledge can be used to operate every native application (YMMV with
dodgy ports, though). With the wacky and endlessly-varied interfaces
to console apps (including old DOS stuff before CUA was settled on as
a standard, as well as old Unix stuff) you have to learn that much
stuff for *each application* before it becomes usable!

> You seem to be addressing two groups here:  People who fix things
> that ain't broke, and people who'd prefer to make changes by editing
> a text file than by using a GUI.  I claim that I'm solidly in the
> camp of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and that my preference
> for configuring things in the old way actually supports that.  :-)?
> I'm also solidly in the second group, in part because I'm vaguely
> uneasy with tools that store information in locations and formats
> I can't easily discover.  On some level I suppose that really applies
> to text files as well.  <shrug>

I do prefer hand-hackable config files (especially to the registry) as
long as the expectation isn't that ordinary usage will require messing
with them. Making the config tool hand-editable serves expert users;
making it GUI-editable serves everyone else. You can have both. Old
Windows stuff used human-editable ini files instead of the registry.

> For the record, if I were developing software for non-techies to
> use, I *think* I'd try to come up with some way of storing and
> manipulating configuration information that would provide them with
> the kind of interface they want and still allow expert users to go
> in and modify things in other ways if they wanted to.

See ini files, above. :)


0
nebulous99
9/16/2007 11:54:07 PM
On Sep 15, 10:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:> Let's do that.  I don't need to understand why you think calling> someone's words [snip]And here we go again for another trip on the Insult-Go-Round (tm). :PNone of the nasty things you implied about me are true.Finito.
0
nebulous99
9/16/2007 11:59:15 PM
On Sep 15, 11:21 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:[snip another suggested insult regarding my age]> Look, I don't mean to insult you by saying that you [hallucinate]> In my mind it's akin to saying> something like "hey, did you know you have a spider crawling up> your back?  might want to do something about that!"This is very strange. Hallucinations are a symptom, generally ofsevere mental illness or severe physical illness (high fever, drug useor withdrawal from same, organic brain disease...)Having any of those conditions is associated with being a bad person(a druggie, an ex-druggie, a nut, etc.) and being mistreated by othersis the usual outcome of being believed to have any such condition(including, unfortunately, organic brain damage). Given the effects, Ithink it's only fair to consider implying someone to have such acondition to be insulting. Especially as, in the popular mind, thedisorder most closely associated with hallucinations is schizophrenia,which is also in the popular mind associated with a) violent behavior,b) being insane, and c) needing to be locked up for the protection ofsociety. As such, a widespread rumor to the effect that someone hasthat particular disorder or any symptom commonly associated with itmight even lead to the undeserved loss of their freedom(!) nevermindto ostracism by other people, job loss, etc.Therefore I must take all suggestions that imply false and damagingthings regarding my mental health especially seriously as threats,including any claim that I have exhibited any symptoms commonlyassociated with certain disorders.> I think about it, the more I think the most charitable way of> looking at my side of this conversation is futile do-gooderism.Making insulting suggestions regarding my state of mental health is"do-gooderism"? I'd hate to find out what you consider to be "do-baderism" then!> And yet it doesn't, and as best I can tell your efforts to make it> stop by responding to each and every perceived insultThe primary purpose of the responses isn't to make it stop, but toundo the damage from each specific insult by making sure the archiveof the newsgroup will not stand, when the dust settles, as a great bigmonument only telling *their* side of the story.
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nebulous99
9/17/2007 12:08:33 AM
On Sep 15, 12:05 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:> Well, I was curious ....>> Running console-mode vim (not gvim) in GNOME's terminal emulator> program on my Linux system, I saw all the characters in the post> by RedGrittyBrick.There's some sort of cheating going on under the hood there, then,unless there was manglage you couldn't recognize not being familiarwith all of the languages in question. Most likely the sneaky bit isburied somewhere in the phrase "GNOME's terminal emulator". Ichallenge anyone to make something like this work on the actual,honest-to-God console, no X services running, no WM loaded, nonothing. Preferably on an old 386 with only an EGA card so it will befrankly obvious if the software has "cheated" and is using graphicsmode because everything looks like a Saturday-morning cartoon moduloblocky pixelization. :)
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nebulous99
9/17/2007 12:11:44 AM
On Sep 15, 12:23 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> Mike Schilling wrote:> > All good ideas [using version control].> > This also makes it easy to develop at multiple locations> > (say, home and work): let the SCM system keep track of your changes for you.> > Note that it requires that you work from a "private branch" (or however you> > say that in CVS-speak), since you need to be free to check in code that may> > not even compile.>> I'd strongly, strongly urge one to avoid checking in any code that breaks the> build (not the run), in particular, code that doesn't compile.  I see no> benefit to doing that at all, quite the reverse.  It's easy to write code so> that it at least compiles from the class template forward, so there is no> additional effort involved in doing it, and much avoided down the road by> adhering to that one simple, non-egregious rule.  Don't break the build.Incomplete code often won't compile. Making it compile by putting inempty methods or similarly creates a grave hazard -- it might lookfinished when it really still isn't. It would be *really* embarrassingif an empty method made it into production and a customer reported abug (likely a silently-failing feature that you forgot to finish andthat got missed in whatever testing you did). I personally tend to usethe compiler errors to point me to what's still missing/incomplete,and indeed to jump directly there (when using an IDE such as eclipse).If I change a method signature I change the method itself first, andthen use the compile errors to track down all the calls that needchanging, for instance. If I changed some of those to add a dummyparameter so it would no longer give a compile error, I'd likelyforget it hadn't *really* been fixed and later run across a bug(likely a null pointer exception) in testing or usage. If I werelucky. If I were *un*lucky it would get missed in testing and someoneelse would run across the NPE!
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nebulous99
9/17/2007 12:16:48 AM
Steve Sobol wrote:> On 2007-09-16, nebulous99@gmail.com <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:>> Nope. I distinctly remember the usual format being "begin UUE name">> Of course that was decades ago, before the WWW more or less made>> binary newsgroups obsolete (at least for me). The practise and>> formatting might have changed since then; who knows?> > *I* remember it being begin 123 name where 123 represented the Unix file> permissions. :)Your memory is better than nebulous99/twisted/Paul/whoever's.Arne
0
ISO
9/17/2007 12:19:41 AM
On Sep 15, 1:03 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <1189827364.504766.22...@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,>>>>  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 13, 4:38 am, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> > wrote:> > > <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message>> > >news:1189666950.205724.81990@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...>> > > > On Sep 12, 5:09 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>> > > > wrote:> > > >>    "Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It appears to work in:>> > > > That's like mounting a rocket motor on an Edsel, and trying to steer> > > > and throttle it using the usual car controls. There's a reason most> > > > rocket ships have cockpits full of dials and switches like the Space> > > > Shuttle, you know. And there's a reason that unicode support is> > > > normally only found in GUI apps, not on the console...>> > > gvim, which I believe is the most common way people use vim (it is for me),> > > is a GUI app>> > And *that's* like building a space shuttle with an Edsel motor for the> > engine. :P>> Edsel motors are no good?  I guess it's possible.  All I really> know about the Edsel is that it was, considered as a business> venture, pretty much a total flop.  I wouldn't take that as> evidence one way or another about the quality of its various parts.>> Still, that's a quibble.  You seem to be saying something negative> about vim, and them's fightin' words ....    ( :-) !!  :-) !! )>> A better analogy, from my perspective, is that gvim is like ....> hm, what's an example of a solidly-built and reliable but> unglamorous workhorse vehicle?  some brand of pickup truck maybe?> dolled up with lipstick and false eyelashes.  Fortunately the> truck's still there, and its controls still work, and the> lipstick doesn't do any obvious harm.I'd say it's closer to trying to make a sporty family sedan on a high-performance Ferrari race-car core that uses a stick shift and manualfuel-management controls and other such cruft and really doesn't playwell with a driver that just wants to get behind the wheel, put it in"drive", and go to the corner store, all *without* any mess or fuss,nor finding out later that they somehow ran up a $300 fuel bill inaddition to the $10 spent on a rental DVD and some microwaveablepopcorn. :P
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nebulous99
9/17/2007 12:21:41 AM
On Sep 15, 1:38 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> I don't keep my work stuff at home or home stuff at work either.[snip lots re: version control]If you were to use version control instead of old-fashioned pen-driveand manual synchronization to access a personal code base from work,it would mean running a version control server on your home machine*and making it visible on the Internet*. Besides the issue of whetherthis would violate your ISP's (probably unreasonable but nonethelessenforceable) ToS, it creates a security risk if you don't know exactlywhat the hell you're doing. Unless you have the qualifications toadminister Internet servers, the risk is considerable, even if only toyour own stuff (and your machine perhaps ending up a zombie sendingspam or worse).
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nebulous99
9/17/2007 12:24:41 AM
On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:[snip false insults]I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P
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nebulous99
9/17/2007 12:42:56 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 15, 1:38 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> I don't keep my work stuff at home or home stuff at work either.> > [snip lots re: version control]> > If you were to use version control instead of old-fashioned pen-drive> and manual synchronization to access a personal code base from work,> it would mean running a version control server on your home machine> *and making it visible on the Internet*. Besides the issue of whetherIf one were to do this, or indeed access one's home machine from anywhere else, and wanted it to be secure, one could port-forward a "localhost" connection through SSH to the home repository.  This could let one work from a laptop using an airport WiFi, for example.Another way is to use a real web host, not a rinky-dink home connection that, as nebuouls points out, would likely be non-kosher, and CVS's or Subversion's web access.Depends on what you're trying to accomplish, and what you're trying to prevent.-- Lew
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Lew
9/17/2007 1:27:17 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> [snip false insults]> > I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :PIt is the truth.The uuencode format start with:   begin   3 octal digits with mode   filenameArne
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ISO
9/17/2007 1:41:27 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1189988208.379478.322020@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com...> If I change a method signature I change the method itself first, and> then use the compile errors to track down all the calls that need> changing, for instance.That's a bit dangerous, as any overriding methods you forgot to change often won't cause compilation errors (though they'll lead to interesting run-time behavior.)  Using an IDE, I'll usually have it find all of the calls and overriding methods, make a copy, and manually check them off one by one as I fix them.By the way, this is one area where C# in nicer than Java.  Overriding methods have to be declared "override", and won't compile if the overridden method can't be found.  (I wonder if people use the Java @override annotation (that provides this same check) much.) 
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Mike
9/17/2007 2:03:04 AM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1189988681.581858.159550@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com...> On Sep 15, 1:38 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> I don't keep my work stuff at home or home stuff at work either.>> [snip lots re: version control]>> If you were to use version control instead of old-fashioned pen-drive> and manual synchronization to access a personal code base from work,> it would mean running a version control server on your home machine> *and making it visible on the Internet*.I do it the other way around: run the server at work [1] and access it from home via a VPN.1. Well  I don't run it, our IT folks do. 
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Mike
9/17/2007 2:03:35 AM
In article <1189987155.096108.65640@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 15, 10:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> wrote:> > Let's do that.  I don't need to understand why you think calling> > someone's words [snip]> > And here we go again for another trip on the Insult-Go-Round (tm). :P> > None of the nasty things you implied about me are true.> > Finito.> Yup (about the "finito").  I try to say something I think isfairly polite and diplomatic, and it's dismissed as another roundof insults.  We're done here -- well, unless you feel that aparting shot is needed for the archives.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/17/2007 9:34:31 AM
In article <1189987904.513357.112450@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 15, 12:05 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> wrote:> > Well, I was curious ....> >> > Running console-mode vim (not gvim) in GNOME's terminal emulator> > program on my Linux system, I saw all the characters in the post> > by RedGrittyBrick.> > There's some sort of cheating going on under the hood there, then,> unless there was manglage you couldn't recognize not being familiar> with all of the languages in question. It finally occurred to me that it would be easy enough to viewRedGrittyBrick's post in GG's archives by searching on message ID.I did so, and the characters look the same there (displayed usingFirefox under GNOME) as they do in vim in a terminal emulatorunder GNOME (I tried GNOME's emulator and also xterm).They do *not* look the same if I run vim in one of Linux's virtualtext consoles; there, most of them show up as garbled stuff I won'tbother to cut and paste in.  One reason for the difference is thatvim apparently starts with different initial values for "encoding"in the two different environments; "latin1" in a text console,"utf8" in a terminal emulator window.  Setting encoding=utf8 ina text console, I get solid boxes.  That's no surprise.> Most likely the sneaky bit is> buried somewhere in the phrase "GNOME's terminal emulator". Almost certainly.  As best I can tell from a few experimentstracing system calls, vim sends pretty much the same thing tostandard output no matter what kind of terminal/emulator it'sbeing run in (the "pretty much" is because there are differencesin the escape sequences used to position text, etc.).  That agenuine text-console environment would not know what to do withwhat appear to be multi-byte characters (UTF-8?), and a terminalemulator would, doesn't surprise me.  Apparently the people whowrite these emulator programs don't mind providing features notpossible with the hardware they claim to be emulating.  <shrug>> I> challenge anyone to make something like this work on the actual,> honest-to-God console, no X services running, no WM loaded, no> nothing. Preferably on an old 386 with only an EGA card so it will be> frankly obvious if the software has "cheated" and is using graphics> mode because everything looks like a Saturday-morning cartoon modulo> blocky pixelization. :)That would be interesting, if possible.If it's not possible, what does that prove?  As far as I know, vim and other text-mode programs are designedto run correctly in a variety of terminal environments and takeadvantage of whatever features are provided by the currentenvironment (e.g., reverse video, underlining).  That theycan also make use of a terminal emulator's ability to displayglyphs[*] that couldn't be displayed on one of those plain-textconsoles of days past to me seems like a logical extension of thisability to use different kinds of terminals.  Is that "cheating"?whatever you mean by that ....[*] I think that's the word I want -- something that includescharacters from different alphabets, non-alphabetic symbols, etc.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/17/2007 9:36:47 AM
In article <1189988501.633107.317250@o80g2000hse.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 15, 1:03 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > In article <1189827364.504766.22...@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,> >[ snip ]> > Still, that's a quibble.  You seem to be saying something negative> > about vim, and them's fightin' words ....    ( :-) !!  :-) !! )> >> > A better analogy, from my perspective, is that gvim is like ....> > hm, what's an example of a solidly-built and reliable but> > unglamorous workhorse vehicle?  some brand of pickup truck maybe?> > dolled up with lipstick and false eyelashes.  Fortunately the> > truck's still there, and its controls still work, and the> > lipstick doesn't do any obvious harm.> > I'd say it's closer to trying to make a sporty family sedan on a high-> performance Ferrari race-car core that uses a stick shift and manual> fuel-management controls and other such cruft and really doesn't play> well with a driver that just wants to get behind the wheel, put it in> "drive", and go to the corner store, all *without* any mess or fuss,> nor finding out later that they somehow ran up a $300 fuel bill in> addition to the $10 spent on a rental DVD and some microwaveable> popcorn. :P> Not a bad analogy (though I'm not quite sure I get the part aboutthe $300 fuel bill).  Just out of curiosity, have you ever used vim or gvim?  what doyou normally use for editing text -- or does it depend on the useof the text (e.g., an IDE if it's source code, a word processorif it's a formatted document)?-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/17/2007 9:43:12 AM
In article <1189986847.247248.125640@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 15, 10:38 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
> wrote:
> > (I think you claimed a while back to have encountered real-world
> > damage incurred by words in Usenet, but you didn't, possibly
> > couldn't, provide enough detail for me to really understand.
> > Probably not worth pursuing.)
> 
> Or maybe you don't want to understand?

I wouldn't put it that way.  The way I remember the discussion, you
said you had observed real-world damage resulting from something
that happened in Usenet, without providing any details.  To me
that sounds like your saying "I can't provide details, but take
my word for it, it can happen."  Given how frequently I disagree
with your summaries of what other people say, I wasn't willing to
do that.  I'm not saying you're not right to not share details,
just that without them ....  <shrug>

> > My experience is that this method of
> > configuring things is not very novice-friendly, but it's less apt
> > to produce mysterious impossible-to-clean-up messes that the GUI
> > configuration tools typically provided now.
> 
> This is insane. LESS apt to? 

It occurs to me that in writing the above paragraph I may have
grouped together an assortment of bad experiences with vaguely
GUI-related things, none of which are really related to using a
GUI to configure something.  The bad experiences that come to mind
mostly have to do with trying to switch back and forth between
different versions of some GUI-ish program (GNOME and OpenOffice
are the examples that come to mind).  What seems to happen is
that the newer version silently changes configuration files in
a way that presumably reflects changes from the older version.
Sometimes these changes break things.  Sometimes the result is
configuration files that can't be read properly by the older
version.  I seem to also remember Eclipse becoming confused in
some way that seemed easiest to resolve by shutting it down and
tidying up from the command line.  All of this is a bit vague,
but maybe it helps a little.  <shrug>

> The GUI, if properly designed, constrains
> things to reasonable values and can give helpful and immediate alerts
> (e.g. that the .sig file you pointed it to doesn't exist). 

In principle this is true.

> My
> experience with things without proper configuration tools is that you
> have to hand-edit them, with either inadequate or overly-verbose
> documentation (never a straightforward how to do the basics type thing
> -- it's either a comprehensive reference unsuited for answering "how
> do I?" questions, or it's woefully lacking in any useful information
> at all, often by the specific fault of not existing...) and then
> separately, later, run whatever uses the file and cope with cryptic
> and uninformative error messages or (worse) silent faulty behavior
> (e.g. it says "File not found" without saying what file, or what it
> wanted the file for; or just posts, apparently successfully, with
> no .sig and you don't even know about it until the *next* time you
> read news and see all your own posts from the previous session).

Okay:  Your mileage varies from mine.  (It sounds like you might
be basing what you say on bad experiences with some text-based
newsreader.  Care to say which one?  Just curious.)

> > In some contexts "not very novice-friendly" is a significant
> > drawback.  Then again, sometimes the only way I can figure out
> > to clean up a GUI-tool-created mess is to just delete every
> > configuration file that looks like it might be related and let
> > the system start again from the defaults, which has its drawbacks
> > as well.  Perhaps someone more experienced with these tools would
> > do better.
> 
> You must be running into a lot of poor GUI tools. Most likely, half-
> assed attempts to graft a GUI onto something from the Stone Age rather
> than something designed from the ground up by GUI-aware programmers in
> a modern time frame. Crummy GUIs on graphical ports of console apps
> being my main suspects here.

No, I don't really use many of those -- I use a lot of text-mode 
tools, but since one of the things I like about them is that they
*are* text-mode, why would I use a GUI-fied version of them?

Specific tools I can remember having trouble with are mentioned
earlier.  Maybe they *are* poor GUI tools; I'm certainly not the
best person to judge.  

> > And perhaps someone more experienced would also know good ways to
> > deal with another problem I routinely encounter with GUI tools:
> > lack of what I'd call "scriptability" (possibly not the best
> > choice of words, but I can't think of a better one).
> 
> This would sometimes be nice for advanced users; the problem being
> that as a rule scriptability comes at the expense of having a proper
> UI, as the UI becomes a programming language instead of a human-
> oriented interface. The real fix is to have a scriptable, not directly
> human-usable engine and a GUI front-end driving it. If well-designed
> such a system would satisfy both human usability concerns and
> usability via automation concerns.

Wow.  Something we more or less agree on!

> > Example:  I dabble a little with Eclipse.  For reasons that seem
> > good to me (though that might be debatable), I often create groups
> > of small projects in which the source code lives somewhere other
> > than in Eclipse's workspace.  If I move that source code later,
> > I haven't found any way to tell Eclipse about that other than to
> > delete the old projects and create new ones, one at a time, using
> > the GUI, which I find tedious beyond words.  If configuration
> > information were stored in text files, I could just do a
> > mass edit and change all occurrences of OldPathToSource with
> > NewPathToSource, which would be a lot less work.  (Risky?  Maybe.
> > If I were worried, I'd make a backup copy of everything first.)
> 
> Is it possible to move the files from within eclipse? It should keep
> track of them properly then. Renaming within eclipse works and avoids
> all the problems of renaming externally and then eclipse wondering
> where the hell the files went. Moving probably works similarly.

I'm not sure it is (possible to move files in an external source
location from within Eclipse).  A quick experiment shows that
the (external) location shows up in the project "Properties",
but there's no obvious way to change it, and I'm not finding a
menu item that sounds promising.

> > but at some point I had that "you are in a maze of twisty passages"
> > feeling, and I gave up the attempt.  I often have this feeling
> > with GUI tools.  Probably more practice with them would help.
> > Probably that would help me in other ways as well.
> 
> If that's true you're probably not too familiar with the basics of
> operating whatever GUI this was (Windoze, Mac, or some X WM I guess).
> The good news is you only have to learn one of these once, and the
> knowledge can be used to operate every native application (YMMV with
> dodgy ports, though). 

Could be.  I've had enough practice that I don't have a lot of
trouble with the mechanics (and have been very happy to discover
that many of these GUI things are a lot more keyboard-drivable
than they at first appear to be).  Most of this practice is with
programs running under various X-based environments, but there's
a little Windows in there too.  I think what I'm not so good
at is guessing where to find, in a complicated menu structure,
something useful for the task I have in mind.  Online help is
sometimes excellent, sometimes frustratingly inadequate.

> With the wacky and endlessly-varied interfaces
> to console apps (including old DOS stuff before CUA was settled on as
> a standard, as well as old Unix stuff) you have to learn that much
> stuff for *each application* before it becomes usable!

Well, yeah, kind of ....  A lot of them these days provide
some kind of text menu to help new users, and there are a
lot of keystrokes that do the same thing in many applications.
I don't think the situation is quite as bad as you make out, but
total consistency -- yeah, not so much.  How much this annoys a
person, and whether there are compensating advantages, might be
a YMMV thing.

[ snip ]

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/17/2007 10:18:47 AM
In article <1189987713.660026.101080@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 15, 11:21 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> wrote:> [snip another suggested insult regarding my age]> > Look, I don't mean to insult you by saying that you [hallucinate]> > In my mind it's akin to saying> > something like "hey, did you know you have a spider crawling up> > your back?  might want to do something about that!"> > This is very strange. Hallucinations are a symptom, generally of> severe mental illness or severe physical illness (high fever, drug use> or withdrawal from same, organic brain disease...)Yes, but ....  Okay, you explain below why you regard any suggestionof mental illness as insulting.For the record, I want to say that I have never said, in thosewords, that I believe you hallucinate, much less claimed asa fact that you do.  That you apparently translate "I thinkyou have a distorted view of the world" into "you hallucinate"puzzles me, to the point that this will probably be my last poston this subject, since it seems that there is little prospect ofanything resembling clear communication.  Notice that I'm makingno claims about whose "fault" this is, if anyone's.> Having any of those conditions is associated with being a bad person> (a druggie, an ex-druggie, a nut, etc.) and being mistreated by others> is the usual outcome of being believed to have any such condition> (including, unfortunately, organic brain damage). Given the effects, I> think it's only fair to consider implying someone to have such a> condition to be insulting. Especially as, in the popular mind, the> disorder most closely associated with hallucinations is schizophrenia,> which is also in the popular mind associated with a) violent behavior,> b) being insane, and c) needing to be locked up for the protection of> society. As such, a widespread rumor to the effect that someone has> that particular disorder or any symptom commonly associated with it> might even lead to the undeserved loss of their freedom(!) nevermind> to ostracism by other people, job loss, etc.>> Therefore I must take all suggestions that imply false and damaging> things regarding my mental health especially seriously as threats,> including any claim that I have exhibited any symptoms commonly> associated with certain disorders.Fair enough.  I'd consider it rude and cruel to make fun ofillness of any kind; I'm not sure I can honestly claim to havenever stooped to that, but I try not to.  (Pointing out anillness is not, in my thinking, the same as making fun of it.)But I guess you don't know that I think that way, and you maynot believe me even now.[ snip ]> > And yet it doesn't, and as best I can tell your efforts to make it> > stop by responding to each and every perceived insult> > The primary purpose of the responses isn't to make it stop, but to> undo the damage from each specific insult by making sure the archive> of the newsgroup will not stand, when the dust settles, as a great big> monument only telling *their* side of the story.Oh right.  You've said this before.  I forgot.  I don't know thatyour responses are achieving this objective either, but it's hard tosay one way or another.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/17/2007 10:35:37 AM
On Sep 17, 2:42 am, nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :PPaul, have you and Ed considered marriage? You sound like a perfectmatch, so why don't you both give it a try?
0
Hunter
9/17/2007 11:24:32 AM
On Sep 16, 5:08 pm, nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 15, 11:21 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> > And yet it doesn't, and as best I can tell your efforts to make it> > stop by responding to each and every perceived insult>> The primary purpose of the responses isn't to make it stop, but to> undo the damage from each specific insult by making sure the archive> of the newsgroup will not stand, when the dust settles, as a great big> monument only telling *their* side of the story.And what a phenomenal job you've done, Twisted.  Now your paranoidravings and frankly wrong impressions of human behavior are a matterof public record: anyone can search "author:Twisted" or"author:nebulous99@gmail.com" and determine for themselves exactly howwilling you are to twist others' words to your own ends, to lie, tohold yourself to a lower standard than others, and exactly howunwilling you are to cooperate or learn. What a brilliant plan youhave, to ensure that the vast majority of the information availableabout you, by your own hand, paints you in as negative a light aspossible.It's just as well that you go to such pains to dissociate yourselffrom a real name and real consequences. If it were possible toirrefutably tie you to an identity, I'm sure you'd be walking proof ofyour theory that internet searches can lead to real, personal harm-andyou'd still be here, parroting on about how it's all *our* fault forbeing so mean to you. Hasn't it occurred to you that people judge youfirst and foremost by your actions, not your words nor the words ofothers? And that carrying on at length about how we're all destroyingyour (utterly fictitious) reputation is exactly the worst thing youcould be doing?So, by all means, continue to "undo the damage". Keep us all inmountains of amusement for as long as you like. You're a laugh, a badjoke. You're not even worth debating with, and you show no signs oflearning to control your pointless rages.After all, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?
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stackblocker
9/18/2007 1:31:23 AM
On Sep 16, 9:41 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> > On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> > [snip false insults]>> > I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P[snip repetitious BS]Perhaps you don't understand the meaning of one of the words "fuck"and "off". If so, might I suggest wiktionary? :P
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:09:42 PM
On Sep 16, 9:27 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> If one were to do this, or indeed access one's home machine from anywhere> else, and wanted it to be secure, one could port-forward a "localhost"> connection through SSH to the home repository.  This could let one work from a> laptop using an airport WiFi, for example.This requires additional technical knowledge and probably unix on thehome b0x. Hell, just running a CVS/SVN server might (or at leastCygwin).> Another way is to use a real web host...yadda yadda yaddaThis requires additional money -- lots of it, with a fat recurringmonthly fee.
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:11:31 PM
On Sep 16, 10:03 pm, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote in message>> news:1189988208.379478.322020@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com...>> > If I change a method signature I change the method itself first, and> > then use the compile errors to track down all the calls that need> > changing, for instance.>> That's a bit dangerous, as any overriding methods you forgot to change often> won't cause compilation errorsSure they will -- it's called @Override. Learn it. Love it. Use it. ;)> By the way, this is one area where C# in nicer than Java.You DARE to blaspheme in these hallowed halls?! Die, infidel!
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:13:29 PM
On Sep 16, 10:03 pm, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>wrote:> I do it the other way around: run the server at work [1] and access it from> home via a VPN.>> 1. Well  I don't run it, our IT folks do.And they let you store personal stuff on it?!
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:16:30 PM
On Sep 17, 5:34 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <1189987155.096108.65...@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>,>>  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 15, 10:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> > wrote:> > > Let's do that.  I don't need to understand why you think calling> > > someone's words [snip]>> > And here we go again for another trip on the Insult-Go-Round (tm). :P>> > None of the nasty things you implied about me are true.>> > Finito.>> Yup (about the "finito").  I try to say something I think is> fairly polite and diplomatic, and it's dismissed as another round> of insults.Of course it was, because that's exactly what it was. Phrasing itpolitely or soft-pedaling it doesn't change that fact. It's just asinsulting (if not more so due to the added condescension) if I say"I'm sorry, but it seems you can't understand me because you don'tquite have enough IQ points" versus the blunt "You idiot!" to someone,is it not? Same deal.
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:18:18 PM
On Sep 17, 5:36 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> Apparently the people who> write these emulator programs don't mind providing features not> possible with the hardware they claim to be emulating.  <shrug>In other words, they cheated. :)> As far as I know, vim and other text-mode programs are designed> to run correctly in a variety of terminal environments and take> advantage of whatever features are provided by the current> environment (e.g., reverse video, underlining).  That they> can also make use of a terminal emulator's ability to display> glyphs[*] that couldn't be displayed on one of those plain-text> consoles of days past to me seems like a logical extension of this> ability to use different kinds of terminals.  Is that "cheating"?> whatever you mean by that ....Putting this sort of support in a text console app/emulator/both islike putting an altimeter, radar, GPS, and OnStar navigationtechnology, and sixty thousand dials and switches into a steamlocomotive and structuring the thing's engine so it will stillfunction at 30,000 feet and supersonic speeds, even though the onlyway it's getting anywhere near either is if you pilot it directly intoa tornado. :P(What a queer mix of primitive and advanced technology!)> [*] I think that's the word I want -- something that includes> characters from different alphabets, non-alphabetic symbols, etc.It is.
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:23:33 PM
On Sep 17, 5:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> Just out of curiosity, have you ever used vim or gvim?  what do> you normally use for editing text -- or does it depend on the use> of the text (e.g., an IDE if it's source code, a word processor> if it's a formatted document)?It depends on the circumstances, but it's always something sane. Thatmeans a) its interface was designed and developed sometime after theinvention of the mouse; b) said interface is NOT just bolted on oversomething archaic (no doubt with half the wingnuts loose and the otherhalf missing); c) the authors have indeed heard of and applied CUA sosomeone who knows how to use normal software can immediately beproductive using theirs, and only learn the different/additionalfeatures vs. other similar applications; and d) there's no retro/nostalgic stuff going on -- it's not designed by people who pine forthe days when 640K really was enough for anybody. :)
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 12:26:39 PM
On Sep 17, 6:18 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> I wouldn't put it that way.  The way I remember the discussion, you
> said you had observed real-world damage resulting from something
> that happened in Usenet, without providing any details.  To me
> that sounds like your saying "I can't provide details, but take
> my word for it, it can happen."  Given how frequently I disagree
> with your summaries of what other people say, I wasn't willing to
> do that.  I'm not saying you're not right to not share details,
> just that without them ....  <shrug>

In other words, either I break a confidence or you assume I'm lying.
Nice. :P

> It occurs to me that in writing the above paragraph I may have
> grouped together an assortment of bad experiences with vaguely
> GUI-related things, none of which are really related to using a
> GUI to configure something.  The bad experiences that come to mind
> mostly have to do with trying to switch back and forth between
> different versions of some GUI-ish program (GNOME and OpenOffice
> are the examples that come to mind).  What seems to happen is
> that the newer version silently changes configuration files in
> a way that presumably reflects changes from the older version.
> Sometimes these changes break things.

Well, duh. Running two different versions of something sharing one
configuration file or one of almost anything else is just *asking* for
trouble. Each of them should be installed separately, with its own
version of the configuration file. Or you should pick a version you
prefer and stick to it.

I have multiple versions of one tool over here (GTKRadiant, a 3D-game-
level editing tool; versions 1.2ish and 1.5ish IIRC) but they are
installed in separate directories, each with its own copy of its
settings files; they appear not to clobber anything important
belonging to one another.

> Okay:  Your mileage varies from mine.  (It sounds like you might
> be basing what you say on bad experiences with some text-based
> newsreader.  Care to say which one?  Just curious.)

More a made-up example. ALL unix commandline apps appear to behave in
a similar fashion. Error messages are terse and cryptic where they
aren't absent. Doing anything nontrivial requires multiple trips to
the help. Even navigating the help requires trips to the help!
Something as basic as browsing some hypertext should be obvious right?
Arrows/pgup/dn/home/end to navigate, select links, etc. and enter to
follow links, backspace to back out of them, assuming the help viewer
was designed before the invention of the mouse that is; scrollbars and
clicks working in addition if it was designed subsequently. But
nooo ... each one has its own idiosyncratic navigation. Some use + and
- and have some arcane form of search that is bound to almost any
conceivable key OTHER than ctrl+F. Some use space and -, or the arrows
actually behave as expected but nothing else does, or ... Of course
lots of times the functionality is totally hidden as well. Is there a
search at all? Logic says there should be. Ctrl+F doesn't work. Ctrl+S
doesn't work. F3 doesn't work. OK -- if there's a search, I'll never
find it without searching the help on the help viewer. Eh, now there's
a bit of a problem...

Of course your fumblings might provoke unexpected behavior that's
worse than just a beep or no-effect or an error message. Ctrl+F might
activate some arcane mode for doing some unspecified thing from which
there's no obvious escape except Ctrl+C and start all over, for
instance.

Basically, none of the stuff, not even the help viewer, works until
you've actually read the help for everything in advance as one might
the manual for hooking up a stereo. Help is for reference and advanced
how-to stuff; if the user needs it to even do the basics then there's
a problem. If the help browser itself isn't dead easy to use and
"normal" in behavior then the user is sunk from the get-go. Only the
guys who designed the system and whatever elite and cloistered guild
has descended from them through chains of apprenticeship can do more
than get the thing to run and then boggle in puzzled annoyance when it
won't do anything useful. Indeed, in any system with idiosyncratic
help (or none at all) the guild mentality is evident -- the only way
in being apparently to apprentice with a live tutor. Is this a tool,
or is it an exclusive club? Is its design based pragmatically around
getting a useful task done, or around the same philosophy that informs
signs on treehouses saying "NO GIRLZ ALOWD -- GURLS SUC!" ... (you may
have been on the receiving end of that a time or three when you were
younger, so hopefully you can relate!)

In any event, configuration done by hand-hacking (hidden functionality
again -- nothing in the program UI indicates that you can change
behavior XXX!), cryptic error messages, unsearchable help, help that
provides no how-to information, help that reads like stereo
instructions, etc. all clearly indicate a lack of attention to
usability. Hidden functionality itself does so. Apps that are terse
and uncommunicative combined with help that is either likewise, or
very verbose and still uncommunicative, are unfriendly and needlessly
difficult to use. Of course, a better interface requires more code,
more text strings, etc. and back in the bad old days memory and
suchlike were at a premium. Of course, the ability to actually see
what you're doing and visually browse through the available options
and use them on the spot requires better video hardware than they had
then. Back then there was an excuse for these designs. Now there is
none.

Ultimately, even if you get semi-proficient, and the help is of the
verbose variety these applications basically provide a thousand
drawers full of various tools, all with opaque fronts and cryptic one-
letter labels, and somewhere a manual describing which one is in which
drawer, where a modern one just lets you see and reach for the tools
you want when you want them. If you want the drill you reach for the
drill, rather than the manual which says there's a drill in a drawer
labeled, for some reason, J. If you want to see what's available you
look over all the tools and if you want to use one you use it right
there, rather than having to look through a *catalog* of tools and
then switch to another task and place an order for one there. :P

Of course, the catalog still needs to be there, especially if you want
to support automation; but for hands-on use for heaven's sake allow
actual hands-on use! I much prefer software that's like a vehicle I
can directly pilot to software that's like being chauffeured around by
a driver that speaks only Swahili and requires me to learn it before
he can even tell me which street I'm at, let alone drive me to the
corner store...and that other one speaks only Bantu...and that one
Tagalog...and not a one English or even French or Spanish! :P

Of course the fact that the chauffeur can apparently see out the
windows but forces me to ride blindfolded doesn't help. You can't even
get oriented in those old interfaces; you must have a precise memory
of exactly what state the software is in or nothing will work as
expected.

> No, I don't really use many of those -- I use a lot of text-mode
> tools, but since one of the things I like about them is that they
> *are* text-mode, why would I use a GUI-fied version of them?

I suppose you also prefer rotary-dial phones? :P Seems silly to eschew
great advances in user-interface technology that can make things a lot
easier.

> Specific tools I can remember having trouble with are mentioned
> earlier.  Maybe they *are* poor GUI tools; I'm certainly not the
> best person to judge.

Well Eclipse certainly isn't. I don't know why it got hosed to the
point of needing hand-hacking some files to get it working again. Oh,
wait, I *do* have a pretty good guess: hand-hacking of the same files
messed them up in the first place, perhaps. :)

> > If that's true you're probably not too familiar with the basics of
> > operating whatever GUI this was (Windoze, Mac, or some X WM I guess).
> > The good news is you only have to learn one of these once, and the
> > knowledge can be used to operate every native application (YMMV with
> > dodgy ports, though).
>
> Could be.  I've had enough practice that I don't have a lot of
> trouble with the mechanics (and have been very happy to discover
> that many of these GUI things are a lot more keyboard-drivable
> than they at first appear to be).

Why? Is your mouse really that unreliable? For a lot of things (e.g.
navigating to an arbitrary point in a document) the mouse is way
faster than keyboard navigation, or *shudder* using the search-n-pray
method.

> I think what I'm not so good
> at is guessing where to find, in a complicated menu structure,
> something useful for the task I have in mind.  Online help is
> sometimes excellent, sometimes frustratingly inadequate.

This problem plagues help systems in general. Often they lack how-to
information and provide either very little, or a ton of reference
information useful for someone who already knows the how-to stuff.

That said, at least a gui lets you browse around and find whatever you
are searching for, and you can easily remember where it is. It's much
easier to remember a *place* than it is to remember "Ctrl-Meta-H, X,
Z, Q, <enter>" and shit like that!

A decent gui also puts obvious/frequent/contextually relevant stuff in
easy reach (e.g. toolbar) and has a logical organization to its menus.
Document saving and loading, printing, and other stuff like that goes
in File, etc.

> Well, yeah, kind of ....  A lot of them these days provide
> some kind of text menu to help new users, and there are a
> lot of keystrokes that do the same thing in many applications.

That's like putting the little numbers onto a formerly-blank stick
shift instead of noticing that a few decades ago they invented this
nifty thing called an "automatic transmission". :P

Typical old-skool unix software: stick shift with the groove pattern
on the head of the stick, but no labels there. There's a 500-page
behemoth of a manual in the glove compartment with a labeled version
of the groove pattern on page 217. The table of contents lists "Shift
diagram" in between "Starter" and "Tire rotation" but does not give
page numbers for anything, just the list of things contained, in
alphabetical order. Riffling through the whole thing is needed to find
anything. There's probably some kind of arcane indexing system you've
overlooked, but you'll at least need to riffle through the whole thing
to find *that*. The actual contents are not in any obvious (e.g.
alphabetical) order so binary search isn't an option. (The computer
version: you have a page down command, and, if you're lucky, a page up
command. There may be a search command but you're damned if you know
of it; it certainly isn't reached via any of the usual suspects like
ctrl+F. And since you can only go one page at a time, binary search
isn't an option, however it's organized.)

What you just described: the diagram is directly on the stick head.
There is still a 500-page manual with no page numbering.

What was invented about 25 years ago and is used on every sane
operating system and even on the Macintosh(!): an automatic shift --
just put the darn thing in drive and hit the gas. No need to worry
your head about the internals. The manual is 150 pages and has a TOC
and index of the normal sort; you can actually find stuff in it in
under an hour and even in under a minute!

Poorer GUI systems: there's an automatic shift, but the transmission
grinds and breaks down sometimes. The manual lacks a TOC or an index
because it's only 15 pages long and basically says "fiddle with the
stick and the pedals to make it go". It still works, though, and
intuitively, and when the transmission goes, you just push a button
for an instant free replacement, although you also mysteriously find
yourself back at the last major intersection you'd crossed.

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nebulous99
9/21/2007 1:11:31 PM
On Sep 17, 6:35 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> For the record, I want to say that I have never said, in those> words, that I believe you hallucinate...Not in those words, no.And if I said you were a few bricks short of a load, I would not havesaid that you were nuts or an idiot -- not in those exact words, thatis. But I think you would still be insulted if I said that, somehow.> That you apparently translate "I think> you have a distorted view of the world" into "you hallucinate"> puzzles me, to the point that this will probably be my last post> on this subject, since it seems that there is little prospect of> anything resembling clear communication.Not when you apparently draw a distinction between one phrase thatmeans "not seeing things as they really are" and another phrase thatmeans "not seeing things as they really are". :P Or at least, normallymeans that. Apparently you're not using the same dictionarydefinitions of some words as I am.> Notice that I'm making> no claims about whose "fault" this is, if anyone's.That's entirely besides the point. Calling someone an idiot andblaming this on genetic bad luck or cosmic rays or something is stillcalling someone an idiot. Likewise calling them crazy, or any othernegative thing. And it's therefore still an insult. Of course,suggesting that someone's not only stupid, but so dumb they actuallychose deliberately to be stupid, is I suppose a bigger insult thanjust calling them a moron and leaving it at that...> Fair enough.  I'd consider it rude and cruel to make fun of> illness of any kind; I'm not sure I can honestly claim to have> never stooped to that, but I try not to.  (Pointing out an> illness is not, in my thinking, the same as making fun of it.)In this case there is no illness anyway; perhaps you think there is,but if so, you are mistaken.> > The primary purpose of the responses isn't to make it stop, but to> > undo the damage from each specific insult by making sure the archive> > of the newsgroup will not stand, when the dust settles, as a great big> > monument only telling *their* side of the story.>> Oh right.  You've said this before.  I forgot.  I don't know that> your responses are achieving this objective either, but it's hard to> say one way or another.Well, (aside from the now-dead Copyright-discussion Thread ofDoom(tm)) my responses seem to be archiving and propagating at leastas well as the things they are responding to...
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 1:17:56 PM
On Sep 17, 7:24 am, Hunter Gratzner <a24...@googlemail.com> wrote:> On Sep 17, 2:42 am, nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:>> > I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P>> Paul, have you...I see nobody here by that name.
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nebulous99
9/21/2007 1:18:23 PM
On Sep 17, 9:31 pm, stackbloc...@gmail.com wrote:
> > The primary purpose of the responses isn't to make it stop, but to
> > undo the damage from each specific insult by making sure the archive
> > of the newsgroup will not stand, when the dust settles, as a great big
> > monument only telling *their* side of the story.
>
> And what a phenomenal job you've done, Twisted.  Now your [snip a very
> long and vicious series of insults from a previously unseen sock puppet of,
> I'm guessing, most likely Joe Attacki]

Go to hell. Go directly to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

> Hasn't it occurred to you that people judge you
> first and foremost by your actions, not your words nor the words of
> others?

That doesn't seem relevant here. Not Java related. Even aside from
that, it doesn't even seem relevant to this particular discussion,
since there's nothing here *but* my words and the words of others. :P

[further insults and verbiage]

Please seek professional help -- in the fucking netherworld! And
meanwhile, until we all luck into your being hit by a truck or
something, please bust up your modem with a hammer and eat it; I
believe you're suffering from mineral deficiency and modems are rich
in copper, zinc, and iron and have zero trans fat. Crunchy, too!

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nebulous99
9/21/2007 1:24:25 PM
<nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote in message news:1190376990.039874.293110@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...> On Sep 16, 10:03 pm, "Mike Schilling" <mscottschill...@hotmail.com>> wrote:>> I do it the other way around: run the server at work [1] and access it >> from>> home via a VPN.>>>> 1. Well  I don't run it, our IT folks do.>> And they let you store personal stuff on it?!Sure.  That doesn't cost anything but disk space, which is more or less free these days. 
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Mike
9/21/2007 3:58:07 PM
nebulous99@gmail.com skrev:
> On Sep 17, 9:31 pm, stackbloc...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> The primary purpose of the responses isn't to make it stop, but to
>>> undo the damage from each specific insult by making sure the archive
>>> of the newsgroup will not stand, when the dust settles, as a great big
>>> monument only telling *their* side of the story.
>> And what a phenomenal job you've done, Twisted.  Now your [snip a very
>> long and vicious series of insults from a previously unseen sock puppet of,
>> I'm guessing, most likely Joe Attacki]
> 
> Go to hell. Go directly to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
> 
>> Hasn't it occurred to you that people judge you
>> first and foremost by your actions, not your words nor the words of
>> others?
> 
> That doesn't seem relevant here. Not Java related. Even aside from
> that, it doesn't even seem relevant to this particular discussion,
> since there's nothing here *but* my words and the words of others. :P
> 
> [further insults and verbiage]
> 
> Please seek professional help -- in the fucking netherworld! And
> meanwhile, until we all luck into your being hit by a truck or
> something, please bust up your modem with a hammer and eat it; I
> believe you're suffering from mineral deficiency and modems are rich
> in copper, zinc, and iron and have zero trans fat. Crunchy, too!
> 
"stackblocker" is the sane one in this dialogue. You refuse to see that 
- what does that make you? You were silent for so long that I almost 
believed that you realized that he was right, but of course you are not 
capable of such insights, as you keep demonstrating.
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Lars
9/21/2007 5:51:48 PM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 16, 9:41 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:>>> On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:>>> [snip false insults]>>> I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P> > [snip repetitious BS]#The uuencode format start with:#  begin#  3 octal digits with mode#  filenamewhich should be in any description of uuencode.> Perhaps you don't understand the meaning of one of the words "fuck"> and "off". If so, might I suggest wiktionary? :PPerhaps you don't understand how the internet works.Arne
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ISO
9/22/2007 1:07:13 AM
On Sep 21, 1:51 pm, Lars Enderin <lars.ende...@gmail.com> wrote:[a bunch of implied and one explicit insult, all nasty and none true]Hmm ... I wonder if any of my detractors here have vulnerableMicrosoft software running in their brains?";DELETE * FROMNASTY_BELIEFS_ABOUT_TWISTED0N3
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bbound
9/22/2007 8:10:39 AM
On Sep 21, 9:07 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> > On Sep 16, 9:41 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> >> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> >>> On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> >>> [snip false insults]> >>> I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P>> > [snip repetitious BS]> [repeats it again]I snipped it for a reason, jackass! I don't *want* your nastyimplications about me being repeated. In fact you can take all thenasty things you believe about me and shove them up your ass! :PNow go away and leave me alone.
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bbound
9/22/2007 8:12:03 AM
In article <1190377098.393942.307420@n39g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 17, 5:34 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > In article <1189987155.096108.65...@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>,> >> >  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > > On Sep 15, 10:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>> > > wrote:> > > > Let's do that.  I don't need to understand why you think calling> > > > someone's words [snip]> >> > > And here we go again for another trip on the Insult-Go-Round (tm). :P> >> > > None of the nasty things you implied about me are true.> >> > > Finito.> >> > Yup (about the "finito").  I try to say something I think is> > fairly polite and diplomatic, and it's dismissed as another round> > of insults.> > Of course it was, because that's exactly what it was. Phrasing it> politely or soft-pedaling it doesn't change that fact. It's just as> insulting (if not more so due to the added condescension) if I say> "I'm sorry, but it seems you can't understand me because you don't> quite have enough IQ points" versus the blunt "You idiot!" to someone,> is it not? Same deal.> < deep sigh >  I probably should just let this go, but:Have you considered checking the calibration on thatthreat-detection system of yours?  It seems to be generating somefalse positives.Look, when I say "I don't need to understand why you find[whatever] an insult", I'm saying *I don't understand*.  I'm notsure why that's an insult to you, unless you think I'm implyingthat the fault is yours for saying something that doesn't makesense rather than mine for not being [whatever] enough to get it.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/22/2007 6:47:09 PM
In article <1190377413.447598.150170@o80g2000hse.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 17, 5:36 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Apparently the people who> > write these emulator programs don't mind providing features not> > possible with the hardware they claim to be emulating.  <shrug>> > In other words, they cheated. :)Define "cheating" in this context.The more I think about it, the more I think modern "terminalemulator" programs probably don't claim to be emulating anyparticular form of antique hardware.  I mean, the terminal typefor the GNOME one is "xterm" and not "vt100".  Was there everhardware corresponding to the "xterm" terminal type?  I'm not sure,but I'm inclined to think not, or that if there was, it was an"X terminal" that would provide features well beyond those ofthe text terminals of days gone by.> > As far as I know, vim and other text-mode programs are designed> > to run correctly in a variety of terminal environments and take> > advantage of whatever features are provided by the current> > environment (e.g., reverse video, underlining).  That they> > can also make use of a terminal emulator's ability to display> > glyphs[*] that couldn't be displayed on one of those plain-text> > consoles of days past to me seems like a logical extension of this> > ability to use different kinds of terminals.  Is that "cheating"?> > whatever you mean by that ....> > Putting this sort of support in a text console app/emulator/both is> like putting an altimeter, radar, GPS, and OnStar navigation> technology, and sixty thousand dials and switches into a steam> locomotive and structuring the thing's engine so it will still> function at 30,000 feet and supersonic speeds, even though the only> way it's getting anywhere near either is if you pilot it directly into> a tornado. :P> > (What a queer mix of primitive and advanced technology!)Your analogy sure is.  I don't quite get how the analogy appliesto vim, but maybe that just means I lack the right kind ofimagination.> > [*] I think that's the word I want -- something that includes> > characters from different alphabets, non-alphabetic symbols, etc.> > It is.Good to have that confirmed; thanks.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/22/2007 6:55:02 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> The more I think about it, the more I think modern "terminal> emulator" programs probably don't claim to be emulating any> particular form of antique hardware.  I mean, the terminal type> for the GNOME one is "xterm" and not "vt100".  Was there ever> hardware corresponding to the "xterm" terminal type?  I'm not sure,> but I'm inclined to think not, or that if there was, it was an> "X terminal" that would provide features well beyond those of> the text terminals of days gone by.That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality (as in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows "xterm" terminal session software.It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of the VTxxx types.Bear in mind that "terminal type" doesn't mean "emulates that type of hardware", it means "adheres to the escape-sequence definition and flow-control protocol for that label".-- Lew
0
Lew
9/22/2007 7:13:59 PM
bbound@gmail.com skrev:
> On Sep 21, 9:07 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> On Sep 16, 9:41 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>>>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:
>>>>> On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>>>>> [snip false insults]
>>>>> I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P
>>> [snip repetitious BS]
>> [repeats it again]
> 
> I snipped it for a reason, jackass! I don't *want* your nasty
> implications about me being repeated. In fact you can take all the
> nasty things you believe about me and shove them up your ass! :P
> 
> Now go away and leave me alone.
> 
There were no nasty implications by Arne. As regards uuencode and 
Outlook, the following quote is from Wikipedia:

Trivia

Microsoft's E-mail-program Outlook Express once contained a flaw that it 
also accepts "begin ..." as start of UUEncoded attachments (i.e., not 
requiring octal encoded UNIX-style permissions). Especially in Usenet, 
where MIME is seldom used[citation needed] and plain text is preferred, 
some people would embed begin, space, space in their messages in order 
to maliciously hide the rest of the message from Outlook Express users 
(e.g., they configure their news-client to quote starting with the line 
"begin quote from xxx")
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Lars
9/22/2007 7:16:01 PM
In article <1190377599.568565.3720@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 17, 5:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Just out of curiosity, have you ever used vim or gvim?  what do> > you normally use for editing text -- or does it depend on the use> > of the text (e.g., an IDE if it's source code, a word processor> > if it's a formatted document)?> > It depends on the circumstances, but it's always something sane. So, do you mean to imply by this that you've never used vim or gvim?Just asking.> That> means a) its interface was designed and developed sometime after the> invention of the mouse; Presumably true of gvim, since it allows a lot of operations to bedone using a mouse.> b) said interface is NOT just bolted on over> something archaic (no doubt with half the wingnuts loose and the other> half missing); It seems to me that the actual operations involved in editingtext files haven't changed that much -- find, insert, delete,etc. -- so a program that was able to perform them with a primitiveinterface should be equally capable of performing them with a moresophisticated interface, and the fact that the underlying code hasbeen in use for many years might improve the odds that any bugshave been found and fixed.I repeat -- have you ever used any of these tools you're slamming?> c) the authors have indeed heard of and applied CUA so> someone who knows how to use normal software can immediately be> productive using theirs, and only learn the different/additional> features vs. other similar applications; and So apparently you've changed your mind about "CUA" being acryptic term?( http://groups.google.com/group/comp.emacs/msg/7bbbe22873f7f9ac )> d) there's no retro/> nostalgic stuff going on -- it's not designed by people who pine for> the days when 640K really was enough for anybody. :)Well, when Mr. Gates (?) was saying that, I was probably stillmostly ignorant of the PC world; I started out on mainframes,and it took a long time for me to regard PCs as anything buttoys.  (Then again, I think one could make a case for the ideathat the way most people use them these days *is* as toys.But I digress.)I do pine for the days when more people believed in the Unix ideaof tools being simple programs that did simple jobs well [*] andcould be combined under the user's control to do more complex jobs.But -- "yeah well".[*] Rather than attempting to do everything the programmer and/orthe marketing department can think of, with mixed success.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/22/2007 7:23:22 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> I started out on mainframes,> and it took a long time for me to regard PCs as anything but> toys.  (Then again, I think one could make a case for the idea> that the way most people use them these days *is* as toys.> But I digress.)I hate when the computer's down and I have to find an actual deck of cards and make enough room on my desk for the solitaire game.-- Lew
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Lew
9/22/2007 7:40:26 PM
<blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote in message news:5ll69dF8q6u2U1@mid.individual.net...> < deep sigh >  I probably should just let this go, but:Yes, you should.Do you honestly think you'll get a positive response?
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Mike
9/22/2007 8:20:53 PM
"Lew" <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote in message news:DIydncRrxK3q9GjbnZ2dnUVZ_s2tnZ2d@comcast.com...> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:>> The more I think about it, the more I think modern "terminal>> emulator" programs probably don't claim to be emulating any>> particular form of antique hardware.  I mean, the terminal type>> for the GNOME one is "xterm" and not "vt100".  Was there ever>> hardware corresponding to the "xterm" terminal type?  I'm not sure,>> but I'm inclined to think not, or that if there was, it was an>> "X terminal" that would provide features well beyond those of>> the text terminals of days gone by.>> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality > (as in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows > "xterm" terminal session software.>> It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of the > VTxxx types.And featured a TEK 4014 mode that was gloriouly useless.  I dunno if GNOME bothers with it. 
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Mike
9/22/2007 8:23:47 PM
"Lew" wrote>> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality >> (as in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows >> "xterm" terminal session software.>>>> It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of the >> VTxxx types.Mike Schilling wrote:> And featured a TEK 4014 mode that was gloriouly useless.  I dunno if GNOME > bothers with it. Ooh, that's right!  I used to work with those old TEK terminals - they were considered quite cool, once.I also used to write drivers for dumb terminals on this one system, and discovered that the hardware didn't always emulate the hardware the same way, depending on brand.  Not all non-DEC "VT" terminals worked the same way, though all claimed to be "VTsomething".  Most also had switchable protocols, i.e., emulations - and some offered supersets of those emulations.Nothing new here.-- Lew
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Lew
9/22/2007 8:30:33 PM
In article <1190380291.115808.100110@r29g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 17, 6:18 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > I wouldn't put it that way.  The way I remember the discussion, you
> > said you had observed real-world damage resulting from something
> > that happened in Usenet, without providing any details.  To me
> > that sounds like your saying "I can't provide details, but take
> > my word for it, it can happen."  Given how frequently I disagree
> > with your summaries of what other people say, I wasn't willing to
> > do that.  I'm not saying you're not right to not share details,
> > just that without them ....  <shrug>
> 
> In other words, either I break a confidence or you assume I'm lying.
> Nice. :P

"Assume you're lying"?  No.  I'm just very skeptical about whether,
if I knew the whole story, I'd agree with your assessment.  And in
truth, even if you were to share details, I wouldn't feel confident
that I was hearing all sides of the story.  I don't accuse you
of deliberate lies.  But we've established on many occasions that
the way you perceive the world is different from how I perceive it.

> > It occurs to me that in writing the above paragraph I may have
> > grouped together an assortment of bad experiences with vaguely
> > GUI-related things, none of which are really related to using a
> > GUI to configure something.  The bad experiences that come to mind
> > mostly have to do with trying to switch back and forth between
> > different versions of some GUI-ish program (GNOME and OpenOffice
> > are the examples that come to mind).  What seems to happen is
> > that the newer version silently changes configuration files in
> > a way that presumably reflects changes from the older version.
> > Sometimes these changes break things.
> 
> Well, duh. Running two different versions of something sharing one
> configuration file or one of almost anything else is just *asking* for
> trouble. Each of them should be installed separately, with its own
> version of the configuration file. Or you should pick a version you
> prefer and stick to it.

It may be asking for trouble, but it's not that easy to avoid in
the setup at my current place of employment, in which we have a
couple of dozen Linux systems sharing a password/file/etc. server.
Users' home directories, which is where the configuration files
live (where else?!), are shared by all machines.  When we do
the yearly software (and sometimes hardware) upgrades, it often
happens that there's a period of some days or weeks during which
some of the machines are running the old stuff and some are
running the new stuff.  It's those periods in which the trouble I
described arises, because typically the applications use the same
user-specific configuration files (e.g., /home/someuser/.gnome/*).
If you want to say that no software can be expected to behave
reasonably in those circumstances, I won't argue.  If you want
to say that it's suboptimal to not upgrade all the machines at
the same time, I won't argue with that either, but personpower
for doing upgrades is finite.

> I have multiple versions of one tool over here (GTKRadiant, a 3D-game-
> level editing tool; versions 1.2ish and 1.5ish IIRC) but they are
> installed in separate directories, each with its own copy of its
> settings files; they appear not to clobber anything important
> belonging to one another.

When you say "settings file", do you mean a system-wide file, or
a per-user file?  

> > Okay:  Your mileage varies from mine.  (It sounds like you might
> > be basing what you say on bad experiences with some text-based
> > newsreader.  Care to say which one?  Just curious.)
> 
> More a made-up example. ALL unix commandline apps appear to behave in
> a similar fashion. Error messages are terse and cryptic where they
> aren't absent. Doing anything nontrivial requires multiple trips to
> the help. Even navigating the help requires trips to the help!
> Something as basic as browsing some hypertext should be obvious right?
> Arrows/pgup/dn/home/end [ snip ]

Yeah.  Lack of a consistent interface is a problem, though again,
I think there's more commonality than your description suggests.
I doubt we're going to agree about that, though.

> Of course your fumblings might provoke unexpected behavior that's
> worse than just a beep or no-effect or an error message. Ctrl+F might
> activate some arcane mode for doing some unspecified thing from which
> there's no obvious escape except Ctrl+C and start all over, for
> instance.

And this doesn't happen in GUI tools?  I hear these stories about
MS Word ....  (Yes, I have used the program, but any time I have
to do more than very simple things with it, I very carefully go
through all the options/settings menus I can find and turn off
most of the auto-this and auto-that, so I'm not sure I've really
ever gotten the full "Word does weird things!" effect.  As for
why I do that ....  When I was first presented with a Windows
system and, um, "strongly encouraged"? to use Word, I realized
pretty quickly that I wasn't going to learn it very well by just
trying things.  So I bought a book, and the book started out by
telling me about all the wonderful auto-whatever features, and
after I stopped making faces, I figured out how to turn them off,
and ....  But I digress.  Or do I?)

> Basically, none of the stuff, not even the help viewer, works until
> you've actually read the help for everything in advance as one might
> the manual for hooking up a stereo. Help is for reference and advanced
> how-to stuff; if the user needs it to even do the basics then there's
> a problem. If the help browser itself isn't dead easy to use and
> "normal" in behavior then the user is sunk from the get-go. 

As opposed to being sunk a little later ....  I think one of the
things that annoys me about GUI tools is that they somehow give the
impression (to me anyway, and I don't *think* I'm alone in this)
that anyone can use them, even to do tasks they don't understand
(setting up networking, say, or working with a CVS repository in
Eclipse [*]).

[*] Something I've been making off-and-on attempts to figure out,
and -- well, maybe if I read through all the online help carefully
I'd do better, but just dipping into it, mostly what I get is
a sense that somehow they're trying to express not-that-simple
technical ideas in non-technical language ("team", "share project",
etc., etc.).  Clearly this is a case in which background reading
is needed, but ....  Well, I digress again.

> Only the
> guys who designed the system and whatever elite and cloistered guild
> has descended from them through chains of apprenticeship can do more
> than get the thing to run and then boggle in puzzled annoyance when it
> won't do anything useful. Indeed, in any system with idiosyncratic
> help (or none at all) the guild mentality is evident -- the only way
> in being apparently to apprentice with a live tutor. Is this a tool,
> or is it an exclusive club? Is its design based pragmatically around
> getting a useful task done, or around the same philosophy that informs
> signs on treehouses saying "NO GIRLZ ALOWD -- GURLS SUC!" ... (you may
> have been on the receiving end of that a time or three when you were
> younger, so hopefully you can relate!)

Curiously enough, I've had little personal experience with the "no
girlz allowed!" mentality.  Maybe it has to do with not being very
girly.  Or maybe I just don't notice.

Your point about a guild mentality is all too true; I rather *like*
the feeling of being part of a somewhat exclusive club, but I'm not
sure that's really something to boast about.  Then again, it seems
natural enough to be a little smug about being able to do something
not everyone can do.  Write Java programs, for example.  :-)?

> In any event, configuration done by hand-hacking (hidden functionality
> again -- nothing in the program UI indicates that you can change
> behavior XXX!), cryptic error messages, unsearchable help, help that
> provides no how-to information, help that reads like stereo
> instructions, etc. all clearly indicate a lack of attention to
> usability. [ snip ]

Well ....  It's not that you don't have a point; you do.  But for
some tools I'm willing to accept a certain amount of novice-hostile
behavior if I get expert-friendliness in return.  I think.  I'm not
sure when I last had to get up to speed with such a tool ....

The other thing I like about configuring by editing text files is
that *you know where the configuration information is stored* --
so you can back it up before making changes, and it's potentially
much easier to track what you actually did than if you were
pointing and clicking through menus.  Or that's my mileage, anyway.

> Ultimately, even if you get semi-proficient, and the help is of the
> verbose variety these applications basically provide a thousand
> drawers full of various tools, all with opaque fronts and cryptic one-
> letter labels, and somewhere a manual describing which one is in which
> drawer, where a modern one just lets you see and reach for the tools
> you want when you want them. If you want the drill you reach for the
> drill, rather than the manual which says there's a drill in a drawer
> labeled, for some reason, J. If you want to see what's available you
> look over all the tools and if you want to use one you use it right
> there, rather than having to look through a *catalog* of tools and
> then switch to another task and place an order for one there. :P

Well ....  I don't know.  I'm not sure there's such a huge
difference between looking through a manual and pointing and
clicking one's way through a lot of menus and tabs.  And don't get
me started on the little icons.  Which one does what?  Who knows?
Sure, put the mouse over one, wait a few seconds, and probably
some moderately explanatory text will appear.  That wasn't the one
you wanted?  Move the mouse, wait a few seconds.  Move again, wait.
Maybe you get used to it.

[ snip ]

> Of course the fact that the chauffeur can apparently see out the
> windows but forces me to ride blindfolded doesn't help. You can't even
> get oriented in those old interfaces; you must have a precise memory
> of exactly what state the software is in or nothing will work as
> expected.

You do?  Once again I think we must be talking about different
software.  Example:  the (in)famous two modes (insert and command)
of vi.  "Real" vi (and vim in compatibility mode) doesn't provide
any cues about which mode you're in, which is the situation
you describe.  But vim (in its default mode) does, with the text
"--INSERT--" at the bottom of the screen when you're in input mode.

Oh wait.  That's cheating, right?  talking about how a current
text-mode program behaves, rather than how its ancestor of some
decades ago behaved?

I wonder, too, if what you describe might be something of a
YMMV thing reflecting different styles of thought or something:
What I'm thinking is that some people seem to have no trouble
remembering shortish strings of meaningless data, such as phone
numbers, while others apparently would have to work hard to do
that.  

> > No, I don't really use many of those -- I use a lot of text-mode
> > tools, but since one of the things I like about them is that they
> > *are* text-mode, why would I use a GUI-fied version of them?
> 
> I suppose you also prefer rotary-dial phones? :P Seems silly to eschew
> great advances in user-interface technology that can make things a lot
> easier.

In my opinion, most of these advances are most helpful for tasks
you haven't done before or don't do often.  For such tasks,
I agree that it can be pretty nice to be able to point and
click through menus rather than reading man pages and editing
configuration files.  For tasks I do often -- and that's most
of what I use those text-mode tools for -- well, for example,
I find it faster to type ":w<return>" to save a file than to
click on a little floppy-disk icon.

> > Specific tools I can remember having trouble with are mentioned
> > earlier.  Maybe they *are* poor GUI tools; I'm certainly not the
> > best person to judge.
> 
> Well Eclipse certainly isn't. I don't know why it got hosed to the
> point of needing hand-hacking some files to get it working again. Oh,
> wait, I *do* have a pretty good guess: hand-hacking of the same files
> messed them up in the first place, perhaps. :)

I can't say "you're wrong" because that would be an insult, right?

But the occasions I'm vaguely remembering -- and it's altogether
possible I'm confusing Eclipse with another IDE (Together
from Borland) -- did not result from attempts to operate on
configuration files with other tools.  I'd be happier if that were
possible, but before attempting it I usually make a backup copy of
the -- well, with Eclipse usually the whole workspace directory,
since I don't really know where the configuration files are kept --
and if things go wrong with the "edit outside Eclipse" experiment,
I'm apt to conclude that it's not going to work, and just replace
the messed-up workspace with the backup.

[ snip ]

> > Could be.  I've had enough practice that I don't have a lot of
> > trouble with the mechanics (and have been very happy to discover
> > that many of these GUI things are a lot more keyboard-drivable
> > than they at first appear to be).
> 
> Why? Is your mouse really that unreliable? For a lot of things (e.g.
> navigating to an arbitrary point in a document) the mouse is way
> faster than keyboard navigation, or *shudder* using the search-n-pray
> method.

It's not the mouse that's unreliable; it's me.  I find keyboard
navigation is almost as fast (especially if I can get to the
right spot with a search), and much more reliable -- getting
the cursor placed on precisely the right spot on the screen is
not something I do very well.  More practice using a mouse might
help -- or it might cause me to know more than I'd like to about
repetitive stress injuries.

> > I think what I'm not so good
> > at is guessing where to find, in a complicated menu structure,
> > something useful for the task I have in mind.  Online help is
> > sometimes excellent, sometimes frustratingly inadequate.
> 
> This problem plagues help systems in general. Often they lack how-to
> information and provide either very little, or a ton of reference
> information useful for someone who already knows the how-to stuff.

That (ton of reference information) might actually be helpful.
What make me rant is "help" that tries to express technical
concepts in non-technical language.  Eclipse's explanation of how
to work with CVS repositories comes to mind.

> That said, at least a gui lets you browse around and find whatever you
> are searching for, and you can easily remember where it is. It's much
> easier to remember a *place* than it is to remember "Ctrl-Meta-H, X,
> Z, Q, <enter>" and shit like that!

I don't find it difficult to remember the keystroke combinations
I use regularly, and for stuff I don't use regularly -- it's hard
to be sure, but I don't know that having done something with a
GUI makes it easier for me to remember -- I think I'd be more
apt to just remember that the task can be done and there's a menu
*somewhere* (possibly not in the same place it was the last time
I did the task -- GUI designers seem to like to tinker with this
stuff from release to release.

This is something else I like about a command-line / text-files
approach to configuring things -- there's a better chance that,
for something you don't do often but have done successfully at
least once, there will be a record somewhere of what you did,
so you can repeat it.  (Or if it didn't work, a record of what
you tried.)

> A decent gui also puts obvious/frequent/contextually relevant stuff in
> easy reach (e.g. toolbar) and has a logical organization to its menus.
> Document saving and loading, printing, and other stuff like that goes
> in File, etc.
> 
> > Well, yeah, kind of ....  A lot of them these days provide
> > some kind of text menu to help new users, and there are a
> > lot of keystrokes that do the same thing in many applications.
> 
> That's like putting the little numbers onto a formerly-blank stick
> shift instead of noticing that a few decades ago they invented this
> nifty thing called an "automatic transmission". :P

I think you won't be surprised to hear that I rather like stick
shifts too.

> Typical old-skool 

Misspelling for no good reason I can think of, except to make
something you don't like look bad.

> unix software: stick shift with the groove pattern
> on the head of the stick, but no labels there. There's a 500-page
> behemoth of a manual in the glove compartment with a labeled version
> of the groove pattern on page 217. The table of contents lists "Shift
> diagram" in between "Starter" and "Tire rotation" but does not give
> page numbers for anything, just the list of things contained, in
> alphabetical order. Riffling through the whole thing is needed to find
> anything. There's probably some kind of arcane indexing system you've
> overlooked, but you'll at least need to riffle through the whole thing
> to find *that*. The actual contents are not in any obvious (e.g.
> alphabetical) order so binary search isn't an option. (The computer
> version: you have a page down command, and, if you're lucky, a page up
> command. There may be a search command but you're damned if you know
> of it; it certainly isn't reached via any of the usual suspects like
> ctrl+F. And since you can only go one page at a time, binary search
> isn't an option, however it's organized.)

How would binary search be useful anyway?  

And I thought everyone knew that to search for text you type "/"
and the text ....  Sort of a :-).

> What you just described: the diagram is directly on the stick head.

Sure.  Isn't that helpful?  I think it is.

> There is still a 500-page manual with no page numbering.

For a stick shift?

> What was invented about 25 years ago and is used on every sane
> operating system and even on the Macintosh(!): an automatic shift --
> just put the darn thing in drive and hit the gas. No need to worry
> your head about the internals. The manual is 150 pages and has a TOC
> and index of the normal sort; you can actually find stuff in it in
> under an hour and even in under a minute!

And sometimes the stuff you find is actually helpful.  Sometimes.

> Poorer GUI systems: there's an automatic shift, but the transmission
> grinds and breaks down sometimes. The manual lacks a TOC or an index
> because it's only 15 pages long and basically says "fiddle with the
> stick and the pedals to make it go". It still works, though, and
> intuitively, 

Talk about a word that pushes my buttons!  Do you know the
oft-cited remark about how the only truly intuitive interface is
the nipple, and everything else is learned?

Actually I think it *is* true that what you learn from operating
one typical GUI application is apt to make the next one seem
more "intuitive".  But I claim that the same is true of the old
text-mode applications as well.

> and when the transmission goes, you just push a button
> for an instant free replacement, although you also mysteriously find
> yourself back at the last major intersection you'd crossed.

And with the contents of the glove compartment gone, and the
collection of Post-It notes on the visor discarded ....  I'm
not quite sure where I'm going with that analogy, if anywhere!

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/22/2007 8:57:53 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> It may be asking for trouble, but it's not that easy to avoid in
> the setup at my current place of employment, in which we have a
> couple of dozen Linux systems sharing a password/file/etc. server.
> Users' home directories, which is where the configuration files
> live (where else?!), are shared by all machines.  When we do

Is that to say, /home/fooperson resides on a particular server, and is mapped 
to each other node through NFS or some other remote-mounting mechanism?

> the yearly software (and sometimes hardware) upgrades, it often
> happens that there's a period of some days or weeks during which
> some of the machines are running the old stuff and some are
> running the new stuff.  It's those periods in which the trouble I

That puzzles me.  The PATH directories should be shared, thus rendering it 
impossible for correctly-mapped nodes to run different things.

Still, I suppose it's always inevitable that some config information is 
specific to a node.  But days or weeks worth?

> described arises, because typically the applications use the same
> user-specific configuration files (e.g., /home/someuser/.gnome/*).
> If you want to say that no software can be expected to behave
> reasonably in those circumstances, I won't argue.  If you want
> to say that it's suboptimal to not upgrade all the machines at
> the same time, I won't argue with that either, but personpower
> for doing upgrades is finite.

I'd want to say that a more normal upgrade procedure should be in place, since 
one admin should be able to manage upwards of a hundred nodes, by industry 
average.  Clearly the fault lies in the process, that it should take more than 
about an hour to upgrade the entire network.

The problem here doesn't seem like personpower, it seems like brainpower. 
Sounds like you need a patch to the sysadmin.

Am I missing something here?

-- 
Lew
0
Lew
9/22/2007 9:11:27 PM
In article <1190380676.049394.55020@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 17, 6:35 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip ]> > That you apparently translate "I think> > you have a distorted view of the world" into "you hallucinate"> > puzzles me, to the point that this will probably be my last post> > on this subject, since it seems that there is little prospect of> > anything resembling clear communication.> > Not when you apparently draw a distinction between one phrase that> means "not seeing things as they really are" and another phrase that> means "not seeing things as they really are". :P Or at least, normally> means that. Apparently you're not using the same dictionary> definitions of some words as I am.Apparently not.  Please point me to a dictionary whose definitionsmake the words equivalent, interchangeably, equally insulting,what have you.  I just consulted the definitions given by theonline Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com) [*], andthe don't use the exact words you do, nor do their definitionsseem to me to be equivalent, only somewhat similar.[*] No claims about it being best, just one I can access fairlyeasily.In part the difference I perceive is one of degree rather thankind.  But there's also a subtle difference of kind -- "youhallucinate" means you see things that aren't there at all,while "you have a distorted view" means that you see thingsthat are there, but in a way that's a little, or a lot, off.[ snip ]> > Fair enough.  I'd consider it rude and cruel to make fun of> > illness of any kind; I'm not sure I can honestly claim to have> > never stooped to that, but I try not to.  (Pointing out an> > illness is not, in my thinking, the same as making fun of it.)> > In this case there is no illness anyway; perhaps you think there is,> but if so, you are mistaken.Could be.  But you also could be mistaken.  You might not noticethat spider on your back either, when someone else might.Look, I know how annoying it can be to have someone else claimto know the insides of your head better than you do yourself --a long-ago college friend majoring in psychology used to try thatwith me -- but in some cases it's probably true.  Not saying you'reone of them, just that in general it seems to me to be possible.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/22/2007 9:17:51 PM
In article <FOeJi.35106$RX.24752@newssvr11.news.prodigy.net>,Mike Schilling <mscottschilling@hotmail.com> wrote:> > <blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote in message > news:5ll69dF8q6u2U1@mid.individual.net...> > < deep sigh >  I probably should just let this go, but:> > Yes, you should.> > Do you honestly think you'll get a positive response?< hangs head in embarrassment > ....  No, probably not.  ApparentlyI'm having trouble letting well enough (ill enough?) alone.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/22/2007 9:39:45 PM
In article <DIydncRrxK3q9GjbnZ2dnUVZ_s2tnZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > The more I think about it, the more I think modern "terminal> > emulator" programs probably don't claim to be emulating any> > particular form of antique hardware.  I mean, the terminal type> > for the GNOME one is "xterm" and not "vt100".  Was there ever> > hardware corresponding to the "xterm" terminal type?  I'm not sure,> > but I'm inclined to think not, or that if there was, it was an> > "X terminal" that would provide features well beyond those of> > the text terminals of days gone by.> > That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality (as > in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows "xterm" > terminal session software.Is that really recursive, though?  just because the terminal typereferences something that's (mostly?) software rather than hardware?> It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of the > VTxxx types.> > Bear in mind that "terminal type" doesn't mean "emulates that type of > hardware", it means "adheres to the escape-sequence definition and > flow-control protocol for that label".Well, yeah, but ....  Isn't that more or less what "emulate" means?or are you thinking that visually they could work differently ....I won't reply separately to the later posts about Tek 4104 mode,but -- I also remember the xterm mode, though not the actualhardware.  And the mention of different terminal types bringsback memories ....-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/22/2007 9:43:29 PM
Lew wrote:>> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality (as >> in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows "xterm" >> terminal session software.blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> Is that really recursive, though?  just because the terminal type> references something that's (mostly?) software rather than hardware?Only in the naming naming itself the same as its eponym.  But you're right, it's not all that recursive, really.I was actually making a joke about it, rather than rigorously suggesting that this was true recursion.  I guess it's that I have no sense of humor, so my jokes fall flat.> Well, yeah, but ....  Isn't that more or less what "emulate" means?> or are you thinking that visually they could work differently ....I am thinking that terminal "emulation" has never been exact, and has always adhered to a protocol standard rather than directly trying to be just like a certain piece of hardware, and that there's nothing new in that.> And the mention of different terminal types brings back memories ....Nostalgia will never be passé.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/22/2007 9:51:46 PM
In article <aoednXJln5CdGGjbnZ2dnUVZ_jSdnZ2d@comcast.com>,
Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> > It may be asking for trouble, but it's not that easy to avoid in
> > the setup at my current place of employment, in which we have a
> > couple of dozen Linux systems sharing a password/file/etc. server.
> > Users' home directories, which is where the configuration files
> > live (where else?!), are shared by all machines.  When we do
> 
> Is that to say, /home/fooperson resides on a particular server, and is mapped 
> to each other node through NFS or some other remote-mounting mechanism?

That's it.  The top-level directory for home directories is
physically located on a disk connected to a "file server";
the other machines NFS-mount the relevant partition as /users,
and for example blmblm's home directory would be /users/blmblm.

> > the yearly software (and sometimes hardware) upgrades, it often
> > happens that there's a period of some days or weeks during which
> > some of the machines are running the old stuff and some are
> > running the new stuff.  It's those periods in which the trouble I
> 
> That puzzles me.  The PATH directories should be shared, thus rendering it 
> impossible for correctly-mapped nodes to run different things.

They should be?  Maybe (see below for comments about patching the
sysadmin).  They're not.  Each machine has its own copy of /bin,
/usr, etc. -- the normal Unix/Linux setup, including /home.  What's
shared is the directory with the actually-in-use home directories
(NFS-mounted /users).  Password information -- I think we use NIS.

> Still, I suppose it's always inevitable that some config information is 
> specific to a node.  But days or weeks worth?
> 
> > described arises, because typically the applications use the same
> > user-specific configuration files (e.g., /home/someuser/.gnome/*).
> > If you want to say that no software can be expected to behave
> > reasonably in those circumstances, I won't argue.  If you want
> > to say that it's suboptimal to not upgrade all the machines at
> > the same time, I won't argue with that either, but personpower
> > for doing upgrades is finite.
> 
> I'd want to say that a more normal upgrade procedure should be in place, since 
> one admin should be able to manage upwards of a hundred nodes, by industry 
> average.  Clearly the fault lies in the process, that it should take more than 
> about an hour to upgrade the entire network.
> 
> The problem here doesn't seem like personpower, it seems like brainpower. 
> Sounds like you need a patch to the sysadmin.
> 
> Am I missing something here?
>

Hard to say, and this is more topic drift, but if we're doing
things all wrong, I'd be glad to hear better ideas ....

About patching the sysadmin, well, these are my friends we're
talking about here, but yeah, it could be in order.  It probably
won't happen, though -- we're a small department at a small school,
and we don't have a full-time sysadmin for the Linux systems,
getting by with part-time efforts from several people who are
reasonably clueful but probably would not claim guru status.

The upgrade process as currently done -- I don't know the details,
but as I understand it, it involves replacing the entire contents
of each client's local disk using -- Norton Ghost maybe?  Most of
the clients dual-boot Windows and Linux.  I'm not sure how this
could be done remotely.  

When you say it should take about an hour to upgrade the entire
network, what do *you* mean?  We do have a system for remotely
applying smaller patches to all the Linux systems, which works
reasonably well despite being something of a crude hack.

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/22/2007 10:12:14 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> When you say it should take about an hour to upgrade the entire> network, what do *you* mean?  We do have a system for remotely> applying smaller patches to all the Linux systems, which works> reasonably well despite being something of a crude hack.Your environment differs quite a bit from the one I envisioned when I spouted off.I pictured a business with several dozen nodes and a paid administrator not really coordinating everything.  You present a reality of a cooperative, self-trained group of intelligent individuals doing the best they can with what they can scrounge.  That's a very different business model.For common utilities and the like, things like /usr/sbin/alternatives can ease the burden.  It lets workstations default to a common net-wide directory, which you'd mount either to /usr/bin/ or some arbitrary directory like /usr/common/bin/, while letting individual workstations or accounts override to a specific, explicit version.  That private version, of course, would be outside the sysadmin's responsibility.You put in each person's .profile or /etc/profile the PATH entry to the shared directory.  Similarly, you can set JAVA_HOME, CVSROOT and other important envars to shared or commonly-linked/mounted directories.This is a logical extension of what you're already doing with /users/.OS patches are a different matter.  I'd probably cron a regular {yum,apt,...} run for each node, in your type of situation.System administration is one of the Dark Arts.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/22/2007 10:39:49 PM
In article <MpydnY3EeecrBGjbnZ2dnUVZ_jmdnZ2d@comcast.com>,
Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:
> > When you say it should take about an hour to upgrade the entire
> > network, what do *you* mean?  We do have a system for remotely
> > applying smaller patches to all the Linux systems, which works
> > reasonably well despite being something of a crude hack.
> 
> Your environment differs quite a bit from the one I envisioned when I
> spouted off.
> 
> I pictured a business with several dozen nodes and a paid administrator not 
> really coordinating everything.  You present a reality of a cooperative, 
> self-trained group of intelligent individuals doing the best they can with 
> what they can scrounge.  That's a very different business model.

With regard to human resources, that's a very good description of
our situation.  Getting approval for reasonable hardware purchases
seems to be less of a problem.  I have no real complaints, though.

> For common utilities and the like, things like /usr/sbin/alternatives can ease 
> the burden.  It lets workstations default to a common net-wide directory, 
> which you'd mount either to /usr/bin/ or some arbitrary directory like 
> /usr/common/bin/, while letting individual workstations or accounts override 
> to a specific, explicit version.  That private version, of course, would be 
> outside the sysadmin's responsibility.

The other thing I didn't say is that the couple of dozen machines
in question are deployed in classroom/lab settings and intended
for general use, rather than being people's personal desktop
machines.  (We have some of those, too, but they get upgraded
mostly by request of the "owner".)  For the classroom/lab
machines, there's not a lot of call for different machines
to be configured differently.  As for putting /usr/bin in a
network-mounted directory -- yeah, that's appealing in its way,
but wouldn't it be a potential performance bottleneck?

I'd apologize for boring everyone, but I get the feeling our
setup is different enough from what most people have and imagine
that maybe describing it is at least a little horizon-broadening
for someone.  Or not.

> You put in each person's .profile or /etc/profile the PATH entry to the shared 
> directory.  Similarly, you can set JAVA_HOME, CVSROOT and other important 
> envars to shared or commonly-linked/mounted directories.
> 
> This is a logical extension of what you're already doing with /users/.
> 
> OS patches are a different matter.  I'd probably cron a regular {yum,apt,...} 
> run for each node, in your type of situation.

Yeah ....  Well, we don't try very hard to keep up with all
available updates; we do well to build and deploy one tested
configuration per year, with other changes/fixes done only to
meet a specific need.  

> System administration is one of the Dark Arts.

No kidding.  It's something I wish I knew more about, but I have
a feeling the only way to get good at it is to spend years in the
trenches.  Something else to do in my copious spare time?  :-)

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/23/2007 3:02:07 AM
bbound@gmail.com wrote:
> On Sep 21, 9:07 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> On Sep 16, 9:41 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>>>> nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:
>>>>> On Sep 16, 8:19 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>>>>> [snip false insults]
>>>>> I hate to sound like "Ed" here but: Fuck off. :P
>>> [snip repetitious BS]
>> [repeats it again]

What you try to snip out is:

#The uuencode format start with:
#  begin
#  3 octal digits with mode
#  filename

> I snipped it for a reason, jackass! I don't *want* your nasty
> implications about me being repeated. In fact you can take all the
> nasty things you believe about me and shove them up your ass! :P

I can not see what this is about you.

It is easy verifiable facts about a well known format.

Or are you claiming that your name is uuencode ??

:-)

Arne
0
ISO
9/23/2007 5:51:00 PM
Lew wrote:> It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of > the VTxxx types.I think it is the other way around - VTxxx is a superset of ANSI.Arne
0
UTF
9/23/2007 5:55:42 PM
On Sep 22, 2:55 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> The more I think about it, the more I think modern "terminal> emulator" programs probably don't claim to be emulating any> particular form of antique hardware.  I mean, the terminal type> for the GNOME one is "xterm" and not "vt100".  Was there ever> hardware corresponding to the "xterm" terminal type?  I'm not sure,> but I'm inclined to think not, or that if there was, it was an> "X terminal" that would provide features well beyond those of> the text terminals of days gone by.This begs the obvious question: what is a "terminal emulator" for, ifnot to provide an environment for genuinely archaic software to run?Apparently, to run recent but intentionally "retro" software. What,however, is the attraction to deliberately "retro" software thathearkens back to the bad old days of limited system memory andperformance and the consequent terrible, terse and cryptic userinterfaces?> Your analogy sure is.  I don't quite get how the analogy applies> to vim, but maybe that just means I lack the right kind of> imagination.Well that depends on what vim really is. I had been thinking it was anarchaic text editor designed for a far more cramped and claustrophobiccomputing environment of the days of yore, clearly obsolete given thecapabilities of modern hardware to run software that gives a farbetter user experience and provides far greater capabilities fordisplay and user interaction.On the other hand, it's starting to sound like it might instead befairly recent but deliberately retro, like a 50s-style diner downtownthat was actually established in the 90s but has the old fashionedjukebox, the look, the type of menu fare, and all that to fit in withits historical counterpart. Except that in this particular case, I'llbet you get the flies everywhere, the refusal to serve black people,greasy food high in trans fat, and all the other "bad" things to makea truly authentic 1950s experience. :PMaybe better, given how fast computers have advanced relative to food,and how much work it is just to get started doing even the basics inthose archaic Unix programs, would be to compare it to a 50,000 BCstyle diner -- you have to catch the food yourself and rub stickstogether to start a fire with which to cook it.All in all, the attraction to such tools, whether they're theequivalent of a lovingly-maintained 1950s Chevy convertible or a retrodiner, mystifies. Unlike the car or the diner, the user interface isgoing to be terrible; the car's sure to be a manual transmission, butat least you don't have to take the engine to a water trough and latertell it "Giddyap!" to make it go. The software from that era beingthat primitive by comparison with modern tools.
0
bbound
9/23/2007 8:05:11 PM
On Sep 22, 3:23 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <1190377599.568565.3...@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,>>  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 17, 5:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > Just out of curiosity, have you ever used vim or gvim?  what do> > > you normally use for editing text -- or does it depend on the use> > > of the text (e.g., an IDE if it's source code, a word processor> > > if it's a formatted document)?>> > It depends on the circumstances, but it's always something sane.>> So, do you mean to imply by this that you've never used vim or gvim?Not by choice.> It seems to me that the actual operations involved in editing> text files haven't changed that much -- find, insert, delete,> etc. -- so a program that was able to perform them with a primitive> interface should be equally capable of performing them with a more> sophisticated interface, and the fact that the underlying code has> been in use for many years might improve the odds that any bugs> have been found and fixed.Of course, if the interface is not a reasonably normal and modern one,that these functions are low in saturated bugs won't necessarily meanmuch to the users that are damned if they can even discover that thosefunctions even exist. :P> > c) the authors have indeed heard of and applied CUA so> > someone who knows how to use normal software can immediately be> > productive using theirs, and only learn the different/additional> > features vs. other similar applications; and>> So apparently you've changed your mind about "CUA" being a> cryptic term?Eh? I've now got familiarity with the term. So?> Well, when Mr. Gates (?) was saying that, I was probably still> mostly ignorant of the PC world; I started out on mainframes,> and it took a long time for me to regard PCs as anything but> toys.  (Then again, I think one could make a case for the idea> that the way most people use them these days *is* as toys.> But I digress.)I have the feeling some people regard anything that's delivered as afinished, polished product with a case bearing some controlsconstituting a proper user interface, instead of as a bunch of circuitboards whose "user interface" consists of toggle switches and jumpers,as "mere toys". :P> I do pine for the days when more people believed in the Unix idea> of tools being simple programs that did simple jobs well [*] and> could be combined under the user's control to do more complex jobs.> But -- "yeah well".Said user having to basically program them for them to do anything,and not being able to simply *use* them. A Unix for carpenters wouldgive you a power hammer held by a robot that could be programmed insome idiosyncratic hammer-wielding-robot-specific language whileneglecting to provide a plain old hammer you could simply pick up inone hand and hit nails with. Hammering one nail in to hang a picturewould require learning a scripting language of fifty or sixty commandsfirst. :POf course, the tendency of Windoze and (especially) Mac systems toprovide a small plastic hammer unsuited to either single heavy-dutynails or to industrial-scale construction without providing anythingbigger or more automated might also be viewed as a problem.> [*] Rather than attempting to do everything the programmer and/or> the marketing department can think of, with mixed success.Unix isn't a stranger to creeping featurism. The filesystem itself, X,and emacs all come to mind. :)
0
bbound
9/23/2007 8:16:10 PM
On Sep 22, 5:39 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <FOeJi.35106$RX.24...@newssvr11.news.prodigy.net>,>> Mike Schilling <mscottschill...@hotmail.com> wrote:>> > <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message> >news:5ll69dF8q6u2U1@mid.individual.net...> > > < deep sigh >  I probably should just let this go, but:[said some stuff about how she was not meaning to insult me bycomparing me to a child]Making such comparisons is something that obviously is going to beconsidered insulting by adults. :P> < hangs head in embarrassment > ....  No, probably not.  Apparently> I'm having trouble letting well enough (ill enough?) alone.And now again slyly suggesting I'm mentally ill or something. Isuppose you're going to follow up and claim not to have insulted mehere, either? Of course this is right after a series of posts whereyou kept suggesting to our mutual audience that I hallucinate, or amdelusional, or something of the sort and then denying having done soas well...
0
bbound
9/23/2007 8:20:43 PM
On Sep 22, 5:51 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> Lew wrote:> >> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality (as> >> in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows "xterm"> >> terminal session software.> blm...@myrealbox.com wrote:> > Is that really recursive, though?  just because the terminal type> > references something that's (mostly?) software rather than hardware?>> Only in the naming naming itself the same as its eponym.  But you're right,> it's not all that recursive, really.>> I was actually making a joke about it, rather than rigorously suggesting that> this was true recursion.  I guess it's that I have no sense of humor, so my> jokes fall flat.In this place, making jokes that, if taken seriously, are not rigorouswill not provoke laughter, only pedantic "corrections" from know-it-all holier-than-thou types. In case you hadn't noticed. :P
0
bbound
9/23/2007 8:29:56 PM
bbound@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 22, 5:51 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:>> Lew wrote:>>>> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality (as>>>> in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows "xterm">>>> terminal session software.>> blm...@myrealbox.com wrote:>>> Is that really recursive, though?  just because the terminal type>>> references something that's (mostly?) software rather than hardware?>> Only in the naming naming itself the same as its eponym.  But you're right,>> it's not all that recursive, really.>>>> I was actually making a joke about it, rather than rigorously suggesting that>> this was true recursion.  I guess it's that I have no sense of humor, so my>> jokes fall flat.> > In this place, making jokes that, if taken seriously, are not rigorous> will not provoke laughter, only pedantic "corrections" from know-it-> all holier-than-thou types. In case you hadn't noticed. :PActually, her point about recursion was very well taken, and I don't mind the correction at all.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/23/2007 9:59:22 PM
On Sep 22, 4:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> "Assume you're lying"?  No.  I'm just very skeptical about whether,
> if I knew the whole story, I'd agree with your assessment.  And in
> truth, even if you were to share details, I wouldn't feel confident
> that I was hearing all sides of the story.  I don't accuse you
> of deliberate lies.  But we've established on many occasions that
> the way you perceive the world is different from how I perceive it.

If that is so, then it is not I who is perceiving it inaccurately.

> It may be asking for trouble, but it's not that easy to avoid in
> the setup at my current place of employment, in which we have a
> couple of dozen Linux systems sharing a password/file/etc. server.
> Users' home directories, which is where the configuration files
> live (where else?!), are shared by all machines.  When we do
> the yearly software (and sometimes hardware) upgrades, it often
> happens that there's a period of some days or weeks during which
> some of the machines are running the old stuff and some are
> running the new stuff.

Ultimately it still results from the old version and the new version
trying to share files. If one looked for ~\fooSoft\1.1\foo.rc and the
other for ~\fooSoft\2.0\foo.rc, they wouldn't collide. (The new one
also wouldn't inherit the old one's settings without the user
importing them manually, but it would apparently save a lot of
headaches too!)

Alternatively, either the config files could be local to the machines
with the software binaries, or the software binaries global with the
config files. Centrally storing the config files without centrally
storing the binaries is probably asking for trouble regardless. Since
central binaries means the machines all turn into paperweights if the
network goes down, locally installing the binaries makes sense, so
local config files also make sense. Central storage of user documents
still makes sense if users need to access them from multiple machines.

Of course, some config settings will be user-variable preferences. In
that case, they may need to be centralized anyway. And then there
should be different ones for different versions as initially
described.

> > I have multiple versions of one tool over here (GTKRadiant, a 3D-game-
> > level editing tool; versions 1.2ish and 1.5ish IIRC) but they are
> > installed in separate directories, each with its own copy of its
> > settings files; they appear not to clobber anything important
> > belonging to one another.
>
> When you say "settings file", do you mean a system-wide file, or
> a per-user file?

There's no distinction in this case; it's a single-user machine.

> Yeah.  Lack of a consistent interface is a problem, though again,
> I think there's more commonality than your description suggests.
> I doubt we're going to agree about that, though.

The only commonality I recall observing is that they all deviate
equally from standard user-interface guidelines, key-bindings, and the
like. Ctrl+C is never copy. F1 is never help. F3 is never search. Page
up and page down never actually do what their names describe.
Backspace and delete may or may not work. Arrow keys may or may not
work. The mouse may even work, on a GUI-capable machine, but often
won't do squat. The alphanumeric keys, space, and enter can actually
be counted on to do the expected; function keys and page up/down can
actually be counted on to do nothing; Ctrl+C can be counted on to be a
quit command (instead of a copy command); and that's about it for
commonalities, in my experience. With each other or with typical
Windows or Mac software (modulo command/option for alt/ctrl in the
case of Mac software). Even the GUI apps have niggling little quirks
with e.g. minimize behavior or (especially) focus change/tab order.
Drop down menus, input fields, and even the simple check box usually
offer up some surprising or nonstandard behavior some of the time.

Of course, it's not like Windows software is perfect. The behavior of
Home and End is pretty random -- sometimes Home does the expected
(jump as far as possible left) and sometimes it instead acts as a
super-Page Up, for instance. Focus behavior isn't perfectly consistent
either -- overlap two Explorer windows with files in two columns in
each one, half-overlapped so the right column of window A overlaps the
left column of window B, and try to drag a file from the right column
of window B to the right column of window A. Sometimes clicking on the
file in window B brings that window to the front, hiding the intended
destination, and sometimes only releasing the mouse button while still
in window B will do so; it seems to behave somewhat randomly. Once in
a while a control will behave egregiously badly -- attempting a common
and typical operation fails in dramatic and broken ways. I've seen a
combobox in one app frequently spectacularly screw up apparently due
to a broken implementation of autocomplete: typing anything that
started with the same letter as any autocomplete entry and hitting
Enter would enter the wrong thing, because on the first letter it
would drop down the autocomplete list and then decide later that your
enter keypress was to submit that instead of what you'd actually
typed. More usually, if you keep typing and diverge from the items in
the autocomplete history it will accept what you actually typed, but
in this one case anything that triggered the autocomplete drop-down
had to be typed in, but then submitted by mouse instead of Enter
keypress to work. Sometimes text fields respond to tab-home-type-some-
stuff by replacing everything originally in the box instead of
prepending the new typing, usually those that auto-select everything
on focus. Hitting home should jump to the start of the text field and
deselect everything but doesn't always in particular cases.

Nevertheless, such behavior is the exception on Windows. On Unix GUI
apps (and Windoze ports of same) it's the rule. And when it comes to
console apps, the only exceptions to "anything goes" seem to be a few
places that strictly and consistently depart from standard Windows/Mac
usage, unfortunately including the standard help key and two very
commonly used and useful standard navigation keys.

> And this doesn't happen in GUI tools?  I hear these stories about
> MS Word ....  (Yes, I have used the program, but any time I have
> to do more than very simple things with it, I very carefully go
> through all the options/settings menus I can find and turn off
> most of the auto-this and auto-that, so I'm not sure I've really
> ever gotten the full "Word does weird things!" effect.  As for
> why I do that ....  When I was first presented with a Windows
> system and, um, "strongly encouraged"? to use Word, I realized
> pretty quickly that I wasn't going to learn it very well by just
> trying things.  So I bought a book, and the book started out by
> telling me about all the wonderful auto-whatever features, and
> after I stopped making faces, I figured out how to turn them off,
> and ....  But I digress.  Or do I?)

Word is not the best example, because of the 800-pound-gorilla effect
that kicks in whenever Microsoft is involved. I doubt you'd have had
this trouble with Notepad (even though that's also of MS origin!) or
OO Writer.

> As opposed to being sunk a little later ....  I think one of the
> things that annoys me about GUI tools is that they somehow give the
> impression (to me anyway, and I don't *think* I'm alone in this)
> that anyone can use them, even to do tasks they don't understand
> (setting up networking, say, or working with a CVS repository in
> Eclipse [*]).

I'm not sure what this means. It's certainly not the case that anyone
actually CAN use them even to do things they don't know how to do,
unless the tool can completely automate the process and autodetect
everything, which is rarely the case.

It is often the case that they remove needless complications and bring
related things together in one place -- setting up PPPoE involves
filling in a "questionnaire" detailing the things that are actually
parameters of the process, and the computer does all the rest, instead
of the user having to separately find and hand-hack half a dozen text
files in cryptic machine-readable formats according to arcane
instructions that cannot actually be located anywhere, but nonetheless
apparently exist, if only in the system's designer's head
someplace. :)

> [*] Something I've been making off-and-on attempts to figure out,
> and -- well, maybe if I read through all the online help carefully
> I'd do better, but just dipping into it, mostly what I get is
> a sense that somehow they're trying to express not-that-simple
> technical ideas in non-technical language ("team", "share project",
> etc., etc.).  Clearly this is a case in which background reading
> is needed, but ....  Well, I digress again.

It may be a case of them having tried to dumb-down something technical
and not actually amenable to being dumbed down. The error at the
opposite extreme from excessively sophisticating-up something basic,
such as, say, text editing, until it comes to resemble rocket
science. :P

Setting up CVS can probably never be simplified to "just push this
button and away you go". On the other hand, text editing should
probably never be complexified beyond "just push this button and type
into the box, and navigate and such in the normal way" ...

> Your point about a guild mentality is all too true; I rather *like*
> the feeling of being part of a somewhat exclusive club, but I'm not
> sure that's really something to boast about.

Not more powerful is the Dark Side; but more seductive it is. But once
you start down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny!

> Then again, it seems
> natural enough to be a little smug about being able to do something
> not everyone can do.  Write Java programs, for example.  :-)?

Sometimes it's something "naturally difficult". Actual programming,
for example.

But it seems screwy when it's something "artificially difficult".

It's a big accomplishment to climb Mount Everest. On the other hand,
it's still damned stupid of anyone to decide unnecessarily to locate a
7-11 way up there where almost no-one can reach it.

It's a big accomplishment to program complex software yourself. On the
other hand, it's just plain brain-damaged if some text editor,
newsreader, or whatever basically has to be programmed in its own
idiosyncratic scripting language just to use the darn thing, instead
of getting out of the way so the user can get their *real* work
accomplished.

Some game software makes the same sort of mistake, I find. Certain
RPGs particularly. You end up with "work" to do to, say, generate a
pile of ammunition or money or something, only to get pestered by
random encounters when you're "at work" instead of actually off
adventuring or whatever. :P

In a way, it's even like a sort of spam. It's intrusive and unwelcome.
You want to check the latest posts at some webboard or browse for and
download some file or find and read some information, and every other
mouse click leads to a popup or three, every other link seems to
gratuitously go via a "splash page" covered in ads instead of directly
to its nominal target, and no page at all isn't plastered with
animated GIFs and Flash. Needless to say, you get Firefox and adblock
or you go insane.

Unix tools seem to have a different motive, if they have one at all,
but again the interface (or lack thereof) intrudes on your simply
getting on with your task, whatever that may be, and keeps you
conscious of the interface itself. Most of your attention and thought
ends up being focused on how to navigate the interface. Generally with
exactly zero visual cues with which to navigate, too -- they subscribe
to the "drop people blindfolded into the middle of a hedge maze"
theory of navigation and interface design. Usually having selected
flora on the basis of having eight-inch thorns, since obviously a
blindfolded person will be unable to appreciate colorful flowers and
foliage! Regardless, it's hard to focus on (let alone be very
productive with) one's main task when one is constantly having to
concern themselves consciously with the interface and, often, what
passes for the help file. Instead of "editing text" or "reading news"
you're "using vi" or "using trn" or whatever, as determined by your
attentional focus. It doesn't become transparent and get out of the
way. If you find "using vi" fun or challenging that's one thing. If
you just want to "edit text" on the other hand being forced to do so
is liable to get very annoying very fast.

> Well ....  It's not that you don't have a point; you do.  But for
> some tools I'm willing to accept a certain amount of novice-hostile
> behavior if I get expert-friendliness in return.  I think.  I'm not
> sure when I last had to get up to speed with such a tool ....

The problem being that you really *can't*, save perhaps with a live
tutor, as near as I can figure. Unless you designed it to begin with I
suppose; then you'll know it inside and out. Often that seems to be
necessary; knowing the internals instead of just the problem domain
seems necessary to use a lot of that software. In some areas that's
more or less unavoidable; those are the very areas where you say GUI
tools keep coming up short (network configuration, etc.) but even
there a proper GUI tool can streamline the process and organize it
visually into a series of parametrized steps (the "setup wizard"
design, at setup, and a tabbed dialog at later times when changing
something), as well as provide a specialized editing tool (that
dialog) that does validation and gives immediate feedback in some
areas. Hand-hacking the config file(s) versus using a well-designed
such tool is akin to using a plain text editor on a Java file versus
using Eclipse, with its on-the-fly linting of the code and
autocomplete capabilities. Only more so, since usually there are much
tighter constraints on what's valid, and what you're entering isn't
Turing-complete! Just numbers with certain range limits, etc.

> The other thing I like about configuring by editing text files is
> that *you know where the configuration information is stored* --
> so you can back it up before making changes, and it's potentially
> much easier to track what you actually did than if you were
> pointing and clicking through menus.  Or that's my mileage, anyway.

This is a point, but it points more to an issue with common GUI
implementations of such things than with the GUI concept. The GUI
configuration editor could tell you where the file is, or even provide
backup/rollback functionality directly. That they often don't is
shoddy, I must admit. Of course there are tricks -- use the
configuration editor and then search system-wide for files modified in
the last five minutes right afterward and you'll probably find it in
the small number of hits; if not, it's probably using the registry
(ick). Ordinary Joes shouldn't have to resort to such tricks of
course. Again a problem of implementation, not of concept.

> Well ....  I don't know.  I'm not sure there's such a huge
> difference between looking through a manual and pointing and
> clicking one's way through a lot of menus and tabs.

There is, if the latter is well-organized; finding something in a
linear text is O(n) versus O(log n) for a tree structure. (This
assumes a printed manual, or a help system that lacks hypertext/search/
etc. functionality, or in which such functionality is nontrivial to
discover and use; the usual situation with unix documentation, IOW.
Search also suffers from the possibility that the document is not
written with searches by n00bs in mind; if the solution is described
purely in solution-domain terms without a good description of the
problem it solves in problem-domain terms accompanying it, it will not
be found by someone who doesn't know the solution, but only knows the
problem; it will be found by someone who remembers part of the
solution or the gist of it and needs to retrieve the details, which is
the only target audience typically considered by unix documentation
writers, unfortunately. Put more simply, people search for the
question, not the answer, and if the answer appears somewhere but not
right after the question...)

> And don't get
> me started on the little icons.  Which one does what?  Who knows?
> Sure, put the mouse over one, wait a few seconds, and probably
> some moderately explanatory text will appear.  That wasn't the one
> you wanted?  Move the mouse, wait a few seconds.  Move again, wait.
> Maybe you get used to it.

Generally, the ones you use you learn to recognize, and they take up
less space than text menus would (and as a result, can be right in the
main window instead of needing an additional menu-title click to
reveal first). The images should generally communicate what they do.
They don't always do it very well. Many have been standardized to some
extent (cut, paste, new, open, print, etc.; browsers' back, refresh,
home, etc.) but many have not. This area may mature further in the
future. Again many apps admittedly could use improvement. At least you
*can* browse the available functionality and find stuff, and once you
know where something is find it again very easily, without resorting
to the help!

> You do?  Once again I think we must be talking about different
> software.  Example:  the (in)famous two modes (insert and command)
> of vi.  "Real" vi (and vim in compatibility mode) doesn't provide
> any cues about which mode you're in, which is the situation
> you describe.  But vim (in its default mode) does, with the text
> "--INSERT--" at the bottom of the screen when you're in input mode.

One case in which they fixed the "bug" it seems. There are surely lots
of other places where that sort of thing is still extant. There's only
so much information that can be displayed at once on an 80x24 text
terminal, after all; within the constraints of the older display
devices (and emulations of same) there's limited real estate to spend
on keeping the user oriented.

Emacs (some version or another) certainly provides some issues along
similar lines -- with no tabs/taskbar/analogous structure, for
example, and no Windows menu, there's no way to see at a glance what
documents are open. Just the one or two you see, or several dozen
more? Who the hell knows? There's probably some way to rotate through
them all, but it sure as hell ain't ctrl-tab, and opening the help to
find out what it is will alter the very thing I'm seeking to measure,
since the help doesn't open in a separate system-help-browser
application...

It can also be in the state of a long meta-sequence being half-
entered. (Windows apps admittedly suffer from the equivalent problem
fairly often -- if they think alt has been tapped, subsequent keyboard
entry may unexpectedly trigger menus or annoying beeping instead of
working as expected.) The upside is leaving the app with such a thing
half-done is uncommon. And at least Windows lets you back out of this
state with one ESC keypress. Emacs as I recall seems to do nothing
until you hit ESC a few more times, and then beeps and prints
something like "Unrecognized command: M-Esc Esc" or some such. :P

Browser-type programs too: they may be navigating line-by-line or link
(or occurrence of search term) by link, and it won't be obvious which.

GUI apps have a big advantage here in that when there are modes, they
can be indicated by changing the mouse pointer in a communicative
manner. Paint program tools are the obvious example, though the
toolbar's depressed button also provides a visual cue.

Of course, the worst unix offender of all time has to be the shell
itself, rather than vi, emacs, or anything else. For a long time, at
least, the standard was apparently to display a completely rudimentary
shell prompt with no indication whatsoever as to where you were in the
filesystem. Contrast

C:\Dir\Subdir>_

with

%>_

Which is more useful here? Of course you could configure the unix
prompt -- if you could find out how from the help system. You could
get some information with "cd" or see if you were somewhere
recognizable with "ls". Puts me in mind of fumbling around in a dark
house with a flashlight looking for the light switch. With large and
heavy pieces of furniture here and there about the place. And the bulb
in the fixture probably burnt out. And on attempting to replace it,
finding that it doesn't have a standard screw base at all, but some
kinky mechanism with a half-dozen pins and clams that have to be
worked with tweezers. In the dark. With the tweezers located at the
other end of the place somewhere, with miles of darkened hallways and
treacherous staircases to traverse in the dark to reach them and
return with them. Oh, and in case I forgot to mention it, all of this
has to be done in the dark, and the batteries in the flashlight seem
to be going dim. :)

(Admittedly, old DOS versions defaulted to a useless C> prompt barely
conveying more information than %>, but DOS fixed that a lot sooner
than I recall unix of any sort doing so!)

Flow control in the terminals created another issue; something of a
trilemma. Say you had a text file displayed partially on the screen
with no visible prompt. What is it doing? Is it a) waiting for XON? b)
waiting for you to hit space or down-arrow (but surely not page-down,
no, never would page-down do the obvious)? or c) just plain hung? :P

> I wonder, too, if what you describe might be something of a
> YMMV thing reflecting different styles of thought or something:
> What I'm thinking is that some people seem to have no trouble
> remembering shortish strings of meaningless data, such as phone
> numbers, while others apparently would have to work hard to do
> that.

It's designing software to cater to the type of autistic savants that
can memorize *a whole damn phone book full of such numbers* and
remember exactly who each one calls that bugs me. The UI for emacs
appears to be designed for autistic savants, in particular. :P

One or a few such things is one thing. Forty thousand is something
else entirely.

GUIs have a clear advantage in usability here, all other things (such
as commonly-used-command-set size) being equal, because the normal
human brain is geared toward remembering place-associations and
geography. If you saw it once you can navigate to the same place
again. Our ancestors found this handy when they had to locate good
watering holes, bushes with various medicinal leaves and edible
berries, and other such useful things in their environment. Most of
those objects stay put; their locations are fairly stable on
timescales comparable to a human lifespan or so. Phone books and
similar such things have appeared, by contrast, in the evolutionary
blink of an eye. People cope with the primitive interface of the phone
system (and it is damned archaic; all we could do to improve it so far
was *touch-tone*?! Talk about legacy apps!) mainly because most of the
times they only have a handful of numbers they use at all often, and
of course they need to look up manually some directory entry somewhere
in every other case, which is annoying and tedious. The phone system
is in need of a major redesign; converging the phone into the computer/
PDA is likely to be part of any such redesign, and then it will be as
easy and convenient (and cheap, even at long distances, hopefully) as
email and the web, complete with bookmarking. (Speed dial? Address
books in cell phones? What a joke. Mainly due to the terrible user
interface forced on the designers by only having ten or twelve heavily-
overloaded buttons instead of a 101-key keyboard to work with in the
input-device area, and a tiny LCD screen or none at all for an output
device. Usually there's not even any way to make it "remember who just
called me/I just called and dial them whenever I hit autodial 1" or
something of the sort; you need to type the number in manually to set
it up. If it's a caller rather than callee you may not even *know* the
goddamn number. :P)

> In my opinion, most of these advances are most helpful for tasks
> you haven't done before or don't do often.  For such tasks,
> I agree that it can be pretty nice to be able to point and
> click through menus rather than reading man pages and editing
> configuration files.  For tasks I do often -- and that's most
> of what I use those text-mode tools for -- well, for example,
> I find it faster to type ":w<return>" to save a file than to
> click on a little floppy-disk icon.

I find it faster to type Ctrl+S than to do either, and *much* slower
to go traipsing through even a well-designed and familiar help browser
than to click on an icon. ;)

Common actions usually have keyboard shortcuts -- from the sounds of
it, shorter ones than unix tools. And then the menus and buttons
provide alternatives, for when you don't know the shortcut yet or
forgot it. Menus usually indicate the shortcuts of items that have
them. Shortcuts for generic, domain-independent actions like "save"
are standardized (e.g. Ctrl+S, and Ctrl+A for save-with-new-name)
instead of idiosyncratically different per application. Shortcuts are
generally control+something chords or else alt, x, y, z sequences and
never clash with potential ordinary-typing keystrokes or other usages,
barring a few applications that have no ordinary typing involved in
their normal use (text fields in dialogs notwithstanding), so mainly
graphics-editing tools.

Of course, sometimes there's an action that while commonly done
annoyingly lacks a short ctrl+X type shortcut and only has a longer
alt, this, that type sequence, and rarely something fairly frequent
requires working with a dialog to do. These just show that poor UI
design can happen with GUI tools as well. Even then, GUI tools at
least offer the poor user much more scope for recovering from these,
and from the user's own goofs such as may occur! Sometimes the user
may be helpless to do something really quickly, or to fix things
easily after an error, but they're much less likely to be helpless to
do/find something at all, or to even know what went wrong after an
error.

> But the occasions I'm vaguely remembering -- and it's altogether
> possible I'm confusing Eclipse with another IDE (Together
> from Borland) -- did not result from attempts to operate on
> configuration files with other tools.  I'd be happier if that were
> possible, but before attempting it I usually make a backup copy of
> the -- well, with Eclipse usually the whole workspace directory,
> since I don't really know where the configuration files are kept --
> and if things go wrong with the "edit outside Eclipse" experiment,
> I'm apt to conclude that it's not going to work, and just replace
> the messed-up workspace with the backup.

Smart. As for where the configuration files are kept, you can probably
find out from the documentation or by just poking around and
exploring. The good news is that for most ordinary purposes you don't
actually *have* to. Contrast that with just about anything unixy I can
recall running across...

As for how they got hosed, if you kept diligent backups of config
files and restored them at the first sign of trouble, and this didn't
fix/avert the disaster, I'd guess it was a bug. Made by Borland.
Eclipse just doesn't seem to be prone to that kind of thing.

Bugs happen. I am fairly certain they are not exclusive to Windows
software, if perhaps more common in Microsoft's own software than in
many other companies' or in open source. This could happen with a unix
tool as well, and if you don't know a whole lot about how and where it
stores this stuff and in what format, you're just as hosed. It's just
the unix tool probably won't even start and function normally until
you've already learned that stuff and acted on it in some particular
way; Windows tool users tend to have the luxury of ignoring such
details until and unless something stops working and only then having
to worry about what's under the hood.

Cars used to require hand-cranking some gadget under the hood to start
the engine, as I recall, but obviously now there's a control in the
driver's interface area to do this instead. Only when they break down
is it now necessary to fiddle around under the hood, or get out and
push or something. Software on the other hand seems to be where cars
where in the early 20th century -- around when this sort of thing was
just changing over. Only with some makers already having introduced
automatic gearshifts too. I guess software and computing develops
faster, but older models have about the same turn-over curve, with ten-
plus-year-old models still being driven in not insignificant numbers
in both cases.

> It's not the mouse that's unreliable; it's me.  I find keyboard
> navigation is almost as fast (especially if I can get to the
> right spot with a search), and much more reliable -- getting
> the cursor placed on precisely the right spot on the screen is
> not something I do very well.  More practice using a mouse might
> help -- or it might cause me to know more than I'd like to about
> repetitive stress injuries.

I don't find a GUI browser provides any disadvantage there. You can
still arrow up and down, and (ugh) search; you can also use the scroll
bar to jump to a proportional place in the document (e.g. 1/4 of the
way down) in a consistent way, and to page up and down, and simply to
*see* where the hell you are in the document and get a gauge of how
big the document is. And you can jump within the portion displayed,
using the mouse, to select any area by hand. Even click in vicinity
and hit arrows a couple times is much faster than hit up-arrow 17
times, right-arrow 43 times, then shift-right-arrow 21 times...

And of course you can move a page at a time with the keyboard in a
consistent, natural, and reliable way with the page up and page down
keys. Space also works. But there's no more "how the hell do I go up?"
issues -- "is it -? backspace? just quit and start over from the top,
even?!" And search is, as it should be given the typing and target-
specific actions involved, a last resort. Particularly as using it to
navigate within a document is limited to what you've already read in
detail, and, with reduced usefulness, what you've skimmed. If I want
to jump to the bottom of a document it's easy with a scrollbar and
mouse. How do I do that with search unless I've read the whole thing
before and memorized some likely-unique phrase near the end? Also, if
you get the search slightly wrong you go nowhere. If you get the
mousing slightly wrong you end up near where you wanted to go and it's
easy to nudge it the rest of the way where it should go. The GUI way,
you miss your exit and take the next and circle back and get there a
bit later. The unix way, you miss your exit and the next exit is
somewhere between Omaha, Nebraska and fucking Timbuktu, or even a
great-circle all the way around to back where you started from. :P

> That (ton of reference information) might actually be helpful.

Sure, but if you're looking for concise information regarding "how to
do X" it's not helpful for that particular task. Reference material
and tutorial material are by their nature fairly different from one
another in content and structure. Consider javadocs. Those tell you a
great deal about specific library functionality but do they help if
you want to know how to compile? The fastest way to store references
to a bunch of Foos and remove the duplicates? Nope -- the one is
completely outside their scope; the other is documented with Set and
HashSet in particular but there's nothing in the front page view of
the docs that would naturally lead a querent there who didn't already
have at least passing familiarity with Java, and with the java.util
package in particularly. And though you could in theory answer that
question and learn a lot more besides by reading the whole shebang
from cover to cover, who but the aforementioned autistic savant is at
all likely to even be *capable* of doing so without going batshit long
before they were done?

Fortunately there's also Sun's Java tutorial and other material geared
toward n00bs or specific how-to questions. (And this newsgroup, and
google).

Point being, reference material has use within a certain scope, but
sometimes the vendors of certain software products fail to provide
anything with use beyond that scope. Sun doesn't seem to be among
them, fortunately.

> What make me rant is "help" that tries to express technical
> concepts in non-technical language.  Eclipse's explanation of how
> to work with CVS repositories comes to mind.

This can be an issue. It's probably trying to be both of the above
types of help at the same time, and failing at both. Badly-written
help is unfortunately not that rare, any more than is completely-
missing help (of one or both types).

> I don't find it difficult to remember the keystroke combinations
> I use regularly, and for stuff I don't use regularly -- it's hard
> to be sure, but I don't know that having done something with a
> GUI makes it easier for me to remember -- I think I'd be more
> apt to just remember that the task can be done and there's a menu
> *somewhere* (possibly not in the same place it was the last time
> I did the task -- GUI designers seem to like to tinker with this
> stuff from release to release.

Rearranging things in the GUI from one version to the next is indeed
objectionable. Ideally there would be separate interface
versions/"deep skins" (that go beyond looks to things like control and
menu organization) and engine releases, and you could choose to
upgrade only the engine. Software architected as I suggested earlier
in this thread would have this occur naturally.

On the other hand, your own complaints about old and new versions of
something puking when forced to share one copy of the configuration
file indicate that the unix equivalent of your GUI-software complaint
does occur -- they gratuitously change something and make the format
of some file or another not forward- or backward-compatible (or even
neither).

> This is something else I like about a command-line / text-files
> approach to configuring things -- there's a better chance that,
> for something you don't do often but have done successfully at
> least once, there will be a record somewhere of what you did,
> so you can repeat it.  (Or if it didn't work, a record of what
> you tried.)

That sounds to me like it would seem more useful in theory than it
would prove to be in fact. First, this "record" would take the form of
a copy of the configuration file with the change you made. This is
likely to not exist, as it's likely to have been clobbered by the next
change; certainly you're implying something was changed, then changed
back, and now the user wants to change it again. If they backed up the
file when they made the change back, the backup when they changed
something else later on is likely to have clobbered THAT copy. And
even if a copy survives, an old copy of some obscure configuration
file gathering dust in a now-disused corner of the file system is
likely to sit there for eternity, being copied now and again when
everything is migrated to new hardware, and perhaps also onto numerous
backup discs or tapes, without ever again being seen or noticed by a
human being. Finding it would require guessing that such a thing
existed and then searching for it. Probably manually, since automated
search only works when you have a good idea (including some exact,
accurate text strings) what you're looking for, and in this particular
case if you remembered what was in the file you wouldn't need to find
it anyway! And, of course, once you DID, by some miracle, find it,
what you DON'T have is a diff between the two versions showing exactly
what you'd changed. And of course any tandem changes to other files
won't be apparent. If you recreate what turns out to have been only
half (or a third, or whatever) of some previous change instead of all
of it, you'll probably just hose the system thoroughly. Backups
certainly seem warranted; too bad you can't do anything with them if
the machine won't even boot now, or the partition with the renamed
copy of the last known-good configuration is the one that now refuses
to mount, or whatever.

> > That's like putting the little numbers onto a formerly-blank stick
> > shift instead of noticing that a few decades ago they invented this
> > nifty thing called an "automatic transmission". :P
>
> I think you won't be surprised to hear that I rather like stick
> shifts too.

No. Unix and stick shifts both cater to the sort who like to
micromanage everything instead of just getting on with the job at a
default coarse granularity and only getting nitty-gritty when there's
a problem or exception of some sort.

In funny ways they both automate one thing and don't automate the
other. Unix stuff is much more amenable to automating particular data
manipulation tasks and whatnot, but forces the user to micromanage the
system and, basically, *program* it to do anything (with a large
library of pre-existing subroutines at least -- if not one with
anything as comprehensive and easily navigable as Java's javadocs PLUS
tutorial to guide you through it!); if the user wants a single common
task to be done by hitting a single key, they need to program this
behavior in first! Windows and its ilk on the other hand far better
automate the user's tasks of finding their way around the system and
making it do things, but do a poorer job of supporting automating the
things themselves.

For example, rename a huge batch of files to add a "foo_" prefix.

Unix (command-line): Getting to the files is a chore, and a long
arcane command must be typed to rename a file once there. However,
this command can be generalized or a script file easily used to rename
the whole lot in one shot.

Windows (eschewing use of a DOS box): Getting to the files is easy and
renaming one is as simple as click, f2, type new name, enter. However,
renaming the whole lot entails click, f2, home, "foo_", enter, click,
f2, home, "foo_", enter...

Windows (with DOS box): Find the files easily. Select path of
directory from a text field at the top of the Explorer window. Open
command prompt, put in "cd " and paste, and there's a long arcane
"for" command that can be typed to do the batch rename.

Windows, no DOS box, don't care about the new names *except* for the
prefix: select all of the files, hit f2, and type "foo_.ext". Result
will be foo_.ext, foo_ (2).ext, foo_ (3).ext ...

Unix (with some X WM): Probably allows a Windows-style ability to
navigate to the files and rename one of them easily by hand without
much arcana.

It seems the GUI systems support both automating at the UI level and
automating at the data manipulation level, but not at the same time.
The non-GUI systems only support automating at the data manipulation
level.

There's a lesson here. Perhaps that we need a kind of visual or
gestural language capable of the rich semantics of a scripting
language.

AI software was demoed a few years back (as a Java applet!) that could
draw analogies between two sequences. Perhaps this kind of AI is key:
a user could rename a few files with "foo_" prepending and then hit
some "automate" key. The system will then examine the last few user
actions and look for a pattern. The last few commands were file
renames. The sequences of old and new names, side by side, have a
discernible analogical relationship in that they all differ pairwise
in an algorithmically-specifiable way -- one single algorithm can
generate the output sequence from the input sequence and isn't just a
lookup table. Ergo, show the user a preview of the results of applying
this to the whole available scope; the directory containing all the
files the user just renamed. Perhaps the user renames a few files and
hits say F9, and all the other files' names change to show a
differently-colored "foo_" at the start. The user can scroll around
and such. If they go to take any other action in that window they're
prompted to accept or reject the changes. (Until then it's dimmed to
indicate it's all temporarily read-only.)

Of course this could screw up in some subtle way. So can "replace
all".

In the specific case of batch renaming, in fact, it's probably the
same thing under the hood: the analogy-discovering part outputs a
regular expression representing the change in a parametric way, which
used as a regexp replace would have transformed all of the original
names of the renamed files to their corresponding post-rename names,
and isn't just a lookup table special-casing each one.

In other situations, particularly with non-text data being
manipulated, it's going to be something more general, though a lot of
the times it might still be the case that the output "script" can be
treated as a finite automaton working over some kind of regular
grammar in some symbol space.

> How would binary search be useful anyway?

To find something in alphabetical/whatever order, given the absence of
a (known) way to automate the search, but a way to scroll decently
rapidly through the document.

> And I thought everyone knew that to search for text you type "/"
> and the text ....  Sort of a :-).

Yeah, when it's not ctrl+S, or ctrl+F, or M-x s, or alt-Q, or control-
shift-J, or ... (but rarely ctrl+F, and *never* F3!)

Not that it would be quite so bad if it weren't both not documented in
any obvious place nor readily discoverable by any other means. It's
often not obvious that any kind of search is supported. Honestly, even
on DOS I find most text-file-echoing things to be very clumsy to use
for anything but linear reading of very short documents. Notepad on
the other hand does quite nicely -- you can see where you are and how
big the document is at a glance, you can move around at any speed and
(since Windows 95) you don't even have to do so blindfolded as it
visually scrolls as you go; you can search, of course, and if you
don't yet know that it's *universally* accessible via ctrl+F and F3,
you can use the menus to both find out and actually do a search; and
of course plain old up- and down-arrow work, and (*gasp*) Page Up and
Page Down too! There's no shortage of navigational options, both
mouse- and keyboard-based. If you still can't find your way around the
document, it's either fucking huge and too undifferentiated for search
(what is it, a logfile, and you're not looking for something
exceptional even???) or you're as blind as a bat or as dumb as a
post. :)

> > There is still a 500-page manual with no page numbering.
>
> For a stick shift?

For a Unix app. If it's anything whose functional domain is at all
complex (e.g. server configuration or 3D dataset manipulation rather
than, say, mere text editing or file renaming) it's going to be 1500
pages or more. :P

> Talk about a word that pushes my buttons!  Do you know the
> oft-cited remark about how the only truly intuitive interface is
> the nipple, and everything else is learned?

Consider it shorthand for "you can actually see what the hell you're
doing and where the hell you are, and what tools are sitting on the
workbench in front of you" then. :)

> Actually I think it *is* true that what you learn from operating
> one typical GUI application is apt to make the next one seem
> more "intuitive".  But I claim that the same is true of the old
> text-mode applications as well.

Doubtful, since the only consistent rule among them all is
inconsistency -- aside from the absolute and inviolable ban on making
any kind of use of page up, page down, function keys, or (usually)
delete, and making ctrl+C quit rather than copy. :P


0
bbound (74)
9/24/2007 12:17:37 AM
On Sep 22, 5:17 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Not when you apparently draw a distinction between one phrase that> > means "not seeing things as they really are" and another phrase that> > means "not seeing things as they really are". :P Or at least, normally> > means that. Apparently you're not using the same dictionary> > definitions of some words as I am.>> Apparently not.  Please point me to a dictionary whose definitions> make the words equivalent, interchangeably, equally insulting,> what have you.  I just consulted the definitions given by the> online Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com) [*], and> the don't use the exact words you do, nor do their definitions> seem to me to be equivalent, only somewhat similar.>> [*] No claims about it being best, just one I can access fairly> easily.>> In part the difference I perceive is one of degree rather than> kind.  But there's also a subtle difference of kind -- "you> hallucinate" means you see things that aren't there at all,> while "you have a distorted view" means that you see things> that are there, but in a way that's a little, or a lot, off.Any suggestion that I have a malfunctioning perceptual system at all,independent of the details of the supposed malfunction, suggests"dangerous" mental illness and is insulting. And untrue. Doesn'tmatter whether you're suggesting it sees entire extra objects, failsto see objects that are there (beyond the normal limitations of thesystem vis-a-vis angular range, blind spots, spatial resolutionlimits, waveband, what-have-you), altered versions of what's there(colors reversed, wavy lines over everything, whatever) or what.If I see something, (unless I'm asleep) it's there. And whatever I'mseeing is a good approximation to whatever it is that's there, modulothe normal limitations. At any rate my observations are at least astrustworthy as an average human's. It might be flashing on and off inthe infrared (say, a TV remote with a button being pushed repeatedly),and I won't see that, but nobody will without special equipment. Onthe other hand if I tell you it has a rather shabby green plastic caseand the battery compartment door is taped in place, you can restassured that it has a rather shabby green plastic case and that yes,indeed, the battery compartment door is taped in place.If you see it differently, then it's quite likely to be you who seesit "abnormally". Maybe it looks brownish -- likely red/green colorblindness. Maybe you don't see the tape -- probably you're just notlined up right to see that side of it, but if you are, I hate to tellyou this but you're obviously in need of the services of anoptometrist. If you can't infer that it's an old, beat-up one and thatthe repeated button-clicking is probably because something in itindeed no longer works, then it may be another sort of professionalhelp that you could use. :)> Could be.  But you also could be mistaken.  You might not notice> that spider on your back either, when someone else might.There is no illness.If there were, there would be symptoms, more or less by definition. Itis highly unlikely I would have completely avoided noticing these,given I'd be around consistently when they manifested, much more sothan anyone else.> Look, I know how annoying it can be to have someone else claim> to know the insides of your head better than you do yourself --> a long-ago college friend majoring in psychology used to try that> with me -- but in some cases it's probably true.In this case, it's flatly impossible. You have no specializedknowledge, nor any knowledge about me save by what I type here, whichof course could be constructed so as to suggest anything I chooseanyway. From it you can infer nothing save that there's an entitypossessed of general intelligence and ability to process naturallanguage in a sophisticated way with control over a particular gmailaccount and an evident interest in Java. :PAnd yet here you claim to be able to diagnose something, despite nopatient examination, no patient history, no functional neuroimagingresults, and basically no other evidence with which to draw any kindof conclusion. Not even some pseudoscientific quackery such as aRorschacht ink-blot result or a horoscope, tea leaves, entrails, orsomething like that!Quackery, schmackery. You're basically claiming to be psychic; perhapsspecifically telepathic. As an extraordinary claim, such requiresextraordinary evidence to convince me, and, I hope, anyone elsereading this.Until then, it's a safe bet (on purely probabilistic grounds, as wellas them's-the-facts grounds) that the suggestion that I'm wacko isfalse. She might as well open the phone book to a random page and,blindfolded, stab a finger at a random spot on it and say "He's goingto be the next Jeffrey Dahmer". Which will probably be disturbing newsfor the customers of Harry's Hardware, 147 Eastbrook Dr., 571-9334,"We have discounts on Michelin tires and GM parts!" whose half-columnad she just fingered as the "next Jeffrey Dahmer". ;)> Not saying you're one of them, just that in general it seems to me to be possible.Yeah, and a random name from the phone book might be the next TedBundy. It's possible. Only it's not very likely, and in this specificinstance I can say with authority that it's not true at all.If you believe otherwise, then believe this, too: next week'sPowerball lotto numbers will be 2, 7, 17, 39, 57, and 3. Really, theywill!Moving along now...
0
bbound
9/24/2007 12:40:09 AM
On Sep 23, 1:55 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> Lew wrote:> > It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of> > the VTxxx types.>> I think it is the other way around - VTxxx is a superset of ANSI.Not possible -- VTxxx are monochrome with bold, inverse, and maybe oneother bit of attributes; ANSI is capable of color. The monochrome-onlyone cannot be a superset of the color-capable one. It may of course bea subset, or neither.I've used both in my time, back in the pre-Internet BBS days. The onesrun off Unix boxen tended to use VTxxx, usually 100 or 220, andsometimes had internet mail or news gateways; the ones run off DOSboxes tended to use ANSI and rarely had any kind of gatewaying, andwere much less likely to support multiple concurrent users as Irecall. OTOH the DOS ones, besides having color, often had games andother stuff, and rich text in messageboards and chat -- i.e., coloredtext, usually used to effect maximum eyestrain of course, but with all-too-underappreciated possibilities for crude and insecuresteganography too...
0
bbound
9/24/2007 12:45:48 AM
On Sep 23, 5:59 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> bbo...@gmail.com wrote:> > On Sep 22, 5:51 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> >> Lew wrote:> >>>> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive referentiality (as> >>>> in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X Windows "xterm"> >>>> terminal session software.> >> blm...@myrealbox.com wrote:> >>> Is that really recursive, though?  just because the terminal type> >>> references something that's (mostly?) software rather than hardware?> >> Only in the naming naming itself the same as its eponym.  But you're right,> >> it's not all that recursive, really.>> >> I was actually making a joke about it, rather than rigorously suggesting that> >> this was true recursion.  I guess it's that I have no sense of humor, so my> >> jokes fall flat.>> > In this place, making jokes that, if taken seriously, are not rigorous> > will not provoke laughter, only pedantic "corrections" from know-it-> > all holier-than-thou types. In case you hadn't noticed. :P>> Actually, her point about recursion was very well taken, and I don't mind the> correction at all.Perhaps; also entirely beside my point. :)
0
bbound
9/24/2007 2:14:02 AM
bbound@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 23, 1:55 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:>> Lew wrote:>>> It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of>>> the VTxxx types.>> I think it is the other way around - VTxxx is a superset of ANSI.> > Not possible -- VTxxx are monochrome with bold, inverse, and maybe one> other bit of attributes; ANSI is capable of color. The monochrome-only> one cannot be a superset of the color-capable one. It may of course be> a subset, or neither.All VT's from VT100 is ANSI X3.64 compliant.VT241, VT340 and VT525 are color terminals.I don't even think the original X3.64 specified color.Some VT terminals had it. MS introduced colors as well in ANSI.SYS.Colors may be in the newer ECMA-48/ISO-6429 standards.> I've used both in my time, back in the pre-Internet BBS days. The ones> run off Unix boxen tended to use VTxxx, usually 100 or 220, and> sometimes had internet mail or news gateways; the ones run off DOS> boxes tended to use ANSI and rarely had any kind of gatewaying, and> were much less likely to support multiple concurrent users as I> recall. OTOH the DOS ones, besides having color, often had games and> other stuff, and rich text in messageboards and chat -- i.e., colored> text, usually used to effect maximum eyestrain of course, but with all-> too-underappreciated possibilities for crude and insecure> steganography too...Hmm.Neither real VT terminals nor VT terminal emulators havemail/news/multiuser/games capabilities - that is a capabilityof the host.Arne
0
ISO
9/24/2007 3:00:02 AM
bbound@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 23, 1:55 pm, Arne Vajh�j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> >>Lew wrote:>>>>>It is a superset of the ANSI[-pc] terminal type, itself a superset of>>>the VTxxx types.>>>>I think it is the other way around - VTxxx is a superset of ANSI.> > > Not possible -- VTxxx are monochrome with bold, inverse, and maybe one> other bit of attributes; Wrong.vt241 and vt525 did color text. vt525 implemented ANSI color commands.http://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/termcaps/faqvt525.txt"The VT525 is a color version of the VT520"http://www.compsource.com/pn/VT525AA/Boundless_Technologies_68/"With its color and multi-session text capabilities, the VT525 provides four full-color, independent sessions. Each session offers 16 colors from a 4,096-color palette. The use of color text allows users to highlight crucial information in applications. For example, a finance administrator can identify particular information on a screen full of numbers. Likewise, a retailer can be alerted to an out-of-stock situation on a crucial product through the use of VT525 color."http://www.cs.utk.edu/~shuford/terminal/vt241_color_news.txt
0
RedGrittyBrick
9/24/2007 9:51:26 AM
In article <4_qdnek6voQnfGvbnZ2dnUVZ_o2vnZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> bbound@gmail.com wrote:> > On Sep 22, 5:51 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> >> Lew wrote:> >>>> That's exactly right.  In a display of GNU-like recursive> referentiality (as> >>>> in "GNU's Not Unix"), "xterm" is the terminal type for the X> Windows "xterm"> >>>> terminal session software.> >> blm...@myrealbox.com wrote:> >>> Is that really recursive, though?  just because the terminal type> >>> references something that's (mostly?) software rather than hardware?> >> Only in the naming naming itself the same as its eponym.  But you're right,> >> it's not all that recursive, really.> >>> >> I was actually making a joke about it, rather than rigorously suggesting that> >> this was true recursion.  I guess it's that I have no sense of humor, so my> >> jokes fall flat.> > > > In this place, making jokes that, if taken seriously, are not rigorous> > will not provoke laughter, only pedantic "corrections" from know-it-> > all holier-than-thou types. In case you hadn't noticed. :P> > Actually, her point about recursion was very well taken, and I don't mind the > correction at all.And if anyone's deficient in a sense of humor, it could be me innot getting your joke, but thinking there was some serious pointabout recursion that was too subtle for me ....  <shrug>-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/24/2007 10:11:33 AM
In article <1190578843.062265.191370@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 22, 5:39 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > In article <FOeJi.35106$RX.24...@newssvr11.news.prodigy.net>,> >> > Mike Schilling <mscottschill...@hotmail.com> wrote:> >> > > <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message> > >news:5ll69dF8q6u2U1@mid.individual.net...> > > > < deep sigh >  I probably should just let this go, but:> > [said some stuff about how she was not meaning to insult me by> comparing me to a child]> My original comment was about deliberate misspelling of names,which struck me, and still strikes me, as juvenile behavior.Persons of any age may engage in juvenile behavior.  You readthis as an attempt to make fun of your actual age, whatever thatis, and we were off ....  Then I said that I didn't understandthat interpretation, but maybe I didn't need to, and you found*that* insulting, for reasons that are beyond me.As for whether it's an insult to point out bad behavior --oh, never mind.> > Making such comparisons is something that obviously is going to be> considered insulting by adults. :P> > > < hangs head in embarrassment > ....  No, probably not.  Apparently> > I'm having trouble letting well enough (ill enough?) alone.> > And now again slyly suggesting I'm mentally ill or something. IWhaaaat ....  Oh.  "Ill effect", I suppose.  No, that wasn't myintended meaning.  > suppose you're going to follow up and claim not to have insulted me> here, either? Of course this is right after a series of posts where> you kept suggesting to our mutual audience that I hallucinate, or am> delusional, or something of the sort and then denying having done so> as well...All I ever said was ....  No.  If I want to pursue that, I'll doit in the other subthread.I'll say again that it might be worthwhile to check the calibrationof that threat-detection system.  -- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/24/2007 10:24:46 AM
In article <1190594409.452526.128720@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 22, 5:17 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip ]> Any suggestion that I have a malfunctioning perceptual system at all,> independent of the details of the supposed malfunction, suggests> "dangerous" mental illness and is insulting.  [ snip ]To you, anyway.  Not to me.  But you've made that point already.[ snip ]> > Could be.  But you also could be mistaken.  You might not notice> > that spider on your back either, when someone else might.> > There is no illness.> > If there were, there would be symptoms, more or less by definition. It> is highly unlikely I would have completely avoided noticing these,> given I'd be around consistently when they manifested, much more so> than anyone else.The problem with this argument is that if you *were* perceivingthings wrongly (note use of subjunctive), an inability to noticethe misperception could be part of the problem.Of course, that can't be the case, because you said so.(This idea of whether a person can always perceive his/her ownmental defects is an interesting one that I'm tempted to pursuefurther, but it *is* wildly off-topic here, and I suspect pursuingit will be interpreted as further insults, so -- never mind.)[ snip ]> And yet here you claim to be able to diagnose something, despite no> patient examination, no patient history, no functional neuroimaging> results, and basically no other evidence with which to draw any kind> of conclusion. Not even some pseudoscientific quackery such as a> Rorschacht ink-blot result or a horoscope, tea leaves, entrails, or> something like that!Hm.  You seem to be saying that my "it seems to me that you havea distorted view of things" is an attempt to diagnose mentalillness based on a few (or many) newsgroup posts.  That seems tome to be an exaggeration -- for effect?  as an attempt to returninsult for (perceived) insult?  But ....[ snip ]> Moving along now...Let's do that.  -- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/24/2007 10:50:44 AM
In article <1190577911.917689.209970@n39g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 22, 2:55 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > The more I think about it, the more I think modern "terminal> > emulator" programs probably don't claim to be emulating any> > particular form of antique hardware.  I mean, the terminal type> > for the GNOME one is "xterm" and not "vt100".  Was there ever> > hardware corresponding to the "xterm" terminal type?  I'm not sure,> > but I'm inclined to think not, or that if there was, it was an> > "X terminal" that would provide features well beyond those of> > the text terminals of days gone by.> > This begs the obvious question: Raises the question?  Prompts the question?  I guess you're notthe stickler about language usage I thought you might be.( http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxbegthe.html )> what is a "terminal emulator" for, if> not to provide an environment for genuinely archaic software to run?> Apparently, to run recent but intentionally "retro" software. What,> however, is the attraction to deliberately "retro" software that> hearkens back to the bad old days of limited system memory and> performance and the consequent terrible, terse and cryptic user> interfaces?Hey!  Some of us *like* ....  Go ahead and tell me I'm weird;I won't mind.> > Your analogy sure is.  I don't quite get how the analogy applies> > to vim, but maybe that just means I lack the right kind of> > imagination.> > Well that depends on what vim really is. I had been thinking it was an> archaic text editor designed for a far more cramped and claustrophobic> computing environment of the days of yore, clearly obsolete given the> capabilities of modern hardware to run software that gives a far> better user experience and provides far greater capabilities for> display and user interaction.> > On the other hand, it's starting to sound like it might instead be> fairly recent but deliberately retro, The Wikipedia entry says the first release was in 1991.  Thatsounds fairly plausible.  It emulates vi, which is much older,but adds many features.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/24/2007 11:06:20 AM
In article <5lpk1cF9fkagU1@mid.individual.net>,blmblm@myrealbox.com  <blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <1190577911.917689.209970@n39g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,>  <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 22, 2:55 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip ]> > Well that depends on what vim really is. [ snip ]> > The Wikipedia entry says the first release was in 1991.  That> sounds fairly plausible.  It emulates vi, which is much older,> but adds many features.Gak.  Did I write that?  the last sentence is ambiguous at best.Everyone probably understands the intended meaning, but just incase:  vim emulates vi.  vi is much older.  vim (short for "viimproved") has many features not fount in vi.  (Perhaps strictlyspeaking that means it *doesn't* emulate vi.  <shrug>)-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/24/2007 11:11:53 AM
In article <1190578570.735758.179600@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 22, 3:23 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > In article <1190377599.568565.3...@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,> >> >  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > > On Sep 17, 5:43 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > > Just out of curiosity, have you ever used vim or gvim?  what do> > > > you normally use for editing text -- or does it depend on the use> > > > of the text (e.g., an IDE if it's source code, a word processor> > > > if it's a formatted document)?> >> > > It depends on the circumstances, but it's always something sane.> >> > So, do you mean to imply by this that you've never used vim or gvim?> > Not by choice.Is that a "yes, but not by choice", or a "no, by choice" ?[ snip ]> > > c) the authors have indeed heard of and applied CUA so> > > someone who knows how to use normal software can immediately be> > > productive using theirs, and only learn the different/additional> > > features vs. other similar applications; and> >> > So apparently you've changed your mind about "CUA" being a> > cryptic term?> > Eh? I've now got familiarity with the term. So?It seemed to me that in the earlier exchange you were implicitlychiding the other person for using a term no one could be expectedto know.  Now it's an okay term, because *you* understand it?[ snip ]> > I do pine for the days when more people believed in the Unix idea> > of tools being simple programs that did simple jobs well [*] and> > could be combined under the user's control to do more complex jobs.> > But -- "yeah well".> > Said user having to basically program them for them to do anything,> and not being able to simply *use* them. A Unix for carpenters would> give you a power hammer held by a robot that could be programmed in> some idiosyncratic hammer-wielding-robot-specific language while> neglecting to provide a plain old hammer you could simply pick up in> one hand and hit nails with. Hammering one nail in to hang a picture> would require learning a scripting language of fifty or sixty commands> first. :P> > Of course, the tendency of Windoze and (especially) Mac systems to> provide a small plastic hammer unsuited to either single heavy-duty> nails or to industrial-scale construction without providing anything> bigger or more automated might also be viewed as a problem.Exactly.> > [*] Rather than attempting to do everything the programmer and/or> > the marketing department can think of, with mixed success.> > Unix isn't a stranger to creeping featurism. The filesystem itself, X,> and emacs all come to mind. :)The filesystem?  seems pretty simple to me -- perhaps too simple(the three-level permissions system, for example).  X?  as a protocolfor running graphical programs either on a local machine or acrossa network, hm, "creeping featurism" doesn't seem to me to apply.Now, if by "X" you mean the protocol plus assorted window managersand GUI toolkits and filesystem explorers ....  Maybe.Now, emacs, hm, yes, I've always had a feeling that it didn'tquite adhere to the One True Unix Way.  But it's possible that ifI got the emacs religion I'd feel differently.As for Unix distributions/applications that try to appeal toWindows users -- right, they also strike me as an attempt to dotoo much, with mixed success.  -- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/24/2007 11:26:17 AM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> And if anyone's deficient in a sense of humor, it could be me in> not getting your joke, but thinking there was some serious point> about recursion that was too subtle for me ....  <shrug>It did look like recursion, sort of, but I knew I was not being precise.Anyway, you keep contributing.  Your posts provide value, blmblm.-- Lew
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Lew
9/24/2007 12:26:28 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> vim emulates vi.  vi is much older.  vim (short for "vi> improved") has many features not fount in vi.  (Perhaps strictly> speaking that means it *doesn't* emulate vi.  <shrug>)Doesn't /merely/ emulate vi.-- Lew
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Lew
9/24/2007 12:30:52 PM
In article <1190593057.612398.262710@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com>,
 <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 22, 4:57 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:

[ snip ]

> > It may be asking for trouble, but it's not that easy to avoid in
> > the setup at my current place of employment, in which we have a
> > couple of dozen Linux systems sharing a password/file/etc. server.
> > Users' home directories, which is where the configuration files
> > live (where else?!), are shared by all machines.  When we do
> > the yearly software (and sometimes hardware) upgrades, it often
> > happens that there's a period of some days or weeks during which
> > some of the machines are running the old stuff and some are
> > running the new stuff.
> 
> Ultimately it still results from the old version and the new version
> trying to share files. If one looked for ~\fooSoft\1.1\foo.rc and the
> other for ~\fooSoft\2.0\foo.rc, they wouldn't collide. (The new one
> also wouldn't inherit the old one's settings without the user
> importing them manually, but it would apparently save a lot of
> headaches too!)

I'm inclined to agree, at least for programs that want to "help"
by silently modifying configuration files.  

> Alternatively, either the config files could be local to the machines
> with the software binaries, or the software binaries global with the
> config files. Centrally storing the config files without centrally
> storing the binaries is probably asking for trouble regardless. Since
> central binaries means the machines all turn into paperweights if the
> network goes down, locally installing the binaries makes sense, so
> local config files also make sense. Central storage of user documents
> still makes sense if users need to access them from multiple machines.

Local config files ....  Yeah well.  That's good from a standpoint
of allowing different configurations for different machines, not
so good from a standpoint of letting users set configurations
once and use them everywhere.  I was finally persuaded to set
up my desktop machine to *not* use the home directory I use on
all the other machines, and ....  It's just a huge pain to try
to keep the things that should be in synch in synch while not
messing up the things that shouldn't be in synch.

> Of course, some config settings will be user-variable preferences. In
> that case, they may need to be centralized anyway. And then there
> should be different ones for different versions as initially
> described.

If incompatible versions of applications used different names for
configuration files, this problem would go away.  But apparently
many don't.  And I've found this to be much more of a problem with
"modern" applications than the old-time ones where you configure
things by editing text files.

> > > I have multiple versions of one tool over here (GTKRadiant, a 3D-game-
> > > level editing tool; versions 1.2ish and 1.5ish IIRC) but they are
> > > installed in separate directories, each with its own copy of its
> > > settings files; they appear not to clobber anything important
> > > belonging to one another.
> >
> > When you say "settings file", do you mean a system-wide file, or
> > a per-user file?
> 
> There's no distinction in this case; it's a single-user machine.

Yeah.  So, not particularly relevant to a discussion of a multi-user,
multi-machine setup.

> > Yeah.  Lack of a consistent interface is a problem, though again,
> > I think there's more commonality than your description suggests.
> > I doubt we're going to agree about that, though.
> 
> The only commonality I recall observing is that they all deviate
> equally from standard user-interface guidelines, key-bindings, and the
> like. 

"Standard" as defined by ....  Yeah well.  

> Ctrl+C is never copy. F1 is never help. 

For suitable definitions of "never":  F1 brings up help in mutt
(mail reader).  Well, unless you're running it in GNOME's terminal
emulator, which (sometimes?) intercepts it and brings up *its*
help.

> F3 is never search. Page
> up and page down never actually do what their names describe.

Again for suitable definitions of "never":  Both of these keys
do what their names describe in mutt and in vim.  The keys labeled
Home and End also do something related to their names.

> Backspace and delete may or may not work. Arrow keys may or may not
> work. The mouse may even work, on a GUI-capable machine, but often
> won't do squat. The alphanumeric keys, space, and enter can actually
> be counted on to do the expected; function keys and page up/down can
> actually be counted on to do nothing; Ctrl+C can be counted on to be a
> quit command (instead of a copy command); and that's about it for
> commonalities, in my experience. 

Which, with all due respect, might be less, or less current,
than mine.

[ snip ]

> Of course, it's not like Windows software is perfect. [ snip ]
> 
> Nevertheless, such behavior is the exception on Windows. On Unix GUI
> apps (and Windoze ports of same) it's the rule. And when it comes to
> console apps, the only exceptions to "anything goes" seem to be a few
> places that strictly and consistently depart from standard Windows/Mac
> usage, unfortunately including the standard help key and two very
> commonly used and useful standard navigation keys.

Yeah.  Lack of a consistent interface is suboptimal, sometimes
annoying even to me.  I'm willing to put up with it for other
perceived benefits.  Your mileage apparently varies.  Part of
the problem (?) is one of maintaining backward compatibility.
I have opinions on that, but you can probably guess them, so
I won't bother to go on.

> > And this doesn't happen in GUI tools?  I hear these stories about
> > MS Word ....  [ .... ]
> 
> Word is not the best example, because of the 800-pound-gorilla effect
> that kicks in whenever Microsoft is involved. I doubt you'd have had
> this trouble with Notepad (even though that's also of MS origin!) or
> OO Writer.

Curiously enough, I just tried using OO Writer to write a fairly
simple document last week, and to me it seemed much like Word --
difficult to use in the style to which LaTeX has accustomed me
(logical structure rather than "just start typing"), full of
irritating behaviors, etc.  <shrug>

Notepad -- I have almost no experience with it.  If it's a simple
program with limited functionality, then I'd be less inclined to
expect baffling behavior.

> > As opposed to being sunk a little later ....  I think one of the
> > things that annoys me about GUI tools is that they somehow give the
> > impression (to me anyway, and I don't *think* I'm alone in this)
> > that anyone can use them, even to do tasks they don't understand
> > (setting up networking, say, or working with a CVS repository in
> > Eclipse [*]).
> 
> I'm not sure what this means. It's certainly not the case that anyone
> actually CAN use them even to do things they don't know how to do,
> unless the tool can completely automate the process and autodetect
> everything, which is rarely the case.

I don't know how to say it more clearly:  To me, something about
the combination of a point-and-click interface and help written
in a "let's not scare the user with techical terms" style says
"hey!  anyone can use this tool!  no understanding of underlying
concepts required!"  Of course that's not true, and the fact
that the interface makes me think the program is claiming it --
it may just be my biases showing.

[ snip ]

> It may be a case of them having tried to dumb-down something technical
> and not actually amenable to being dumbed down. The error at the
> opposite extreme from excessively sophisticating-up something basic,
> such as, say, text editing, until it comes to resemble rocket
> science. :P

I wonder whether your idea of a text editor differs from mine.
I have almost no experience with typical Windows editors, so
I don't know how capable they are.  Some of the things I like
about vim:

(*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic
indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to
emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then
I discovered that vim had them too.  

(*) Interoperability with other tools.  I don't know how to say
this better, but some examples:  vim makes it easy to import the
output of a command-line command (such as ls), or run selected
lines of a file being edited through an external command (such
as sort).  "No one wants to do this"?  I dunno.  I seem to find
it useful pretty often.

(*) vimdiff, which shows differences between two files in a way
that's sometimes easier to grasp than the output of diff.

(*) Ability to record and play back macros.  This also is 
something I seem to find useful pretty often.

[ snip ]

> Unix tools seem to have a different motive, if they have one at all,
> but again the interface (or lack thereof) intrudes on your simply
> getting on with your task, whatever that may be, and keeps you
> conscious of the interface itself. Most of your attention and thought
> ends up being focused on how to navigate the interface. Generally with
> exactly zero visual cues with which to navigate, too -- they subscribe
> to the "drop people blindfolded into the middle of a hedge maze"
> theory of navigation and interface design. Usually having selected
> flora on the basis of having eight-inch thorns, since obviously a
> blindfolded person will be unable to appreciate colorful flowers and
> foliage! Regardless, it's hard to focus on (let alone be very
> productive with) one's main task when one is constantly having to
> concern themselves consciously with the interface and, often, what
> passes for the help file. Instead of "editing text" or "reading news"
> you're "using vi" or "using trn" or whatever, as determined by your
> attentional focus. It doesn't become transparent and get out of the
> way. If you find "using vi" fun or challenging that's one thing. If
> you just want to "edit text" on the other hand being forced to do so
> is liable to get very annoying very fast.

Wow.  My mileage certainly varies here!

Maybe I felt like that when I first started using these tools.
Now, however, when I'm editing text with vim, I perceive myself
to be "editing text" rather than "using vim".  The keystroke
sequences for actions I do often -- I don't think about them
any more than I think "I need to turn the steering wheel now"
when I'm driving a car and want to turn.

Now, I *do* have that feeling when I'm trying to edit text in
some other interface.  As previously noted, I'm happier driving
from the keyboard than using a mouse, and while a lot of actions
(selecting text, for example) can be done that way, I usually
have to consciously think about which keys are needed.  I'm 
sure practice would help, just as did with vi(m), but -- why?

> > Well ....  It's not that you don't have a point; you do.  But for
> > some tools I'm willing to accept a certain amount of novice-hostile
> > behavior if I get expert-friendliness in return.  I think.  I'm not
> > sure when I last had to get up to speed with such a tool ....
> 
> The problem being that you really *can't*, save perhaps with a live
> tutor, as near as I can figure. 

A live tutor is probably useful in learning the first few tools.
After that, not so much, again in my experience.  I figured out
bash (a command shell) without a live tutor, but then I already
knew another Unix command shell ([t]csh).  I think I learned
most of what I know about some of the other tools (sed and awk)
without a local expert to help.  <shrug>

> Unless you designed it to begin with I
> suppose; then you'll know it inside and out. Often that seems to be
> necessary; knowing the internals instead of just the problem domain
> seems necessary to use a lot of that software. In some areas that's
> more or less unavoidable; those are the very areas where you say GUI
> tools keep coming up short (network configuration, etc.) but even
> there a proper GUI tool can streamline the process and organize it
> visually into a series of parametrized steps (the "setup wizard"
> design, at setup, and a tabbed dialog at later times when changing
> something), as well as provide a specialized editing tool (that
> dialog) that does validation and gives immediate feedback in some
> areas. 

It's not so much that I think the GUI tools come up short, as 
that they encourage people who don't know what they're doing to
try anyway, and they present concepts in a way that I think is
confusing to the expert.  I can't give specific examples; it's
more of that "don't scare the user with technical terms" stuff.

> Hand-hacking the config file(s) versus using a well-designed
> such tool is akin to using a plain text editor on a Java file versus
> using Eclipse, with its on-the-fly linting of the code and
> autocomplete capabilities. Only more so, since usually there are much
> tighter constraints on what's valid, and what you're entering isn't
> Turing-complete! Just numbers with certain range limits, etc.

Yeah ....  I actually find some of Eclipse's "let me help you"
features more intrusive than helpful.  Maybe you get used to them,
but for a first draft, I'd rather rough it out with vim, which
doesn't get in my way, and then start up Eclipse and let it help
me with what it does well, such as generating import statements.
(Somebody may well have written a vim plug-in for that.  I should
look around for one sometime!)

> > The other thing I like about configuring by editing text files is
> > that *you know where the configuration information is stored* --
> > so you can back it up before making changes, and it's potentially
> > much easier to track what you actually did than if you were
> > pointing and clicking through menus.  Or that's my mileage, anyway.
> 
> This is a point, but it points more to an issue with common GUI
> implementations of such things than with the GUI concept. The GUI
> configuration editor could tell you where the file is, or even provide
> backup/rollback functionality directly. That they often don't is
> shoddy, I must admit. Of course there are tricks -- use the
> configuration editor and then search system-wide for files modified in
> the last five minutes right afterward and you'll probably find it in
> the small number of hits; if not, it's probably using the registry
> (ick). Ordinary Joes shouldn't have to resort to such tricks of
> course. Again a problem of implementation, not of concept.

Sure.  Have you ever encountered a GUI tool that *wasn't*
implemented in the "don't bother your little head about where
things are" style, though?

[ snip ]

> > And don't get
> > me started on the little icons.  Which one does what?  Who knows?
> > Sure, put the mouse over one, wait a few seconds, and probably
> > some moderately explanatory text will appear.  That wasn't the one
> > you wanted?  Move the mouse, wait a few seconds.  Move again, wait.
> > Maybe you get used to it.
> 
> Generally, the ones you use you learn to recognize, and they take up
> less space than text menus would (and as a result, can be right in the
> main window instead of needing an additional menu-title click to
> reveal first). The images should generally communicate what they do.
> They don't always do it very well. Many have been standardized to some
> extent (cut, paste, new, open, print, etc.; browsers' back, refresh,
> home, etc.) but many have not. This area may mature further in the
> future. Again many apps admittedly could use improvement. At least you
> *can* browse the available functionality and find stuff, and once you
> know where something is find it again very easily, without resorting
> to the help!

My mileage varies -- I think it takes me about as long to remember
the location and/or appearance of one of those poorly-designed icons
as it does to remember a keystroke sequence.  <shrug>

> > You do?  Once again I think we must be talking about different
> > software.  Example:  the (in)famous two modes (insert and command)
> > of vi.  "Real" vi (and vim in compatibility mode) doesn't provide
> > any cues about which mode you're in, which is the situation
> > you describe.  But vim (in its default mode) does, with the text
> > "--INSERT--" at the bottom of the screen when you're in input mode.
> 
> One case in which they fixed the "bug" it seems. There are surely lots
> of other places where that sort of thing is still extant. There's only
> so much information that can be displayed at once on an 80x24 text
> terminal, after all; within the constraints of the older display
> devices (and emulations of same) there's limited real estate to spend
> on keeping the user oriented.

Sure.  Of course, most of those old-style tools seem happy to
take advantage of the bigger-than-80x24 windows possible with
most terminal emulators.

> Emacs (some version or another) certainly provides some issues along
> similar lines [ snip ]

Well, I think we had the discussion of emacs a while back, and I was
on the other side there too, so -- let's not do that again.

[ snip ]

> Of course, the worst unix offender of all time has to be the shell
> itself, rather than vi, emacs, or anything else. For a long time, at
> least, the standard was apparently to display a completely rudimentary
> shell prompt with no indication whatsoever as to where you were in the
> filesystem. Contrast
> 
> C:\Dir\Subdir>_
> 
> with
> 
> %>_
> 
> Which is more useful here? 

It depends.  In a constrained-width environment, with a deeply-nested
directory structure, I prefer the latter.  If I forget where I am,
I can find out with pwd.

I observe that the default configuration for the GNOME terminal
emulator, at least on the system I'm using now, seems to put the
full path of the current directory in the title bar, where it can
provide useful information without getting in the way.

> Of course you could configure the unix
> prompt -- if you could find out how from the help system. You could
> get some information with "cd" or see if you were somewhere
> recognizable with "ls". Puts me in mind of fumbling around in a dark
> house with a flashlight looking for the light switch. [ snip ]

> > I wonder, too, if what you describe might be something of a
> > YMMV thing reflecting different styles of thought or something:
> > What I'm thinking is that some people seem to have no trouble
> > remembering shortish strings of meaningless data, such as phone
> > numbers, while others apparently would have to work hard to do
> > that.
> 
> It's designing software to cater to the type of autistic savants that
> can memorize *a whole damn phone book full of such numbers* and
> remember exactly who each one calls that bugs me. The UI for emacs
> appears to be designed for autistic savants, in particular. :P

Could be.  But speaking as someone who might have leanings in the
"autistic savant" direction, I'll say that I rather like software
that suits my way of thinking.

[ snip -- it's not that you're not making some good points, but
apparently there's a limit after all to how much time I'm willing
to spend, even though this is a subject I can get worked up about ]

> Bugs happen. I am fairly certain they are not exclusive to Windows
> software, if perhaps more common in Microsoft's own software than in
> many other companies' or in open source. This could happen with a unix
> tool as well, and if you don't know a whole lot about how and where it
> stores this stuff and in what format, you're just as hosed. It's just
> the unix tool probably won't even start and function normally until
> you've already learned that stuff and acted on it in some particular
> way; Windows tool users tend to have the luxury of ignoring such
> details until and unless something stops working and only then having
> to worry about what's under the hood.

Whereupon ....  Well, my thinking (and this is not original, but
I can't remember where I came across it) is this:

A Windows program is apt to be all-or-nothing:  Either it "just
works" (which admittedly is wonderful), or it fails in some
way whose cause and resolution aren't obvious to a novice user,
and there don't seem to be many tools available for diagnosing
what's wrong, and there seems to be more of an unbridgeable gap
between novices and experts.

An old-style Unix program is more of a continuum:  Even simple
things may not be doable without some learning, but if something
goes wrong, you have better prospects of figuring out what,
and novices and experts are the ends of a continuous spectrum
one can hope to move along.

I'm not expressing this idea very well, but the key distinction
I'm trying to make is between a mindset that seems to have only
novices and experts, with no clear path from one to another, and
one that's more of a continuum.

[ snip ]

> And of course you can move a page at a time with the keyboard in a
> consistent, natural, and reliable way with the page up and page down
> keys. Space also works. But there's no more "how the hell do I go up?"
> issues -- "is it -? backspace? just quit and start over from the top,
> even?!" And search is, as it should be given the typing and target-
> specific actions involved, a last resort. Particularly as using it to
> navigate within a document is limited to what you've already read in
> detail, and, with reduced usefulness, what you've skimmed. 

Huh?  Say I want to learn more about the cd command.  I type "man
cd" and get a long page about bash (since cd is actually a shell
builtin).  Now I type "/cd<return>" to search for cd, and then
"n" to repeat the search until I come to the information I want.
How is this limited in the way you describe?

(Admittedly the use of "/" and "n" to search aren't intuitive
the first time you encounter them, but a lot of text-mode tools
use them, so ....  <shrug>)

> If I want
> to jump to the bottom of a document it's easy with a scrollbar and
> mouse. How do I do that with search unless I've read the whole thing
> before and memorized some likely-unique phrase near the end? Also, if
> you get the search slightly wrong you go nowhere. 

In practice I don't find that that happens, except with typos, in
which case one tries again.

> If you get the
> mousing slightly wrong you end up near where you wanted to go and it's
> easy to nudge it the rest of the way where it should go. The GUI way,
> you miss your exit and take the next and circle back and get there a
> bit later. The unix way, you miss your exit and the next exit is
> somewhere between Omaha, Nebraska and fucking Timbuktu, or even a
> great-circle all the way around to back where you started from. :P

That's not my experience.

> > That (ton of reference information) might actually be helpful.
> 
> Sure, but if you're looking for concise information regarding "how to
> do X" it's not helpful for that particular task. Reference material
> and tutorial material are by their nature fairly different from one
> another in content and structure. [ snip ]

Quite.  I guess the point I was trying to make is that reference
documentation has its place, and some GUI programs don't seem
to provide it at all, focusing instead on doling out information
in little dumbed-down snippets.  Not that those snippets aren't
sometimes exactly what one wants.  It's just that sometimes
they're not, and if that's all that's available, it's annoying.

[ snip ]

> On the other hand, your own complaints about old and new versions of
> something puking when forced to share one copy of the configuration
> file indicate that the unix equivalent of your GUI-software complaint
> does occur -- they gratuitously change something and make the format
> of some file or another not forward- or backward-compatible (or even
> neither).

I haven't found this to be a problem with old-style programs, only
the new GUI-ish ones that try a little too hard to be helpful.

> > This is something else I like about a command-line / text-files
> > approach to configuring things -- there's a better chance that,
> > for something you don't do often but have done successfully at
> > least once, there will be a record somewhere of what you did,
> > so you can repeat it.  (Or if it didn't work, a record of what
> > you tried.)
> 
> That sounds to me like it would seem more useful in theory than it
> would prove to be in fact. First, this "record" would take the form of
> a copy of the configuration file with the change you made. This is
> likely to not exist, as it's likely to have been clobbered by the next
> change; certainly you're implying something was changed, then changed
> back, and now the user wants to change it again. If they backed up the
> file when they made the change back, the backup when they changed
> something else later on is likely to have clobbered THAT copy. And
> even if a copy survives, an old copy of some obscure configuration
> file gathering dust in a now-disused corner of the file system is
> likely to sit there for eternity, being copied now and again when
> everything is migrated to new hardware, and perhaps also onto numerous
> backup discs or tapes, without ever again being seen or noticed by a
> human being. Finding it would require guessing that such a thing
> existed and then searching for it. 

Probably this marks me as terminally pack-rattish, or otherwise
weird, but I'm apt to accumulate version after version of those
configuration files, accumulating them in one location with names
that show the order in which they were created/saved.  So the
problems you describe don't really arise.

> Probably manually, since automated
> search only works when you have a good idea (including some exact,
> accurate text strings) what you're looking for, and in this particular
> case if you remembered what was in the file you wouldn't need to find
> it anyway! 

Huh?  If I want to find an old copy of my .vimrc file ....  Even
if I didn't remember my scheme for saving things, searching for files
with names containing "vimrc" seems like a fairly logical thing to 
try, and is easy enough ....

> And, of course, once you DID, by some miracle, find it,
> what you DON'T have is a diff between the two versions showing exactly
> what you'd changed. 

What, the system doesn't have a diff command?  though I like vimdiff
better for most things now.

> And of course any tandem changes to other files
> won't be apparent. If you recreate what turns out to have been only
> half (or a third, or whatever) of some previous change instead of all
> of it, you'll probably just hose the system thoroughly. Backups
> certainly seem warranted; too bad you can't do anything with them if
> the machine won't even boot now, or the partition with the renamed
> copy of the last known-good configuration is the one that now refuses
> to mount, or whatever.

Well .... Again my mileage varies.  I don't remember running
into any of the problems you describe.  There's always a first
time, of course, but -- <shrug>.  

[ snip ]

> In funny ways they both automate one thing and don't automate the
> other. Unix stuff is much more amenable to automating particular data
> manipulation tasks and whatnot, but forces the user to micromanage the
> system and, basically, *program* it to do anything (with a large
> library of pre-existing subroutines at least -- if not one with
> anything as comprehensive and easily navigable as Java's javadocs PLUS
> tutorial to guide you through it!); if the user wants a single common
> task to be done by hitting a single key, they need to program this
> behavior in first! Windows and its ilk on the other hand far better
> automate the user's tasks of finding their way around the system and
> making it do things, but do a poorer job of supporting automating the
> things themselves.

I think you're onto something here.  (And your use of the word
"micromanage" -- you're onto something there, and if in fact you
wanted to say "control freak", that wouldn't be out of line!)

> For example, rename a huge batch of files to add a "foo_" prefix.
> 
> Unix (command-line): Getting to the files is a chore, and a long
> arcane command must be typed to rename a file once there. However,
> this command can be generalized or a script file easily used to rename
> the whole lot in one shot.

You do know about filename completion, right?  so getting to
the files is not, IMO, more of a chore than it would be in a GUI,
except that there are fewer visual cues.  The "long arcane command"
part isn't wrong, I guess, since one does probably need both a
command to extract the unchanging part of the name and a command
to actually do the rename.

Curiously enough, this particular use of looping, etc., isn't
needed on (some?) Linux systems; there's a rename command that
encapsulates the looping.  To me that feels like cheating.  :-)?

> Windows (eschewing use of a DOS box): Getting to the files is easy and
> renaming one is as simple as click, f2, type new name, enter. However,
> renaming the whole lot entails click, f2, home, "foo_", enter, click,
> f2, home, "foo_", enter...
> 
> Windows (with DOS box): Find the files easily. Select path of
> directory from a text field at the top of the Explorer window. Open
> command prompt, put in "cd " and paste, and there's a long arcane
> "for" command that can be typed to do the batch rename.

Huh.  I should try that sometime.  Sounds interesting ....

> Windows, no DOS box, don't care about the new names *except* for the
> prefix: select all of the files, hit f2, and type "foo_.ext". Result
> will be foo_.ext, foo_ (2).ext, foo_ (3).ext ...
> 
> Unix (with some X WM): Probably allows a Windows-style ability to
> navigate to the files and rename one of them easily by hand without
> much arcana.

Yeah, though strictly speaking this functionality isn't packaged
as part of a window manager, but separately as some kind of file
browser.  (The one that comes to my mind first is called Nautilus.)
Even window managers these days aren't what they once were, but
are apt to be run in conjunction with a "desktop environment"
such as GNOME or KDE.  I'm not sure I completely understand the
distinctions myself.  But the idea of having separate mix-and-match
pieces is very Unix-y.

> It seems the GUI systems support both automating at the UI level and
> automating at the data manipulation level, but not at the same time.
> The non-GUI systems only support automating at the data manipulation
> level.
> 
> There's a lesson here. Perhaps that we need a kind of visual or
> gestural language capable of the rich semantics of a scripting
> language.

Yes!  One of the problems I perceive with people accustomed to
GUIs is that they don't even imagine the possibilities of the
kind of automation possible with the old tools.  It's something
I do my best to show my students ....  Perhaps one of them will
come up with something along the lines of what you describe.

> AI software was demoed a few years back (as a Java applet!) that could
> draw analogies between two sequences. Perhaps this kind of AI is key:
> a user could rename a few files with "foo_" prepending and then hit
> some "automate" key. The system will then examine the last few user
> actions and look for a pattern. The last few commands were file
> renames. The sequences of old and new names, side by side, have a
> discernible analogical relationship in that they all differ pairwise
> in an algorithmically-specifiable way -- one single algorithm can
> generate the output sequence from the input sequence and isn't just a
> lookup table. Ergo, show the user a preview of the results of applying
> this to the whole available scope; the directory containing all the
> files the user just renamed. Perhaps the user renames a few files and
> hits say F9, and all the other files' names change to show a
> differently-colored "foo_" at the start. The user can scroll around
> and such. If they go to take any other action in that window they're
> prompted to accept or reject the changes. (Until then it's dimmed to
> indicate it's all temporarily read-only.)
> 
> Of course this could screw up in some subtle way. So can "replace
> all".

Yeah.  I kind of like the idea that *I*'m in control.  But see
previous comments about "micromanage" and "control freak".  :-)?

> In the specific case of batch renaming, in fact, it's probably the
> same thing under the hood: the analogy-discovering part outputs a
> regular expression representing the change in a parametric way, which
> used as a regexp replace would have transformed all of the original
> names of the renamed files to their corresponding post-rename names,
> and isn't just a lookup table special-casing each one.
> 
> In other situations, particularly with non-text data being
> manipulated, it's going to be something more general, though a lot of
> the times it might still be the case that the output "script" can be
> treated as a finite automaton working over some kind of regular
> grammar in some symbol space.
> 
> > How would binary search be useful anyway?
> 
> To find something in alphabetical/whatever order, given the absence of
> a (known) way to automate the search, but a way to scroll decently
> rapidly through the document.

I still can't imagine this actually being useful in practice.  It's
more or less how one looks something up in a (paper) phone book or
dictionary, but if one can search instead, what's the point ....

[ snip ]

> Consider it shorthand for "you can actually see what the hell you're
> doing and where the hell you are, and what tools are sitting on the
> workbench in front of you" then. :)

Except, of course, that some of the tools are collected in boxes
with labels (some text, some icons) that might or might not allow
you to guess which box a particular tool is in.

> > Actually I think it *is* true that what you learn from operating
> > one typical GUI application is apt to make the next one seem
> > more "intuitive".  But I claim that the same is true of the old
> > text-mode applications as well.
> 
> Doubtful, since the only consistent rule among them all is
> inconsistency -- aside from the absolute and inviolable ban on making
> any kind of use of page up, page down, function keys, or (usually)
> delete, and making ctrl+C quit rather than copy. :P

Does the ":P" mean you know you're exaggerating for effect?
Because you are, you know -- either that or you're basing what
you say on recollections of the past rather than on using current
versions of Unix text-mode tools.  I'd be the first to admit
that there's no universal consistency, and that can be annoying,
but what you describe really doesn't match my recent experience
very well.  See previous comments about Page Up and Page Down.

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm (1302)
9/24/2007 3:36:43 PM
In article <JOadnQKRWpdoMWrbnZ2dnUVZ_remnZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > And if anyone's deficient in a sense of humor, it could be me in> > not getting your joke, but thinking there was some serious point> > about recursion that was too subtle for me ....  <shrug>> > It did look like recursion, sort of, but I knew I was not being precise.> > Anyway, you keep contributing.  Your posts provide value, blmblm.Aw, shucks.  (Thanks.  And on rare occasions they're even on-topic.)-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/24/2007 3:37:25 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> I wonder whether your idea of a text editor differs from mine.> I have almost no experience with typical Windows editors, so> I don't know how capable they are.  Some of the things I like> about vim:> > (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic> indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to> emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then> I discovered that vim had them too.  > > (*) Interoperability with other tools.  I don't know how to say> this better, but some examples:  vim makes it easy to import the> output of a command-line command (such as ls), or run selected> lines of a file being edited through an external command (such> as sort).  "No one wants to do this"?  I dunno.  I seem to find> it useful pretty often.> > (*) vimdiff, which shows differences between two files in a way> that's sometimes easier to grasp than the output of diff.> > (*) Ability to record and play back macros.  This also is > something I seem to find useful pretty often.Just for the record, and vim is a fine product, emacs has these features also.   That is to say, it's integrated with the UNIX utilities to do these things.In my C++ days I really enjoyed using gcc and gdb via emacs, which would let me coordinate the source and the debug session.No Editor Wars intended.  vim is a fine product.  The first thing a duckling sees is its mother forever after.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/24/2007 9:45:13 PM
In article <yfmdncLjq9N3smXbnZ2dnUVZ_sSlnZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > I wonder whether your idea of a text editor differs from mine.> > I have almost no experience with typical Windows editors, so> > I don't know how capable they are.  Some of the things I like> > about vim:> > > > (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic> > indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to> > emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then> > I discovered that vim had them too.  > > > > (*) Interoperability with other tools.  I don't know how to say> > this better, but some examples:  vim makes it easy to import the> > output of a command-line command (such as ls), or run selected> > lines of a file being edited through an external command (such> > as sort).  "No one wants to do this"?  I dunno.  I seem to find> > it useful pretty often.> > > > (*) vimdiff, which shows differences between two files in a way> > that's sometimes easier to grasp than the output of diff.> > > > (*) Ability to record and play back macros.  This also is > > something I seem to find useful pretty often.> > Just for the record, and vim is a fine product, emacs has these features also. >   That is to say, it's integrated with the UNIX utilities to do these things.> > In my C++ days I really enjoyed using gcc and gdb via emacs, which would let > me coordinate the source and the debug session.> > No Editor Wars intended.  vim is a fine product.  The first thing a duckling > sees is its mother forever after.Agreed on all counts!  If it wasn't clear (but I suspect itwas), I did not in any way mean to imply that vim is unique inhaving the features I mentioned.  In some ways I regret havingimprinted on vi rather than emacs, because emacs has had moreyears to accumulate useful functionality such as you describe,not to mention that customization/scripting is done in Lisp,which is IMO much cooler than vim's scripting language.Again IMO, those of us who cling to these old-time editors wouldbe well-advised to put aside the old Editor Wars and band togetheragainst the common enemy [*].  But just the other day I heard oneof my students pushing vim and slamming emacs, so apparently noteveryone agrees with me.[*] Which I think I won't try to define, since an attempt wouldalmost surely stir up familiar trouble.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/25/2007 3:22:17 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:>> ...  just the other day I heard one> of my students pushing vim and slamming emacs, You want to swing people over to emacs, turn'em on to "Meta-X doctor"Sample session:Doctor:>> I am the psychotherapist.  Please, describe your problems.  Each time>> you are finished talking, type RET twice.Me:> How do I get people to like emacs?>> What do you think?> Should I tell them about you?>> Why do you say should you tell them about me?> I think you'd impress them.>> Is it because of your plans that you say you think I would impress>> them?> [blank line instead of typing something]>> I'll ask the questions, if you don't mind!> I have no plans.>> Maybe your life have something to do with this.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/25/2007 4:04:46 PM
bbound@gmail.com <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> This begs the obvious question: what is a "terminal emulator" for, if> not to provide an environment for genuinely archaic software to run?There is one "retro"-aspect left even in modern computer systems, thatwarrants the use of "retro"-software: it's the network.Ok, many people already have their >10MB/s up- and downloads nowadays,but often enough one is still faced with a slower link.  Editing a fileacross such a slower link with a graphical editor will take you reallylooooooooonnnnnnnnnngggggggg time.  Editing with a "retro" curses basededitor works like a charm, even over a slow link.PS: I'm not("not", not "now") sitting in front of the machine I'm  posting this from.  My  newsreader, mailprogram, irc-client and  more apps are all "retro" curses-based apps, which I leave running  on some server within the (also curses-based terminal-multiplexer)  "screen", from which I detach at evening, and to which I re-attach  next morning, and have all my progs still running.  Also at work, I regularly have to connect to a host that is, well,  perhaps about 800km away, and the link there isn't exactly of LAN-  speed. No problem with the retro-apps we use there. Casually, we  also do need graphical apps there. We used rdesktop and vnc: both  boooring.  Of course, I'm also lazy, so if I already know how to use vim, why  should I use a different editor when working on local host?
0
Andreas
9/25/2007 5:34:36 PM
On Sep 23, 11:00 pm, Arne Vajh=F8j <a...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:> > Not possible -- VTxxx are monochrome with bold, inverse, and maybe one> > other bit of attributes; ANSI is capable of color. The monochrome-only> > one cannot be a superset of the color-capable one. It may of course be> > a subset, or neither.>> All VT's from VT100 is ANSI X3.64 compliant.>> VT241, VT340 and VT525 are color terminals.>> I don't even think the original X3.64 specified color.Then "ANSI X3.64" is not the same thing as the ANSI I was discussing.Color may have been introduced in a later version.> Some VT terminals had it.What, color? Not the 100 or 220.> Colors may be in the newer ECMA-48/ISO-6429 standards.Don't tell me they're actually making new standards for textterminals, even though the entire class of such hardware is obsolete?> Neither real VT terminals nor VT terminal emulators have> mail/news/multiuser/games capabilities - that is a capability> of the host.I know that. I was referring to the BBSes. The ones run from DOSmachines tended to use ANSI (not sure what version) and to have gamesand etc.; the ones run from unix machines tended to use VT100 or VT220and have net gateways for mail and sometimes news.
0
bbound
9/25/2007 6:22:15 PM
On Sep 24, 5:51 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>wrote:> [quoted material snipped]> [insult deleted]> vt241 and vt525 [snip]Are irrelevant. We're talking about VT100 and VT220 here.> [snip large quantities of irrelevant drivel]Go away and leave me alone.
0
bbound
9/25/2007 6:24:50 PM
On Sep 24, 6:24 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > [said some stuff about how she was not meaning to insult me by> > comparing me to a child]>> My original comment was about [snip]Nothing that's relevant any more; the fact remains that you made aninsulting comparison, regardless of the context in which you chose todo so. :P[repeats that insult]:P> As for whether it's an insult to point out [snip implied insult]Accusing me (implicitly or explicitly) of "bad behavior" or ofanything of the sort is, obviously, insulting.> Whaaaat ....  Oh.  "Ill effect", I suppose.  No, that wasn't my> intended meaning.Well, you've suggested such things a few too many times recently forme not to be on guard for anything that might be interpreted asanother similar attack. :P> All I ever said was ....  No.  If I want to pursue that, I'll do> it in the other subthread./dev/null would be better. That bottle of Tylenol I mentioned theother day is nearly empty. And I only got it last Thursday!> I'll say again that it might be worthwhile to check the calibration> of that threat-detection system.It's working perfectly TYVM; the estimated rate of false negatives isbasically zero at this point.
0
bbound
9/25/2007 6:30:24 PM
On Sep 24, 6:50 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Any suggestion that I have a malfunctioning perceptual system at all,> > independent of the details of the supposed malfunction, suggests> > "dangerous" mental illness and is insulting.  [ snip ]>> To you, anyway.  Not to me.  But you've made that point already.What does it suggest to you, then? I guess recreational substances orsomething of the sort that you wouldn't consider to be "bad"?Regardless. I can't have people creating some kind of rumor or publicperception that I do drugs, can't see straight, need help, or what-have-you. Doesn't matter which of those things you intended tosuggest. None are acceptable.> The problem with this argument is that if you *were* perceiving> things wrongly (note use of subjunctive), an inability to notice> the misperception could be part of the problem.That would require a very specific blind spot. It's very unlikelygiven the system architecture. For example, if I lost sensation in myleft index finger it would seem numb; I'd notice that I had a fingerthat was not generating sense data. Now there's a brain region thattracks body parts; it's the equivalent of the Windows "devicemanager". If it had a specific glitch, independently of the firstglitch, I'd have a low level representation of myself as not evenhaving that finger. If the finger itself worked normally I'd have an"alien finger" syndrome -- something supposedly nonexistent connectedas a data source. If it also didn't work, nothing might seem abnormalto me at first -- except that sooner or later I'd *see* the damn thingattached to my left hand, or remember having had one and wonder whathad become of it, or something. Now it seems I'd need a hole in mymemory and a visual blind spot too, with the latter moving around in avery deliberate and unlikely-by-chance manner! As you can see, theinternal cross-checks and redundancy ensure that no simple localizedchange or even two or three such would be able to go completelyunnoticed in the manner you are suggesting. While the example was witha finger's tactile sense, it applies as well to any other sense source-- other fingers, eyes, ears, etc.What you propose is, though theoretically possible, so astronomicallyunlikely as to be not worth considering; for all practical purposes itcan't happen, and if it does I'm screwed anyway so there's no pointworrying about an undetectable, nothing-can-be-done-about-it-anywaymalfunction of doom.(In fact, the moving-blind-spot problem shows that more generally,whatever it was would have to either completely wipe my memory, orselectively alter data in a manner that's AI-complete, in order tokeep me unaware of whatever-it-was. My memory is obviously notcompletely wiped, and such selective alteration would amount to havinga split personality with a heretofore unknown alter that's as smart asI am and doesn't become completely dormant when I'm in the focus --and still I'd have missing time, blackouts, or other symptoms I'd havenoticed!)No, I can assure you I have none of the kinds of conditions you aresuggesting and likely never will.> Of course, that can't be the case, because you said so.Exactly. I wouldn't lie.> Hm.  You seem to be saying that my "it seems to me that you have> a distorted view of things" is an attempt to diagnose mental> illness based on a few (or many) newsgroup posts.If it's not, then what is it? Simply an insult that came to mind,without any particular belief prompting it? That would fit with somepeoples' behavior here, that's for sure...> > Moving along now...>> Let's do that.Then why do I still see about a dozen unread posts in this thread togo, with more of them by you than not by you? :P
0
bbound
9/25/2007 6:43:09 PM
On Sep 24, 7:06 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > This begs the obvious question:>> Raises the question?  Prompts the question?  I guess you're not> the stickler about language usage I thought you might be.It's a widespread, easily understood usage; unlike, say, "NTTAWWT". ;P> > what is a "terminal emulator" for, if> > not to provide an environment for genuinely archaic software to run?> > Apparently, to run recent but intentionally "retro" software. What,> > however, is the attraction to deliberately "retro" software that> > hearkens back to the bad old days of limited system memory and> > performance and the consequent terrible, terse and cryptic user> > interfaces?>> Hey!  Some of us *like* ....  Go ahead and tell me I'm weird;> I won't mind.I can see possibly enjoying such a user interface as a puzzle to besolved, or a game to be played. It's when it comes time to doproductive work and instead of being able to simply sit down and startworking, this puzzle gets pushed into your face that will take threeand a quarter hours to unscramble, that it gets to be a pain. Puzzlesand games should be separate applications identifiable as such, ratherthan masquerading as (or worse, substituting for) the system's windowmanager configurator, text editor, newsreader, mailreader, orwhatever. :)I admit that vi (and especially emacs!) is a bit more sophisticatedthan making people compose their outgoing mail by means of a Hangmanor crossword game, but still. :P> > On the other hand, it's starting to sound like it might instead be> > fairly recent but deliberately retro,>> The Wikipedia entry says the first release was in 1991.  That> sounds fairly plausible.  It emulates vi, which is much older,> but adds many features.Sounds like making a modern car that deliberately resembles a Model T,with the unfortunate mistake of going so far in the name ofauthenticity as to actually use a genuine Model T engine -- even thehand-crank starter. :P
0
bbound
9/25/2007 6:49:08 PM
bbound@gmail.com wrote:> :P:-)--  Lew
0
Lew
9/25/2007 6:55:43 PM
On Sep 24, 7:26 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > Not by choice.>> Is that a "yes, but not by choice", or a "no, by choice" ?Yes, but not by choice; I'd have thought that obvious.> It seemed to me that in the earlier exchange you were implicitly> chiding the other person for using a term no one could be expected> to know.  Now it's an okay term, because *you* understand it?Because ISTR you do too, and this is so wildly OT now that anyone elsewho's reading it instead of having killfiled the thread deserves to beleft scratching his head. :P> > Unix isn't a stranger to creeping featurism. The filesystem itself, X,> > and emacs all come to mind. :)>> The filesystem?  seems pretty simple to me -- perhaps too simple> (the three-level permissions system, for example).First of all, the "file"system contains everything but the kitchensink, rather than just the actual, you know, *files*. Second, thepermissions system is much more than anything you'll find on amainstream OS these days -- I'm pretty sure Windows (for most, if notall Windows variants) has everything world-readable and -executable,and write permissions by user -- no groups. Maybe directory read-permission also is deniable. Particularly, there's no mess or fusswith making your newly-compiled code, scripts, or whatever executable-- arguably a bad thing.> Now, emacs, hm, yes, I've always had a feeling that it didn't> quite adhere to the One True Unix Way.  But it's possible that if> I got the emacs religion I'd feel differently.Please don't. We've recently had runins with devotees and acolytes andhigh priestesses of emacs in this ng, and it wasn't pretty.
0
bbound
9/25/2007 6:56:14 PM
On Sep 24, 11:36 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
wrote:
> Local config files ....  Yeah well.  That's good from a standpoint
> of allowing different configurations for different machines, not
> so good from a standpoint of letting users set configurations
> once and use them everywhere.

Depends on which is more useful in your particular circumstances, and
thus needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis, I expect.

> If incompatible versions of applications used different names for
> configuration files, this problem would go away.  But apparently
> many don't.  And I've found this to be much more of a problem with
> "modern" applications than the old-time ones where you configure
> things by editing text files.

A lot of Windoze apps don't play very nicely with copies of
themselves, mainly due to registry collisions. One more black mark
against the registry. But it's no reason to be requiring hand-hacking
config files manually -- an app could ask you to name its install, and
use that name for its configuration files and other stuff. On Windoze
the ideal would be to have the user pick a directory under "Program
Files" and stick a .ini file there along with everything else. It's
there if it wants manual editing, and it's out of sight and out of
mind if you just want to use the GUI. The practise is to use the
registry instead. Guess which would enable multiple instances to play
nice on the same system?

> Yeah.  So, not particularly relevant to a discussion of a multi-user,
> multi-machine setup.

Au contraire; it demonstrates that it can be done -- having an app
coexist with different versions of itself, by each having its own
subdirectory to put things in. Of course with per-user stuff this
needs to go in the user's home directory in subdirectories, instead of
in Program Files or wherever.

> > The only commonality I recall observing is that they all deviate
> > equally from standard user-interface guidelines, key-bindings, and the
> > like.
>
> "Standard" as defined by ....  Yeah well.

As defined by what 90+% of computer users encounter with 90% of the
applications they use.

> For suitable definitions of "never":  F1 brings up help in mutt
> (mail reader).

Really? This is the first I've heard of any unix app even knowing that
there is such a thing as a function key.

> Again for suitable definitions of "never":  Both of these keys
> do what their names describe in mutt and in vim.  The keys labeled
> Home and End also do something related to their names.

Again, this I find hard to believe. Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence, and all that.

> Part of the problem (?) is one of maintaining backward compatibility.

Maintaining sideways compatibility with everything else people use
would be more valuable IMO.

> Curiously enough, I just tried using OO Writer to write a fairly
> simple document last week, and to me it seemed much like Word --
> difficult to use in the style to which LaTeX has accustomed me
> (logical structure rather than "just start typing"), full of
> irritating behaviors, etc.  <shrug>

I'm not aware of a WYSIWYG word processor with LaTeX-style logical
structure. Seems there's demand for such a thing though. Automatic
behaviors should all be turnable-offable someplace.

> If it's a simple
> program with limited functionality, then I'd be less inclined to
> expect baffling behavior.

Basically that's what it is. And what it does do, namely basic text
editing (and it has search), it gets right. Nothing baffling. It's as
easy to pick up and use as a pen and paper, which can be damned
refreshing.

> I don't know how to say it more clearly:  To me, something about
> the combination of a point-and-click interface and help written
> in a "let's not scare the user with techical terms" style says
> "hey!  anyone can use this tool!  no understanding of underlying
> concepts required!"  Of course that's not true, and the fact
> that the interface makes me think the program is claiming it --
> it may just be my biases showing.

I think there's two sorts of expertise at issue, and conflating the
two is going to confuse.

1. Domain expertise, relevant to the particular task the user is
accomplishing.
2. Expertise in the program's own internal workings.

1 will be required; this is unavoidable unless the domain expertise is
something completely automatable, which is as yet rather rare.
2 should not be required, to the extent that it doesn't overlap with
1.

So I shouldn't need to know anything about how Notepad works to use
it, but I will need to know something about text and files and such.

Your earlier example was a network/protocol configurator of some sort.
For that, networking expertise of a particular sort will be required.
Knowing implementation details of the system shouldn't be, though,
only knowing the standards governing whatever networking protocol is
at issue. For example a good Web server would not be able to avoid the
user having to know a fair bit about HTTP, but could avoid the user
needing to know a bunch of arcane stuff about the particular
implementation. If they want to configure complicated, scriptable
security rules (e.g. firewall rules) they need to learn the scripting
language though, of course.

Your original example was setting up an SVN client or similar.
Knowledge of SVN will be an unavoidable requirement there.

Help that "dumbs down" the expertise in category 1 won't be very
helpful. Help and a user-interface that minimizes the impact of
category 2 is another matter however.


> I wonder whether your idea of a text editor differs from mine.

I don't see how; a text editor is an application for editing ASCII
files (or, perhaps nowadays, also unicode files). The basic goal:
enable the user to put any desired string of printable characters,
tabs, spaces, and linefeeds together and store them to and retrieve
them from files. Anything else is window dressing, really.

> (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic
> indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to
> emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then
> I discovered that vim had them too.

The usual unix editor syndrome: the editor tries to be a jack of all
trades; hence, master of none, and a baffled user too. A specialized
IDE makes more sense than a supposedly generic text editor for this
purpose; and on Windows, you'd use Eclipse rather than Notepad here,
instead of trying to make Notepad into Eclipse.

> (*) Interoperability with other tools.  I don't know how to say
> this better, but some examples:  vim makes it easy to import the
> output of a command-line command (such as ls), or run selected
> lines of a file being edited through an external command (such
> as sort).  "No one wants to do this"?  I dunno.  I seem to find
> it useful pretty often.

This begs for a better interactive command processor rather than more
features in the text editor. On Windows, you'd want a souped up
command.com box with full-screen instead of line editing and an
immediate-mode prompt, not unlike the old QBasic in some respects,
rather than cramming a bunch more stuff into Notepad. (With Eclipse
and a command shell jammed in there, your ideal for Notepad is now
starting to resemble some kind of feeping creature already!)

A subset of this functionality is also found in specialized IDEs, such
as Eclipse.

> (*) vimdiff, which shows differences between two files in a way
> that's sometimes easier to grasp than the output of diff.

This might actually be sensible as a text editor feature, but is
especially so as an IDE feature.

> (*) Ability to record and play back macros.  This also is
> something I seem to find useful pretty often.

This might actually be sensible as a text editor feature.

[snip]

AFAICT, you're really looking for an IDE, not a plain old text editor,
here.

> Maybe I felt like that when I first started using these tools.
> Now, however, when I'm editing text with vim, I perceive myself
> to be "editing text" rather than "using vim".  The keystroke
> sequences for actions I do often -- I don't think about them
> any more than I think "I need to turn the steering wheel now"
> when I'm driving a car and want to turn.

That's the oft-noted human capacity to get used to anything. Prisoners
of war in the Koreas even got used to torture, chronic sleep
deprivation, and other stuff. Kidnap victims sometimes form a bond
with the kidnapper. It's called Stockholm syndrome; see a doctor. :)

Thing is, the interface for "normal" stuff gets out of the way more-or-
less immediately, unless what you're doing actually is rocket science.
(Editing levels for 3D games for example, rather than typing your
resume. And I think the level editors could probably be improved in
usability even so, though only up to a point.)

> Now, I *do* have that feeling when I'm trying to edit text in
> some other interface.

But it won't last long if the interface is simple and straightforward.

If the task is complex, the interface is going to be complex.
If the task is simple and the tool is a normal Windows app, the
interface is going to be simple.
If the task is simple and the tool is a normal unix app, the interface
is going to be complex.
If the interface is simple, it will be easy to use.
If the interface is complex but you've spent years with it, it will be
easy to use.
If the interface is complex and you've not spent years with it, it
won't be easy to use.

So when is it unavoidable that the interface not be easy to use?
When the user is not massively experienced and either the task is
complex -- or unix is involved. :P

>  As previously noted, I'm happier driving
> from the keyboard than using a mouse, and while a lot of actions
> (selecting text, for example) can be done that way, I usually
> have to consciously think about which keys are needed.  I'm
> sure practice would help, just as did with vi(m), but -- why?

Think about which keys are needed? It's completely intuitive with,
say, Notepad; shift+navigation keys moves one endpoint of the
selection (the other being wherever you were when you first started
holding down shift). (This is assuming you have no desire to use the
mouse, where typically it's just click at one spot, and hold the
button to move the other endpoint.)

> > The problem being that you really *can't*, save perhaps with a live
> > tutor, as near as I can figure.
>
> A live tutor is probably useful in learning the first few tools.
> After that, not so much, again in my experience.  I figured out
> bash (a command shell) without a live tutor, but then I already
> knew another Unix command shell ([t]csh).  I think I learned
> most of what I know about some of the other tools (sed and awk)
> without a local expert to help.  <shrug>

The latter are noninteractive tools. But you should really not need a
live tutor at all. A decent help system would obviate the need, but
tends to be lacking on such systems as you seem to be describing.

> It's not so much that I think the GUI tools come up short, as
> that they encourage people who don't know what they're doing to
> try anyway, and they present concepts in a way that I think is
> confusing to the expert.  I can't give specific examples; it's
> more of that "don't scare the user with technical terms" stuff.

This is not, however, an intrinsic, unavoidable trait of GUIs, though
it may be a common flaw in particular instances.

> Yeah ....  I actually find some of Eclipse's "let me help you"
> features more intrusive than helpful.  Maybe you get used to them,
> but for a first draft, I'd rather rough it out with vim, which
> doesn't get in my way, and then start up Eclipse and let it help
> me with what it does well, such as generating import statements.
> (Somebody may well have written a vim plug-in for that.  I should
> look around for one sometime!)

I don't find Eclipse bothersome in that regard at all; especially as
it doesn't change anything without my permission; just highlights
various things. I can tell it to generate or fix the import statements
and it does, though.

The one major nuisance is that sometimes when the autocomplete kicks
in with a suggestion some of the navigation keys stop working and the
mouse must be resorted to if you don't want to actually autocomplete
there. :P

The other is when I actually want it to suggest a completion and it
stubbornly doesn't, though there's a key that can coax it. Sometimes
also it won't update the highlighted identifier occurrences until you
hit ctrl+S to save for some reason.

> Sure.  Have you ever encountered a GUI tool that *wasn't*
> implemented in the "don't bother your little head about where
> things are" style, though?

Yes, but not frequently.

> My mileage varies -- I think it takes me about as long to remember
> the location and/or appearance of one of those poorly-designed icons
> as it does to remember a keystroke sequence.  <shrug>

At least you can just browse until you see the icon, and recognize it
once you find it. There's only so many places it can be hiding.
Whereas there are potentially infinite keystroke sequences, and the
only way to browse those is to actually enter them, and doing so will
have consequences you probably don't want for the document you're
editing!

Forget where icon is -> start looking.
Forget key sequence -> exit, fire up the help/man page/whatever, ...,
restart, find your place again ...
(Inbuilt help saves the task switching, but runs afoul of "if a key
sequence needed to use the help is forgotten, you're sunk")

> Sure.  Of course, most of those old-style tools seem happy to
> take advantage of the bigger-than-80x24 windows possible with
> most terminal emulators.

But still have a legacy philosophy of let's-keep-the-user-disoriented-
in-the-dark because they originated in an era when they really had no
alternative to that.

> It depends.  In a constrained-width environment, with a deeply-nested
> directory structure, I prefer the latter.  If I forget where I am,
> I can find out with pwd.

Should rename that to "pwned", since that's what you are if you are in
a constrained-width environment in this day and age. :P

> I observe that the default configuration for the GNOME terminal
> emulator, at least on the system I'm using now, seems to put the
> full path of the current directory in the title bar, where it can
> provide useful information without getting in the way.

Another benefit of the GUI way -- information can be stuck in various
places about the screen to be referred to, without being in the main
task area, and there's room for a lot more of it besides. :)

> > > What I'm thinking is that some people seem to have no trouble
> > > remembering shortish strings of meaningless data, such as phone
> > > numbers, while others apparently would have to work hard to do
> > > that.
>
> > It's designing software to cater to the type of autistic savants that
> > can memorize *a whole damn phone book full of such numbers* and
> > remember exactly who each one calls that bugs me. The UI for emacs
> > appears to be designed for autistic savants, in particular. :P
>
> Could be.  But speaking as someone who might have leanings in the
> "autistic savant" direction, I'll say that I rather like software
> that suits my way of thinking.

That doesn't stop it being completely unsuitable for the vast majority
of the population of this planet, though. :P

> [ snip -- it's not that you're not making some good points, but
> apparently there's a limit after all to how much time I'm willing
> to spend, even though this is a subject I can get worked up about ]

Evidently. :P

> A Windows program is apt to be all-or-nothing:  Either it "just
> works" (which admittedly is wonderful), or it fails in some
> way whose cause and resolution aren't obvious to a novice user,
> and there don't seem to be many tools available for diagnosing
> what's wrong, and there seems to be more of an unbridgeable gap
> between novices and experts.

Versus a unix program, which is apt to be nothing-or-nothing: it "just
doesn't work" out of the box, and fails in some way whose cause and
resolution aren't obvious to a novice user, and if there are tools
available for diagnosing what's wrong, their very existence is also
not obvious to a novice user...and there's an unbridgeable gap between
novices and experts, because if you can't even get the blasted help
viewer to work right, how are you ever going to read all of that
technical crap and become one of the latter? :P

> An old-style Unix program is more of a continuum:  Even simple
> things may not be doable without some learning, but if something
> goes wrong, you have better prospects of figuring out what,
> and novices and experts are the ends of a continuous spectrum
> one can hope to move along.

That's not my observation. See above. Hell, when "something goes
wrong" on Windows 90% of the time it's fixed with a reboot, or a
reinstall of the offending app, or both. When "something goes wrong"
on Unix 100% of the time it's fixed with voodoo, for which your local
witch-doctor will probably charge money. If you can even find one. :P

> I'm not expressing this idea very well, but the key distinction
> I'm trying to make is between a mindset that seems to have only
> novices and experts, with no clear path from one to another, and
> one that's more of a continuum.

Experts and bigger experts, near as I can figure. No novices
though. :P

> Huh?  Say I want to learn more about the cd command.  I type "man
> cd" and get a long page about bash (since cd is actually a shell
> builtin).  Now I type "/cd<return>" to search for cd

And hit something that I'm sure is not F3 to jump to the next
occurrence, and the next, and eventually to the 500th or so, which is
the first that actually references the "cd" command instead of being a
random occurrence of those two letters side by side as part of
something else.

Search queries only a couple of letters long are well-nigh unusable.
So is any interface that depends on your using such to navigate.

> (Admittedly the use of "/" and "n" to search aren't intuitive
> the first time you encounter them, but a lot of text-mode tools
> use them, so ....  <shrug>)

Given that the other 90% of the world uses Ctrl+F and F3, it's not
just "not intuitive", it's downright perverse. And let me guess, it's
also undocumented -- at least, anywhere you would likely stumble upon
without having already successfully performed a search?

> In practice I don't find that that happens, except with typos, in
> which case one tries again.

If you search for a common word, you get a trillion hits. If you
search for a rare word or a phrase, you get zero to a handful. The one
is simply useless; it's either a slightly faster or a slightly slower
page down, depending. The other requires you to know a fair amount
about the target already, likely only if you've already been there.

> > If you get the
> > mousing slightly wrong you end up near where you wanted to go and it's
> > easy to nudge it the rest of the way where it should go. The GUI way,
> > you miss your exit and take the next and circle back and get there a
> > bit later. The unix way, you miss your exit and the next exit is
> > somewhere between Omaha, Nebraska and fucking Timbuktu, or even a
> > great-circle all the way around to back where you started from. :P
>
> That's not my experience.

Well that's the difference between being able to navigate visually and
having to guess at search queries to get anywhere quickly.

> Quite.  I guess the point I was trying to make is that reference
> documentation has its place, and some GUI programs don't seem
> to provide it at all, focusing instead on doling out information
> in little dumbed-down snippets.  Not that those snippets aren't
> sometimes exactly what one wants.  It's just that sometimes
> they're not, and if that's all that's available, it's annoying.

What's needed is reference documentation and tutorial documentation,
both, and neither of them dumbed-down OR over-complicated relative to
the inherent complexity (however small or great that value is) of the
problem domain. As for the implementation details for a particular
tool, they should be of interest only to hackers changing/debugging
the tool or scripting/automating it somehow, and also available, at
least in the source part of the distribution.

> Probably this marks me as terminally pack-rattish, or otherwise
> weird, but I'm apt to accumulate version after version of those
> configuration files, accumulating them in one location with names
> that show the order in which they were created/saved.  So the
> problems you describe don't really arise.

Only in the specific case of someone doing the sort of thing you
describe. Requiring careful record-keeping and cataloguing by the
whole user-base strikes me as foolish and needlessly user-hostile.

And if configuration edits are rare, this is nearly moot, but if they
are common, then finding anything in that back-catalogue will be like
finding a needle in a haystack. Unless you have an automated search
tool that's AI-complete, anyway.

> Huh?  If I want to find an old copy of my .vimrc file ....  Even
> if I didn't remember my scheme for saving things, searching for files
> with names containing "vimrc" seems like a fairly logical thing to
> try, and is easy enough ....

That finds you the 350 files. Now which of them has the information
you're looking for? Even if you look at the timestamps -- was that
edit you want to recreate made in December of 1995, or was it 1996? It
*was* just before Christmas, that much you recall...

Over 20 of the files meet these criteria. Now what? Examine each one
by hand? And if none particularly jogs your memory?

Storing vast amounts of data is overrated, unless you have a way to
find a particular piece later, quickly and certainly.

> > And, of course, once you DID, by some miracle, find it,
> > what you DON'T have is a diff between the two versions showing exactly
> > what you'd changed.
>
> What, the system doesn't have a diff command?  though I like vimdiff
> better for most things now.

Well you could MAKE a diff -- if you found BOTH versions that are
involved ... your search job just doubled in size, complexity, and
effort required. Congratulations!

> I think you're onto something here.  (And your use of the word
> "micromanage" -- you're onto something there, and if in fact you
> wanted to say "control freak", that wouldn't be out of line!)

Hrm. It seems to appeal to a certain personality type too, though not
the pragmatist that just wants to get sat down before the keyboard and
get things done by suppertime, and who certainly finds no room in
their schedule to cram in an extra seven-week training seminar or two.

> > Unix (command-line): Getting to the files is a chore, and a long
> > arcane command must be typed to rename a file once there. However,
> > this command can be generalized or a script file easily used to rename
> > the whole lot in one shot.
>
> You do know about filename completion, right?  so getting to
> the files is not, IMO, more of a chore than it would be in a GUI,
> except that there are fewer visual cues.

It's worse than "fewer visual cues"; if you have the file you want in
front of your eyes on a GUI, unless you do something dumb, like close
the window, it will remain within easy reach. In any commandline
environment, one wrong move and you start all over; although you can
keep the path part around by cd'ing to the file's immediate parent
directory. With the GUI, in other words, you only need to "find" the
file *once* and then make sure a window is kept open to a position in
which the file is visible. With a command line, you need to "find" it
for each occasion where its name is needed, plus any time you mistype
anything, etc.; so even if the "find" bit is no harder, instead of
"find" once, "specify" many, you need to "find and specify" whenever
you want to "specify". This may mean doing the "find" bit, say, ten
times instead of once, depending.

> Even window managers these days aren't what they once were, but
> are apt to be run in conjunction with a "desktop environment"
> such as GNOME or KDE.  I'm not sure I completely understand the
> distinctions myself.  But the idea of having separate mix-and-match
> pieces is very Unix-y.

The window manager presumably provides the basic GUI API for
applications. The desktop environment provides a graphical shell for
the user, so they aren't staring at a blank screen with the GUI API
available but no way for the user to start something that'll invoke
it. (Well, short of getting back to a command-line shell prompt and
launching something from there, anyway.)

With Windows, one application (Explorer) provides the shell and a file
manager; there's a GDI.exe buried somewhere in the system that
performs the "window manager" function to provide access by other
applications, including Explorer.

So two of the three things are still technically separate with
Windows.

> > There's a lesson here. Perhaps that we need a kind of visual or
> > gestural language capable of the rich semantics of a scripting
> > language.
>
> Yes!  One of the problems I perceive with people accustomed to
> GUIs is that they don't even imagine the possibilities of the
> kind of automation possible with the old tools.

And yet the old tools can't even do something fairly simple and not
needing automation without wizardry involved. The automation of course
also requires developing a small program, in effect, and generally
with drastic consequences to getting it wrong. (Windows apps often
have a search-and-replace which can likewise have drastic
consequences, but at least there's an Undo command available -- though
some boneheaded app designs treat each replace done automatically as a
separately undoable action! Morons.)

> It's something
> I do my best to show my students ....  Perhaps one of them will
> come up with something along the lines of what you describe.

Or I will...

> > To find something in alphabetical/whatever order, given the absence of
> > a (known) way to automate the search, but a way to scroll decently
> > rapidly through the document.
>
> I still can't imagine this actually being useful in practice.  It's
> more or less how one looks something up in a (paper) phone book or
> dictionary, but if one can search instead, what's the point ....

Exactly. It's just that all too often crummy help tools provide "none
of the above" as options. The subject matter isn't organized in a way
amenable to manual searching, plus there's no way to navigate more
than a page at a time, plus there may be no way (or at least, no self-
evident way) to navigate more than a *line* at a time, plus there
almost certainly is no self-evident way to search, and of course you
may not yet know the best query terms to find whatever it is you're
looking for anyway. Which leaves reading the whole damn document cover-
to-cover.

Ouch.

> > Consider it shorthand for "you can actually see what the hell you're
> > doing and where the hell you are, and what tools are sitting on the
> > workbench in front of you" then. :)
>
> Except, of course, that some of the tools are collected in boxes
> with labels (some text, some icons) that might or might not allow
> you to guess which box a particular tool is in.

At least you can see the damn boxes and read the labels, and remember
what's where; bumping into them in the dark is going to be largely
accidental, by contrast.

> Does the ":P" mean you know you're exaggerating for effect?

Yes, but it's still basically true.

But you claimed you could learn something useful and transfer the
knowledge to another application. That's impossible if they don't both
adhere to *some* standard, but rather each does everything in a
totally idiosyncratic way. There isn't even a real standard for
*documentation* over there in nixland; there's man pages (with a
crufty, nigh-unusable browser tool required to read them, as they're
binary -- at least, they were on the system I am recalling), plain
text, and even .ps and .html; even using the latter is nontrivial if
you haven't got a working GUI and a copy of Firefox installed yet, and
I purely *hate* messing with postscript in any way, shape, or form,
mainly because the format was designed for transport between a
computer and a printer, not for storage/online viewing (the huge size
and total lack of compression -- they're highly repetitive ASCII text
inside, if you ever looked -- is another symptom of this, as the
designers expected this stuff to be short-lived as it rushed along a
100MBit parallel cable to a printer, rather than to sit around on a
disk drive taking up space, or even get downloaded over a paltry
5-10MBit cable or DSL connection from the Internet or, worse, dial-up
(eek!)).

0
bbound
9/25/2007 8:13:42 PM
On Sep 24, 5:45 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> In my C++ days I really enjoyed using gcc and gdb via emacs, which would let> me coordinate the source and the debug session.I don't doubt it. Same thing Eclipse can do, except Eclipse doesn'trequire you to manually monkey with all the plumbing to make ithappen, nor does said plumbing tend to spill raw sewage all over thekitchen floor if you lack a bunch of domain-irrelevant technicalknowledge and/or get it wrong. ;)
0
bbound
9/25/2007 8:16:49 PM
On Sep 25, 11:22 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>wrote:> Again IMO, those of us who cling to these old-time editors would> be well-advised to put aside the old Editor Wars and band together> against the common enemy [*].  But just the other day I heard one> of my students pushing vim and slamming emacs, so apparently not> everyone agrees with me.I can relate. Well, the slamming-emacs part meets with my approval, atleast. :)
0
bbound
9/25/2007 8:18:20 PM
On Sep 25, 12:04 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blm...@myrealbox.com wrote:> >> ...  just the other day I heard one> > of my students pushing vim and slamming emacs,>> You want to swing people over to emacs, turn'em on to "Meta-X doctor">> Sample session:[snip]> >> I'll ask the questions, if you don't mind!> > I have no plans.> >> Maybe your life have something to do with this.*sighs*I rest my case.
0
bbound
9/25/2007 8:19:03 PM
On Sep 25, 1:34 pm, Andreas Leitgeb <a...@gamma.logic.tuwien.ac.at>wrote:> Ok, many people already have their >10MB/s up- and downloads nowadays,> but often enough one is still faced with a slower link.  Editing a file> across such a slower link with a graphical editor will take you really> looooooooonnnnnnnnnngggggggg time.That's a good reason to edit it locally and then upload the finishedrevised version of the file. Another is so that you can edit it withyour software on your hardware, instead of who knows what. Yet anotheris so that the admin of the remote machine doesn't have completestrangers running whatever binaries on their machine; they only needto expose a few common services, e.g. HTTP and FTP if it's webhosting.> PS: I'm not("not", not "now") sitting in front of the machine I'm>   posting this from.  My  newsreader, mailprogram, irc-client and>   more apps are all "retro" curses-based apps, which I leave running>   on some server within the (also curses-based terminal-multiplexer)>   "screen", from which I detach at evening, and to which I re-attach>   next morning, and have all my progs still running.How ... retro. And it adds extra points of failure, some of which arein the especially sensitive area called "security". You're having torun some kind of server, which creates an additional potential pointof entry for hackers, and necessarily constitutes a security risk.Perhaps a calculated one, and a low one given certain expertise, butnonetheless a risk. And an unnecessary one since there are more modernmethods to do this sort of thing. Really, the only reason you shouldneed to some other machine of yours is to access data stored on thatparticular machine of yours. Merely to use it as a bridge shouldn't benecessary.>   Also at work, I regularly have to connect to a host that is, well,>   perhaps about 800km away, and the link there isn't exactly of LAN->   speed. No problem with the retro-apps we use there. Casually, we>   also do need graphical apps there. We used rdesktop and vnc: both>   boooring.Why not download, edit, upload? This makes the most sense in thepresence of any kind of serious lag.
0
nebulous99
9/25/2007 8:39:02 PM
nebulous99@gmail.com <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> is so that the admin of the remote machine doesn't have complete> strangers running whatever binaries on their machine; they only need> to expose a few common services, e.g. HTTP and FTP if it's web> hosting.rotfl!
0
Andreas
9/25/2007 9:36:29 PM
In article <x86dnfFx8YADrGTbnZ2dnUVZ_gednZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> >> ...  just the other day I heard one> > of my students pushing vim and slamming emacs, > > You want to swing people over to emacs, turn'em on to "Meta-X doctor"Curiously enough, I had intended to mention just that, um,feature? in my earlier post (but somehow forgot in the process ofmaking other points), as evidence of my firm belief that emacscan be made do just about any sensible thing one might want acomputer to do, and some not-so-sensible things as well.  My otherexample was going to be some of the more arcane feature of "Meta-Xcalendar" -- who knew there were so many different calendars?Mayan, Persian, ....  Not to mention calculation of sunrise/sunsettimes.  And it's presumably all done in Lisp ....> Sample session:[ snip ]I also took the feature for a spin recently, and -- you know,it's not as entertaining as I remember it being many years ago.Not that it's not still entertaining in a way, but it seems likethe program's responses are more surreal than they used to be.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 9:57:39 AM
bbound@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 24, 5:51 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>> wrote:> >>[quoted material snipped]>>[insult deleted]I wrote that you were wrong when you wrote "VTxxx are monochrome". That's not an insult, it is a statement of fact.>>vt241 and vt525 [snip]vt241 and vt525 support color text.> Are irrelevant. You are wrong, the fact that VTxxx support color for some values of xxx *is* relevant.> We're talking about VT100 and VT220 here.No we are not, you wrote "VTxxx"
0
RedGrittyBrick
9/26/2007 10:21:06 AM
In article <1190745024.945621.231350@y42g2000hsy.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 24, 6:24 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:[ snip ]> > I'll say again that it might be worthwhile to check the calibration> > of that threat-detection system.> > It's working perfectly TYVM; the estimated rate of false negatives is> basically zero at this point.>It's the rate of false positives that concerns me.  I would thinkthat would concern you too, if only because a false positive meansyou then feel obligated to spend time and energy defending yourselfwhen it isn't necessary.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 10:25:21 AM
In article <1190746148.924189.41270@50g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 24, 7:06 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > This begs the obvious question:> >> > Raises the question?  Prompts the question?  I guess you're not> > the stickler about language usage I thought you might be.> > It's a widespread, easily understood usage; unlike, say, "NTTAWWT". ;PEasily understood, I suppose, but irritating and perhaps a bitambiguous to the language-usage pedants, who still think "begsthe question" should retain its older meaning, roughly "engagesin circular reasoning".> > > what is a "terminal emulator" for, if> > > not to provide an environment for genuinely archaic software to run?> > > Apparently, to run recent but intentionally "retro" software. What,> > > however, is the attraction to deliberately "retro" software that> > > hearkens back to the bad old days of limited system memory and> > > performance and the consequent terrible, terse and cryptic user> > > interfaces?> >> > Hey!  Some of us *like* ....  Go ahead and tell me I'm weird;> > I won't mind.> > I can see possibly enjoying such a user interface as a puzzle to be> solved, or a game to be played. It's when it comes time to do> productive work and instead of being able to simply sit down and start> working, this puzzle gets pushed into your face that will take three> and a quarter hours to unscramble, that it gets to be a pain. Puzzles> and games should be separate applications identifiable as such, rather> than masquerading as (or worse, substituting for) the system's window> manager configurator, text editor, newsreader, mailreader, or> whatever. :)Just being able to sit down and use an application with no trainingis appealing.  If the tradeoff is that the application is lesspowerful, less reliable, less something, than an applicationthat requires some learning up-front, I don't know, sometimesI'd rather spend the time learning in order to benefit later.I'll agree that the two aren't mutually exclusive, but I'mnot sure I've encountered too many tools that I thought werereally both novice-friendly and expert-friendly.[ snip ]-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 10:36:11 AM
In article <1190746574.659643.182650@o80g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,
 <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 24, 7:26 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > > Not by choice.
> >
> > Is that a "yes, but not by choice", or a "no, by choice" ?
> 
> Yes, but not by choice; I'd have thought that obvious.

That did seem like the more likely interpretation, except that it
would mean you *have* used these tools you're slamming, which is
something of a surprise.  

[ snip ]

> > > Unix isn't a stranger to creeping featurism. The filesystem itself, X,
> > > and emacs all come to mind. :)
> >
> > The filesystem?  seems pretty simple to me -- perhaps too simple
> > (the three-level permissions system, for example).
> 
> First of all, the "file"system contains everything but the kitchen
> sink, rather than just the actual, you know, *files*. 

By "filesystem" I have in mind something along the lines described
in the Wikipedia article ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system ):
The mechanism for providing an abstract view of, and/or organizing
the bits on, a storage medium in terms of files and directories,
with associated timestamps, permissions, etc.  I don't think the
application-level view of Unix filesystems has changed much over
the years, though the implementation has gotten more sophisticated.
An exception to this claim might be ACLs (access control lists).
Aside from them, where's the creeping featurism?

> Second, the
> permissions system is much more than anything you'll find on a
> mainstream OS these days -- I'm pretty sure Windows (for most, if not
> all Windows variants) has everything world-readable and -executable,
> and write permissions by user -- no groups. Maybe directory read-
> permission also is deniable. Particularly, there's no mess or fuss
> with making your newly-compiled code, scripts, or whatever executable
> -- arguably a bad thing.

I was under the impression that the versions of Windows that at
least make claims about being multi-user had some mechanism for
indicating which files were accessible to which users.  No?

And to me a system that provides no multi-user capability, and
not even much of a way to make a distinction between normal-user
mode and system-administrator mode is -- well, inadequate.
Whether "mainstream" versions of Windows are inadequate in that
way I don't know.  Recent versions of the Mac OS are said to be
"BSD Unix under the hood", so they have the capability to make
Unix-like distinctions.  I don't know how much that's used.

[ snip ]

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
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blmblm
9/26/2007 10:51:41 AM
Since we're already firmly into editor flagwaggling...

blmblm @ myrealbox. com wrote:

> I wonder whether your idea of a text editor differs from mine.
> I have almost no experience with typical Windows editors, so
> I don't know how capable they are.  Some of the things I like
> about vim:

Should you ever find yourself on a Mac, I highly recommend
TextMate[0].  The author is ex Unix, and it shows in the feature set
but not the UI.  The following is coloured by half a decade or so of
emacs use.

> (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic
> indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to
> emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then
> I discovered that vim had them too.

A fairly straightforward DSL for adding support for new languages,
along with a reasonable array of included language syntax rules for
use as examples (including SQL, python, java, bash scripts, plain
text, diff files, perl, latex, css, html, xml, C++, and a bunch of
others), complete with block awareness.  It gets python and XML right
by default; I've been playing with the other modes and they're also
fairly promising.

> (*) Interoperability with other tools.  I don't know how to say
> this better, but some examples:  vim makes it easy to import the
> output of a command-line command (such as ls), or run selected
> lines of a file being edited through an external command (such
> as sort).  "No one wants to do this"?  I dunno.  I seem to find
> it useful pretty often.

This.

> (*) Ability to record and play back macros.  This also is
> something I seem to find useful pretty often.

This.  Plus full-blown AppleScript support, if you can tolerate such a
weenie language and the usual "embed your favourite language here"
support; in this case that language is bash, which the author mostly
uses to invoke ruby.

> Probably this marks me as terminally pack-rattish, or otherwise
> weird, but I'm apt to accumulate version after version of those
> configuration files, accumulating them in one location with names
> that show the order in which they were created/saved.  So the
> problems you describe don't really arise.

Configuration is handled by the OS' standard preferences mechanism (a
preferences file specific to the application stored in ~/Library/
Preferences, which may be either of two textual representations or a
faster binary representation), which can be backed up or shared around
as needed.

In fact, the author's done an amazing job all around of using the
platform standards. All the HIG keystrokes and interface affordances
do the right things  At the same time he hasn't been constrained by
it: the presence of a cmd-F search box (the HIG standard keystroke and
behavior) hasn't stopped him from implementing a search-as-you-type
feature too (ctrl-S).

There's another nice feature: it offers to drop a symlink to itself in
whatever directory you prefer, which can be used to run the editor
from the terminal either as a blocking editor like emacs (handy for
svn commit messages) or a via launch services (spinning the process
off away from the terminal and returning control to the shell
immediately).

The only thing I don't like is the default behaviour towards tabs, but
then, that's another holy war entirely.

[0] http://www.macromates.com/ -- and in deference to some peoples'
preferences, I'll note here that it costs money.  I'm not affiliated
with it in any way save ecstatic user.

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Owen
9/26/2007 11:05:35 AM
In article <1190745789.245995.127630@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 24, 6:50 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > Any suggestion that I have a malfunctioning perceptual system at all,> > > independent of the details of the supposed malfunction, suggests> > > "dangerous" mental illness and is insulting.  [ snip ]> >> > To you, anyway.  Not to me.  But you've made that point already.> > What does it suggest to you, then? I guess recreational substances or> something of the sort that you wouldn't consider to be "bad"?No.  Misperceiving something about human interaction, which is whatmy original claim was about, is not, in my opinion, necessarily a sign of dangerous mental illness.  Maybe it's sign of something thatcould be labeled mental illness; I suppose that depends on how onedefines the term.  In any case, I don't think it's an insult to point it out.  You do.  > Regardless. I can't have people creating some kind of rumor or public> perception that I do drugs, can't see straight, need help, or what-> have-you. Doesn't matter which of those things you intended to> suggest. None are acceptable.> > > The problem with this argument is that if you *were* perceiving> > things wrongly (note use of subjunctive), an inability to notice> > the misperception could be part of the problem.> > That would require a very specific blind spot. It's very unlikely> given the system architecture. For example, if I lost sensation in my> left index finger it would seem numb; I'd notice that I had a finger> that was not generating sense data. Now there's a brain region that> tracks body parts; it's the equivalent of the Windows "device> manager". If it had a specific glitch, independently of the first> glitch, I'd have a low level representation of myself as not even> having that finger. If the finger itself worked normally I'd have an> "alien finger" syndrome -- something supposedly nonexistent connected> as a data source. If it also didn't work, nothing might seem abnormal> to me at first -- except that sooner or later I'd *see* the damn thing> attached to my left hand, or remember having had one and wonder what> had become of it, or something. Now it seems I'd need a hole in my> memory and a visual blind spot too, with the latter moving around in a> very deliberate and unlikely-by-chance manner! As you can see, the> internal cross-checks and redundancy ensure that no simple localized> change or even two or three such would be able to go completely> unnoticed in the manner you are suggesting. While the example was with> a finger's tactile sense, it applies as well to any other sense source> -- other fingers, eyes, ears, etc.So, it seems to me that you're diagnosing malfunction here fromconflicting inputs from different senses.  What happens if allsenses are malfunctioning?  less likely, but then how do younotice that something is wrong?And I'm not sure the analogy is really applicable to the kindof misperception of human interaction we're talking about here.I don't know how to say this better, but I find it completelyplausible that a person could be consistently misinterpretingother people's words and intentions without being aware thathe/she was doing so.  > What you propose is, though theoretically possible, so astronomically> unlikely as to be not worth considering; for all practical purposes it> can't happen, and if it does I'm screwed anyway so there's no point> worrying about an undetectable, nothing-can-be-done-about-it-anyway> malfunction of doom.> > (In fact, the moving-blind-spot problem shows that more generally,> whatever it was would have to either completely wipe my memory, or> selectively alter data in a manner that's AI-complete, in order to> keep me unaware of whatever-it-was. My memory is obviously not> completely wiped, and such selective alteration would amount to having> a split personality with a heretofore unknown alter that's as smart as> I am and doesn't become completely dormant when I'm in the focus --> and still I'd have missing time, blackouts, or other symptoms I'd have> noticed!)> > No, I can assure you I have none of the kinds of conditions you are> suggesting and likely never will.> > > Of course, that can't be the case, because you said so.> > Exactly. I wouldn't lie.In my usage, "lie" usually indicates a deliberate falsification;one can also say something that's not true because of a mistake.Of course, you don't make mistakes, so I guess that doesn't apply here either.> > Hm.  You seem to be saying that my "it seems to me that you have> > a distorted view of things" is an attempt to diagnose mental> > illness based on a few (or many) newsgroup posts.> > If it's not, then what is it? Simply an insult that came to mind,> without any particular belief prompting it? That would fit with some> peoples' behavior here, that's for sure...Sure, I randomly insult people all the time in Usenet.  (Not.)I guess I'm objecting here to your conflation of "you seem to havea distorted view of how humans interact" with "you are mentally ill".To me the former is like, oh, a cold in the head, while the latteris a dangerous strain of influenza.> > > Moving along now...> >> > Let's do that.> > Then why do I still see about a dozen unread posts in this thread to> go, with more of them by you than not by you? :PPerhaps because the thread has split into multiple branches, some ofwhich have little if anything to do with your mental functioning?-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 11:46:29 AM
In article <1190751409.278189.27620@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 24, 5:45 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> > In my C++ days I really enjoyed using gcc and gdb via emacs, which would let> > me coordinate the source and the debug session.> > I don't doubt it. Same thing Eclipse can do, except Eclipse doesn't> require you to manually monkey with all the plumbing to make it> happen, nor does said plumbing tend to spill raw sewage all over the> kitchen floor if you lack a bunch of domain-irrelevant technical> knowledge and/or get it wrong. ;)>What *are* you on about with the raw sewage part of the analogy.I also have run gcc and gdb from emacs and found them to be usefulas a sort of minimalist IDE.  About the worst thing I can think ofhappening as a result of getting something about the setup wrong isthat you wouldn't be able to use the tool(set) as intended.  "Rawsewage"?-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 11:52:00 AM
In article <1190751222.013883.184640@50g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,
 <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 24, 11:36 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
> wrote:

[ snip ]

> > If incompatible versions of applications used different names for
> > configuration files, this problem would go away.  But apparently
> > many don't.  And I've found this to be much more of a problem with
> > "modern" applications than the old-time ones where you configure
> > things by editing text files.
> 
> A lot of Windoze apps don't play very nicely with copies of
> themselves, mainly due to registry collisions. One more black mark
> against the registry. But it's no reason to be requiring hand-hacking
> config files manually -- an app could ask you to name its install, and
> use that name for its configuration files and other stuff. 

Sure.  My point was that the behavior I find annoying -- silently
making changes that aren't backwards compatible -- seems to be more
common with the new-style than the old-style tools.

> On Windoze
> the ideal would be to have the user pick a directory under "Program
> Files" and stick a .ini file there along with everything else. It's
> there if it wants manual editing, and it's out of sight and out of
> mind if you just want to use the GUI. The practise is to use the
> registry instead. Guess which would enable multiple instances to play
> nice on the same system?
> 
> > Yeah.  So, not particularly relevant to a discussion of a multi-user,
> > multi-machine setup.
> 
> Au contraire; it demonstrates that it can be done -- having an app
> coexist with different versions of itself, by each having its own
> subdirectory to put things in. Of course with per-user stuff this
> needs to go in the user's home directory in subdirectories, instead of
> in Program Files or wherever.

I think I was imagining that with a single-user system, every
version of an application might have its own config.ini file (same
name for all), but each could be stored in a folder specific to
the application version, together with the executable, or some
such, and that this might be slightly more difficult to manage
with per-user files because of the identical filenames -- not
impossible, no, just a bit more trouble and hence perhaps not
done as often.

[ snip ]

> > For suitable definitions of "never":  F1 brings up help in mutt
> > (mail reader).
> 
> Really? This is the first I've heard of any unix app even knowing that
> there is such a thing as a function key.

When was the last time you used a Unix/Unix-like system?  Which one?
mutt has been doing this since I first started using it, hm, about
eight years ago.

> > Again for suitable definitions of "never":  Both of these keys
> > do what their names describe in mutt and in vim.  The keys labeled
> > Home and End also do something related to their names.
> 
> Again, this I find hard to believe. Extraordinary claims require
> extraordinary evidence, and all that.

What evidence would you find believable?  I could hardly be
mistaken about this -- I mean, I did some experiments before
writing the above paragraph -- so are you saying I'm lying?
Why would I do that, when it would be so easy for you to refute the
claim with a simple experiment?  I admit that before writing the
above I've only done these experiments on Fedora Linux systems, but
I would be surprised if they weren't repeatable on other Unix-like
platforms as well.  (And I just tried the same experiments on a
SunOS system, logged in remotely, and they work there too.)

> > Part of the problem (?) is one of maintaining backward compatibility.
> 
> Maintaining sideways compatibility with everything else people use
> would be more valuable IMO.

In other words, don't worry about keeping the existing user base
happy; force them to adapt to what the majority does.

In case it's not clear, I'm not trying to argue that everyone
should use the same tools I do; I'm saying that there is a place
for tools that appeal only to a minority.

> > Curiously enough, I just tried using OO Writer to write a fairly
> > simple document last week, and to me it seemed much like Word --
> > difficult to use in the style to which LaTeX has accustomed me
> > (logical structure rather than "just start typing"), full of
> > irritating behaviors, etc.  <shrug>
> 
> I'm not aware of a WYSIWYG word processor with LaTeX-style logical
> structure. Seems there's demand for such a thing though. Automatic
> behaviors should all be turnable-offable someplace.

Or better yet, they should default to "off" and be turn-on-able.
My opinion, though.

[ snip -- more later, maybe ]

> I think there's two sorts of expertise at issue, and conflating the
> two is going to confuse.
> 
> 1. Domain expertise, relevant to the particular task the user is
> accomplishing.
> 2. Expertise in the program's own internal workings.
> 
> 1 will be required; this is unavoidable unless the domain expertise is
> something completely automatable, which is as yet rather rare.
> 2 should not be required, to the extent that it doesn't overlap with
> 1.

I think my point is that somehow a "point and click" interface
obscures that (1) is needed.  In my opinion, anyway.

[ snip ]

> Help that "dumbs down" the expertise in category 1 won't be very
> helpful. Help and a user-interface that minimizes the impact of
> category 2 is another matter however.

Sure.

> > I wonder whether your idea of a text editor differs from mine.
> 
> I don't see how; a text editor is an application for editing ASCII
> files (or, perhaps nowadays, also unicode files). The basic goal:
> enable the user to put any desired string of printable characters,
> tabs, spaces, and linefeeds together and store them to and retrieve
> them from files. Anything else is window dressing, really.

Your "window dressing" apparently includes my "useful functionality
required to qualify the application as a 'real text editor'".

> > (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic
> > indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to
> > emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then
> > I discovered that vim had them too.
> 
> The usual unix editor syndrome: the editor tries to be a jack of all
> trades; hence, master of none, and a baffled user too. A specialized
> IDE makes more sense than a supposedly generic text editor for this
> purpose; and on Windows, you'd use Eclipse rather than Notepad here,
> instead of trying to make Notepad into Eclipse.

Well, the old-style Unix model is that everything is stored in
text files, and you use a single editor to work with all of them,
rather than having to learn a new editor to work with each new
type of file.  Applications that need to do text editing from
within the application call the user's editor of choice.  I think
it's still a model that makes sense, though maybe it's not for
everyone, and perhaps some applications need more interaction
with the editor than is possible with this model.

> > (*) Interoperability with other tools.  I don't know how to say
> > this better, but some examples:  vim makes it easy to import the
> > output of a command-line command (such as ls), or run selected
> > lines of a file being edited through an external command (such
> > as sort).  "No one wants to do this"?  I dunno.  I seem to find
> > it useful pretty often.
> 
> This begs for a better interactive command processor rather than more
> features in the text editor. On Windows, you'd want a souped up
> command.com box with full-screen instead of line editing and an
> immediate-mode prompt, not unlike the old QBasic in some respects,
> rather than cramming a bunch more stuff into Notepad. (With Eclipse
> and a command shell jammed in there, your ideal for Notepad is now
> starting to resemble some kind of feeping creature already!)

Say what?  the text editor isn't trying to be a command processor
here; it's giving me access to the rest of the system without
the need for cutting and pasting between windows.

Here's an example:  I'm writing a document and want to include
the result of doing some simple calculation.  I can express
the calculation in the form expected by a text-mode calculator,
pipe it into the calculator program, and get the result back in
my document.  Of course there are other ways to accomplish this
involving cutting and pasting, but they strike me as somewhat
more trouble, if easier to learn.

> A subset of this functionality is also found in specialized IDEs, such
> as Eclipse.
> 
> > (*) vimdiff, which shows differences between two files in a way
> > that's sometimes easier to grasp than the output of diff.
> 
> This might actually be sensible as a text editor feature, but is
> especially so as an IDE feature.
> 
> > (*) Ability to record and play back macros.  This also is
> > something I seem to find useful pretty often.
> 
> This might actually be sensible as a text editor feature.
> 
> [snip]
> 
> AFAICT, you're really looking for an IDE, not a plain old text editor,
> here.

Well, no, because a lot of these are useful features no matter
what kind of text I'm editing (source code, mail message, newsgroup 
post, etc.) -- maybe not syntax highlighting, but the other
ones.

> > Maybe I felt like that when I first started using these tools.
> > Now, however, when I'm editing text with vim, I perceive myself
> > to be "editing text" rather than "using vim".  The keystroke
> > sequences for actions I do often -- I don't think about them
> > any more than I think "I need to turn the steering wheel now"
> > when I'm driving a car and want to turn.
> 
> That's the oft-noted human capacity to get used to anything. Prisoners
> of war in the Koreas even got used to torture, chronic sleep
> deprivation, and other stuff. Kidnap victims sometimes form a bond
> with the kidnapper. It's called Stockholm syndrome; see a doctor. :)
> 
> Thing is, the interface for "normal" stuff gets out of the way more-or-
> less immediately, unless what you're doing actually is rocket science.
> (Editing levels for 3D games for example, rather than typing your
> resume. And I think the level editors could probably be improved in
> usability even so, though only up to a point.)

Yeah.  I'm not sure I'd recommend vim to everyone.  But as I said
in another post, given a choice between something novice-friendly
but limited and something expert-friendly but requiring some
learning, well, I'm glad to have a choice, and will sometimes
choose the latter.

> > Now, I *do* have that feeling when I'm trying to edit text in
> > some other interface.
> 
> But it won't last long if the interface is simple and straightforward.
> 
> If the task is complex, the interface is going to be complex.
> If the task is simple and the tool is a normal Windows app, the
> interface is going to be simple.
> If the task is simple and the tool is a normal unix app, the interface
> is going to be complex.
> If the interface is simple, it will be easy to use.
> If the interface is complex but you've spent years with it, it will be
> easy to use.
> If the interface is complex and you've not spent years with it, it
> won't be easy to use.
> 
> So when is it unavoidable that the interface not be easy to use?
> When the user is not massively experienced and either the task is
> complex -- or unix is involved. :P
> 
> >  As previously noted, I'm happier driving
> > from the keyboard than using a mouse, and while a lot of actions
> > (selecting text, for example) can be done that way, I usually
> > have to consciously think about which keys are needed.  I'm
> > sure practice would help, just as did with vi(m), but -- why?
> 
> Think about which keys are needed? It's completely intuitive with,
> say, Notepad; shift+navigation keys moves one endpoint of the
> selection (the other being wherever you were when you first started
> holding down shift). 

Shift + navigation keys is intuitive?!  In whose universe?  Now,
that the key marked with a left arrow should move the cursor left
is semi-intuitive (though I think it does presuppose a notion
of cursor that total newbies might not have), but how would you
know that Shift does what you describe without reading about it
somewhere, or having someone show you?  Once you've discovered it,
sure, it works in a lot of circumstances.  But discovering it?

> (This is assuming you have no desire to use the
> mouse, where typically it's just click at one spot, and hold the
> button to move the other endpoint.)
> 
> > > The problem being that you really *can't*, save perhaps with a live
> > > tutor, as near as I can figure.
> >
> > A live tutor is probably useful in learning the first few tools.
> > After that, not so much, again in my experience.  I figured out
> > bash (a command shell) without a live tutor, but then I already
> > knew another Unix command shell ([t]csh).  I think I learned
> > most of what I know about some of the other tools (sed and awk)
> > without a local expert to help.  <shrug>
> 
> The latter are noninteractive tools. 

So?

If you want an interactive tool, gnuplot.  I'm pretty sure just
about everything I know about it was learned without a live tutor.
Now, if I didn't already have some familiarity with similar tools,
I might have had more trouble.  But I do, just as Windows users
have familiarity with the conventions of *their* platform.

> But you should really not need a
> live tutor at all. A decent help system would obviate the need, but
> tends to be lacking on such systems as you seem to be describing.

The old-style help systems (man and info pages) are admittedly
a weak point, better as reference documentation than tutorials.

> > It's not so much that I think the GUI tools come up short, as
> > that they encourage people who don't know what they're doing to
> > try anyway, and they present concepts in a way that I think is
> > confusing to the expert.  I can't give specific examples; it's
> > more of that "don't scare the user with technical terms" stuff.
> 
> This is not, however, an intrinsic, unavoidable trait of GUIs, though
> it may be a common flaw in particular instances.

Sure.

> > Yeah ....  I actually find some of Eclipse's "let me help you"
> > features more intrusive than helpful.  Maybe you get used to them,
> > but for a first draft, I'd rather rough it out with vim, which
> > doesn't get in my way, and then start up Eclipse and let it help
> > me with what it does well, such as generating import statements.
> > (Somebody may well have written a vim plug-in for that.  I should
> > look around for one sometime!)
> 
> I don't find Eclipse bothersome in that regard at all; especially as
> it doesn't change anything without my permission; just highlights
> various things. I can tell it to generate or fix the import statements
> and it does, though.
> 
> The one major nuisance is that sometimes when the autocomplete kicks
> in with a suggestion some of the navigation keys stop working and the
> mouse must be resorted to if you don't want to actually autocomplete
> there. :P

That's one of the features I find annoying, yes.

> The other is when I actually want it to suggest a completion and it
> stubbornly doesn't, though there's a key that can coax it. Sometimes
> also it won't update the highlighted identifier occurrences until you
> hit ctrl+S to save for some reason.

And that.

[ snip ]

> But still have a legacy philosophy of let's-keep-the-user-disoriented-
> in-the-dark because they originated in an era when they really had no
> alternative to that.
> 
> > It depends.  In a constrained-width environment, with a deeply-nested
> > directory structure, I prefer the latter.  If I forget where I am,
> > I can find out with pwd.
> 
> Should rename that to "pwned", since that's what you are if you are in
> a constrained-width environment in this day and age. :P

Your monitor is infinitely wide?  Cool.  Where can I get one of those,
and a big enough room to keep it in?

> > I observe that the default configuration for the GNOME terminal
> > emulator, at least on the system I'm using now, seems to put the
> > full path of the current directory in the title bar, where it can
> > provide useful information without getting in the way.
> 
> Another benefit of the GUI way -- information can be stuck in various
> places about the screen to be referred to, without being in the main
> task area, and there's room for a lot more of it besides. :)

One could put this in the top line of a text-mode application's display
as well.

[ snip ]

> > Could be.  But speaking as someone who might have leanings in the
> > "autistic savant" direction, I'll say that I rather like software
> > that suits my way of thinking.
> 
> That doesn't stop it being completely unsuitable for the vast majority
> of the population of this planet, though. :P

Okay with me.  I don't insist that everyone use my preferred set
of tools, just that they leave me to use them in peace and not try
to explain to me how wrong-headed I'm being.  The downside is that
I don't learn as well what most people's experience of computers
is like, which is limiting in its way -- though nice in other ways.

> > [ snip -- it's not that you're not making some good points, but
> > apparently there's a limit after all to how much time I'm willing
> > to spend, even though this is a subject I can get worked up about ]
> 
> Evidently. :P

And evidently I'm not alone.

[ snip ]

> That's not my observation. See above. Hell, when "something goes
> wrong" on Windows 90% of the time it's fixed with a reboot, or a
> reinstall of the offending app, or both. When "something goes wrong"
> on Unix 100% of the time it's fixed with voodoo, for which your local
> witch-doctor will probably charge money. If you can even find one. :P

Not my experience.

[ snip ]

> > Huh?  Say I want to learn more about the cd command.  I type "man
> > cd" and get a long page about bash (since cd is actually a shell
> > builtin).  Now I type "/cd<return>" to search for cd
> 
> And hit something that I'm sure is not F3 to jump to the next
> occurrence, and the next, and eventually to the 500th or so, which is
> the first that actually references the "cd" command instead of being a
> random occurrence of those two letters side by side as part of
> something else.

"cd" is an unusual combination, though, isn't it?  (As it happens,
on the man page on my system, the third occurrence of "cd" was
the one that was most helpful.)

> Search queries only a couple of letters long are well-nigh unusable.
> So is any interface that depends on your using such to navigate.

Binary search is better?  because that's what we're comparing here.

> > (Admittedly the use of "/" and "n" to search aren't intuitive
> > the first time you encounter them, but a lot of text-mode tools
> > use them, so ....  <shrug>)
> 
> Given that the other 90% of the world uses Ctrl+F and F3, it's not
> just "not intuitive", it's downright perverse. And let me guess, it's
> also undocumented -- at least, anywhere you would likely stumble upon
> without having already successfully performed a search?

Ctrl-F is somewhat intuitive.  How is F3 intuitive?

[ snip ]

> If you search for a common word, you get a trillion hits. If you
> search for a rare word or a phrase, you get zero to a handful. The one
> is simply useless; it's either a slightly faster or a slightly slower
> page down, depending. The other requires you to know a fair amount
> about the target already, likely only if you've already been there.

How is binary search better?

[ snip ]

> > Probably this marks me as terminally pack-rattish, or otherwise
> > weird, but I'm apt to accumulate version after version of those
> > configuration files, accumulating them in one location with names
> > that show the order in which they were created/saved.  So the
> > problems you describe don't really arise.
> 
> Only in the specific case of someone doing the sort of thing you
> describe. Requiring careful record-keeping and cataloguing by the
> whole user-base strikes me as foolish and needlessly user-hostile.

Yeah, maybe.  But at least it lets people who *do* want to have a
record do so, as opposed to point-and-click operations that leave
nothing recordable.

[ snip ]

> > I think you're onto something here.  (And your use of the word
> > "micromanage" -- you're onto something there, and if in fact you
> > wanted to say "control freak", that wouldn't be out of line!)
> 
> Hrm. It seems to appeal to a certain personality type too, though not
> the pragmatist that just wants to get sat down before the keyboard and
> get things done by suppertime, and who certainly finds no room in
> their schedule to cram in an extra seven-week training seminar or two.

Yeah.  And the person who doesn't mind remaining ignorant of better
ways to do things, and continuing to do manually things that could be
automated.  (You do have a point.  But I think I do too.)

> > You do know about filename completion, right?  so getting to
> > the files is not, IMO, more of a chore than it would be in a GUI,
> > except that there are fewer visual cues.
> 
> It's worse than "fewer visual cues"; if you have the file you want in
> front of your eyes on a GUI, unless you do something dumb, like close
> the window, it will remain within easy reach. In any commandline
> environment, one wrong move and you start all over; although you can
> keep the path part around by cd'ing to the file's immediate parent
> directory. With the GUI, in other words, you only need to "find" the
> file *once* and then make sure a window is kept open to a position in
> which the file is visible. With a command line, you need to "find" it
> for each occasion where its name is needed, plus any time you mistype
> anything, etc.; so even if the "find" bit is no harder, instead of
> "find" once, "specify" many, you need to "find and specify" whenever
> you want to "specify". This may mean doing the "find" bit, say, ten
> times instead of once, depending.

This doesn't sound much like my experience.  Of course, I do things
like defining environment variables for directories I use a lot,
so navigation isn't as difficult as it might be -- $WEBDIR for
the directory where the files for my "Web site" live, for example,
so I type "cp file $WEBDIR" rather than giving the full path.

Still short on visual cues, but not, IMO, as bad as you're making
these systems out to be.

> > Even window managers these days aren't what they once were, but
> > are apt to be run in conjunction with a "desktop environment"
> > such as GNOME or KDE.  I'm not sure I completely understand the
> > distinctions myself.  But the idea of having separate mix-and-match
> > pieces is very Unix-y.
> 
> The window manager presumably provides the basic GUI API for
> applications. The desktop environment provides a graphical shell for
> the user, so they aren't staring at a blank screen with the GUI API
> available but no way for the user to start something that'll invoke
> it. (Well, short of getting back to a command-line shell prompt and
> launching something from there, anyway.)
> 
> With Windows, one application (Explorer) provides the shell and a file
> manager; there's a GDI.exe buried somewhere in the system that
> performs the "window manager" function to provide access by other
> applications, including Explorer.
> 
> So two of the three things are still technically separate with
> Windows.

But the interesting question is whether you could replace one of
those pieces with something comparable -- or whether there even
*is* something comparable.  Unix-y systems are apt to offer a
somewhat bewildering array of choices, and to allow mixing and
matching (possibly not arbitrarily so, though).

> > > There's a lesson here. Perhaps that we need a kind of visual or
> > > gestural language capable of the rich semantics of a scripting
> > > language.
> >
> > Yes!  One of the problems I perceive with people accustomed to
> > GUIs is that they don't even imagine the possibilities of the
> > kind of automation possible with the old tools.
> 
> And yet the old tools can't even do something fairly simple and not
> needing automation without wizardry involved. The automation of course
> also requires developing a small program, in effect, and generally
> with drastic consequences to getting it wrong. (Windows apps often
> have a search-and-replace which can likewise have drastic
> consequences, but at least there's an Undo command available -- though
> some boneheaded app designs treat each replace done automatically as a
> separately undoable action! Morons.)

Not saying the old tools are always best, just that they provide
something that seems not to even be imagined by people who only
know GUIs.  Something that somehow combined the best of both
worlds seems like a great idea, no?  but it's not clear that it
will be invented by someone who doesn't know the benefits as well
as the drawbacks of the old tools.

> > It's something
> > I do my best to show my students ....  Perhaps one of them will
> > come up with something along the lines of what you describe.
> 
> Or I will...

Could be.  I'd be interested.  I'd say "be sure to come tell us
about it", but -- off-topic, maybe.

[ snip ]

> But you claimed you could learn something useful and transfer the
> knowledge to another application. That's impossible if they don't both
> adhere to *some* standard, but rather each does everything in a
> totally idiosyncratic way. 

But they don't.  What you learn from one application may not be
100% helpful in learning the next, but the odds are that it will
be more than 0% helpful, and I claim that for the kinds of things
we're talking about here, it will likely be a lot more than 0%.

> There isn't even a real standard for
> *documentation* over there in nixland; there's man pages (with a
> crufty, nigh-unusable browser tool required to read them, as they're
> binary -- at least, they were on the system I am recalling), 

On the systems I've used (Linux, Solaris, earlier systems),
"man" finds the files, converts them to text, and pipes the
whole lot into your pager of choice (something akin to DOS's
"more" command, though possible more capable -- the one I use,
"less", is able to page ahead by arbitrary amounts, search for
text, etc.).  I have no idea what tool you're talking about.
Could it be -- I think I remember an "xman" tool that ran under X?
maybe still does on some systems?

Now, the fact that some information is only available via the
"info" pages, and the "info" command has a different interface --
well, yeah, annoying.

> plain
> text, and even .ps and .html; even using the latter is nontrivial if
> you haven't got a working GUI and a copy of Firefox installed yet, 

There are text-mode browsers too, and in most of these tools,
trying keys such as "?" and "h" often provides some help that's
enough to get a person started.  A person that doesn't insist that
every new tool behave exactly like the ones he/she has used before,
anyway.  (Not that I'm knocking consistency.  Consistency is good.
It's just not the *only* good, and there can be trade-offs.)

> and
> I purely *hate* messing with postscript in any way, shape, or form,
> mainly because the format was designed for transport between a
> computer and a printer, not for storage/online viewing (the huge size
> and total lack of compression -- they're highly repetitive ASCII text
> inside, if you ever looked -- is another symptom of this, as the
> designers expected this stuff to be short-lived as it rushed along a
> 100MBit parallel cable to a printer, rather than to sit around on a
> disk drive taking up space, or even get downloaded over a paltry
> 5-10MBit cable or DSL connection from the Internet or, worse, dial-up
> (eek!)).

PostScript is being supplanted by PDF these days, as far as I
can tell.  The ASCII-ness of PostScript is actually, in my opinion,
one of its attractions.  You know why.  :-)

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 1:15:35 PM
blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> Shift + navigation keys is intuitive?!  In whose universe?  Now,> that the key marked with a left arrow should move the cursor left> is semi-intuitive (though I think it does presuppose a notion> of cursor that total newbies might not have), but how would you> know that Shift does what you describe without reading about it> somewhere, or having someone show you?  Once you've discovered it,> sure, it works in a lot of circumstances.  But discovering it?<http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2002/08/nipple.html>> The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/26/2007 1:22:50 PM
On Sep 26, 11:22 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:
....
> <http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2002/08/nipple.html>
>
> > The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned.

That is a classic quote.  It also reminds me of
a funny* cartoon I saw.

A woman is breast feeding her bub, the breast
upon which the babe is suckling is *enormous*.
The woman looks down at the infant with a scowl
and says "Suck damn-it, don't *blow*!"

* Well, funny to me, which is the important thing.  ;-)

Andrew T.

0
Andrew
9/26/2007 2:56:41 PM
In article <-vGdnWRSF823wGfbnZ2dnUVZ_t-gnZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > Shift + navigation keys is intuitive?!  In whose universe?  Now,> > that the key marked with a left arrow should move the cursor left> > is semi-intuitive (though I think it does presuppose a notion> > of cursor that total newbies might not have), but how would you> > know that Shift does what you describe without reading about it> > somewhere, or having someone show you?  Once you've discovered it,> > sure, it works in a lot of circumstances.  But discovering it?> > <http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2002/08/nipple.html>> > The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned."Great minds think alike"?  I made reference to exactly this line,somewhere else in this huge sprawling multi-branched off-topic messof a thread.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 4:27:16 PM
In article <5lv4bmFagpupU1@mid.individual.net>,
blmblm@myrealbox.com  <blmblm@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> In article <1190751222.013883.184640@50g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,
>  <bbound@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Sep 24, 11:36 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com>
> > wrote:
 
[ snip ]

> > > Again for suitable definitions of "never":  Both of these keys
> > > do what their names describe in mutt and in vim.  The keys labeled
> > > Home and End also do something related to their names.
> > 
> > Again, this I find hard to believe. Extraordinary claims require
> > extraordinary evidence, and all that.
> 
> What evidence would you find believable?  I could hardly be
> mistaken about this -- I mean, I did some experiments before
> writing the above paragraph -- so are you saying I'm lying?
> Why would I do that, when it would be so easy for you to refute the
> claim with a simple experiment?  I admit that before writing the
> above I've only done these experiments on Fedora Linux systems, but
> I would be surprised if they weren't repeatable on other Unix-like
> platforms as well.  (And I just tried the same experiments on a
> SunOS system, logged in remotely, and they work there too.)

It occurs to me that I should probably mention that whether these
Unix/Linux applications respond to keys outside the old-standard
keyboard seems to depend on the terminal type being emulated (which
shouldn't be a surprise):  They work in a [*] Linux text console and
in the GNOME terminal emulator (except that it intercepts F1, but
I believe that behavior can be turned off, and it passes (at least
some) other Fn keys to the application).  They also work logged
into a [*] SunOS system remotely via an xterm, but not via a Linux text
console (unless I didn't guess right about an appropriate terminal
type -- vt100 wasn't it.)

[*] "a" in both cases means "the one I have easiest access to".
But the Linux system at least is pretty standard (Fedora Core 4).

[ snip ]

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/26/2007 4:35:01 PM
Andrew Thompson wrote:> That is a classic quote.  It also reminds me of> a funny* cartoon I saw.> > A woman is breast feeding her bub, the breast> upon which the babe is suckling is *enormous*.> The woman looks down at the infant with a scowl> and says "Suck damn-it, don't *blow*!"> > * Well, funny to me, which is the important thing.  ;-)The original of that joke is far more off color.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/26/2007 8:47:19 PM
Lew wrote:>> <http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2002/08/nipple.html>>>> The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned.blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> "Great minds think alike"?  I made reference to exactly this line,> somewhere else in this huge sprawling multi-branched off-topic mess> of a thread.Yeah, but I provided the link to its origin.-- Lew
0
Lew
9/26/2007 8:48:02 PM
In article <kPadnX2-tPkeWGfbnZ2dnUVZ_uPinZ2d@comcast.com>,Lew  <lew@lewscanon.com> wrote:> Lew wrote:> >> <http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2002/08/nipple.html>> >>> The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned.> > blmblm@myrealbox.com wrote:> > "Great minds think alike"?  I made reference to exactly this line,> > somewhere else in this huge sprawling multi-branched off-topic mess> > of a thread.> > Yeah, but I provided the link to its origin.Yes, and thank you.  (I wasn't sure whether you had noticed mymention of the line.  Some of the posts in this thread are kindof long.)-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/27/2007 7:14:29 AM
On Sep 27, 5:14 pm, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:....> (...Some of the posts in this thread are kind> of long.)I'd missed (OK, ignored) a lot of the fine detailof this thread, but yeah, I'd certainly noticedthat aspect of it.  ;-)Andrew T.
0
Andrew
9/27/2007 7:38:27 AM
On Sep 26, 6:25 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > I'll say again that it might be worthwhile to check the calibration> > > of that threat-detection system.>> > It's working perfectly TYVM; the estimated rate of false negatives is> > basically zero at this point.>> It's the rate of false positives that concerns me.You seem to totally misunderstand the purpose of a threat detectionsystem.Cost of a false positive is at most some time and energy expendedcoping with a false alarm.Cost of a false negative is potentially whatever the worst case damageis that the enemy might do if they catch you with your britches down.It's perfectly normal to bias a threat-detection system in favor ofthe odd false positive to prevent any false negatives, because it onlytakes one of the latter and your ass is grass.
0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 4:05:39 AM
On Sep 26, 6:21 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>
wrote:
> bbo...@gmail.com wrote:
> > On Sep 24, 5:51 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>
> > wrote:
>
> >>[quoted material snipped]
> >>[insult deleted]
>
> I wrote that [insult deleted]
> [insult deleted]
> [insult deleted]

Repeating your insult three times doesn't magically make it come true.
Hopefully, clicking your heels together three times *will* transport
you to some other realm where you don't have net access though. :P

Now shut up about me. I don't want to read another word from you
saying or implying anything about me whatsoever; just go about your
Java-related business.

0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 4:10:50 AM
On Sep 26, 6:51 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > First of all, the "file"system contains everything but the kitchen
> > sink, rather than just the actual, you know, *files*.
>
> By "filesystem" I have in mind something along the lines described
> in the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system):
> The mechanism for providing an abstract view of, and/or organizing
> the bits on, a storage medium in terms of files and directories,
> with associated timestamps, permissions, etc.

So a filesystem that does much more than just organize the bits on a
storage medium is surely a case of creeping *something*, right? ;)

> I was under the impression that the versions of Windows that at
> least make claims about being multi-user had some mechanism for
> indicating which files were accessible to which users.  No?

Yes, but I am fairly sure the system is more parsimonious -- just
users and read and write permission, or maybe just write permission.
Maybe allowing separate permission per user instead of just some for
the owner and some for everyone else though. I don't recall seeing any
user groups like feature at the filesystem permissions level.

> And to me a system that provides no multi-user capability, and
> not even much of a way to make a distinction between normal-user
> mode and system-administrator mode is -- well, inadequate.

Perhaps less so these days. Remember that sophisticated, multiple-user
(and especially multiple-*concurrent*-user) features developed in a
time when computing hardware was too expensive for individual
ownership and many people time-shared one system. Nowadays we have
individually-owned computers, plus servers; servers generally just
have one blanket set of permissions for remote querents, plus whatever
system for authenticating actually logged-in users. Most computers
thus need, for the logged-in users, merely to provide a superuser and
regular-user mode, to cut down on virus transmission and the like.
It's going to move in the direction of compartmentalizing things that
shouldn't affect each other not by a single person using multiple
"user" accounts at all but using various virtual machines that are not
even aware of one another (save that the OS will presumably supply the
ability to manually move data to common areas like the clipboard, and
to configure shared bits of filesystem visible to more than one VM
where necessary). It's the natural evolution of PC security.


0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 4:18:36 AM
On Sep 26, 7:05 am, Owen Jacobson <angrybald...@gmail.com> wrote:> blmblm @ myrealbox. com wrote:> > (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic> > indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to> > emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then> > I discovered that vim had them too.>> A fairly straightforward DSL for adding support for new languages...Methinks something's wrong here. DSL has nothing to do with texteditors, nor IDEs; low-level networking, perhaps.Or did you mean something other than, well, DSL, as generally suppliedby your local phone company?
0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 4:23:55 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:
> On Sep 26, 6:21 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>
> wrote:
>> bbo...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> On Sep 24, 5:51 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>
>>> wrote:
>>>> [quoted material snipped]
>>>> [insult deleted]
>> I wrote that [insult deleted]
>> [insult deleted]
>> [insult deleted]
> 
> Repeating your insult three times doesn't magically make it come true.

Repeating the truth doesn't magically make it an insult.

RGB
> ... wrote that you were wrong when you wrote "VTxxx are monochrome". That's not an insult, it is a statement of fact.

Truth is an absolute defense against accusations of slander.  Ask any lawyer.

-- 
Lew
0
Lew
9/28/2007 4:40:38 AM
On Sep 26, 7:46 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> No.  Misperceiving something...Public speculations about other peoples' alleged mental defects orsensory abnormalities or brain lesions or whatever is considered rude.Please desist.> In any case, I don't think it's an insult to> point it out.  You do.Pointing out another person's alleged flaws in public can serve noconstructive purpose and can safely be assumed to be misguided atbest, malicious at worst, and in need of being nipped in the budeither way.Your posts continue to subtly embed the assumption that what you areclaiming is proven fact rather than your personal speculation, when infact it is the latter, and moreover, it's like most completely randomguesses: dead wrong.> So, it seems to me that you're diagnosing malfunction here from> conflicting inputs from different senses.  What happens if all> senses are malfunctioning?  less likely, but then how do you> notice that something is wrong?The original post addressed that. It would take a whopper of acoincidence for them all to be askew in exactly the same way as tocover for one another. And the most likely result there would be anull one -- it would be like measuring something in centimetresinstead of metres; the numbers you get are larger but so are all thebases for comparison anyway. Or suppose the internal representationsfor "green" and "blue" got swapped. What difference would it make?They'd be swapped in sense data, but that would be noticed unless theywere swapped everywhere else too, in memory, in which-goes-with-which-English-word, in which-means-go-in-traffic, and so forth. Ultimatelyit just matters that everything be internally self-consistent and itall comes out in the wash anyway. Quite likely everyone has acompletely different internal "language" for this sort of shit; one ofthe problems that sci-fi authors overly fond of telepathy and otherpsi-power stuff tend to neglect. It's likely if I could hear yourthoughts they'd be more alien than trying to parse Swahili, and viceversa, even though we (mostly) make sense to one another when we bothuse English.> I don't know how to say this better, but I find it completely> plausible that a person could be consistently misinterpreting> other people's words and intentions without being aware that> he/she was doing so.Like all conspiracy-type theories that require piling on more and morecoincidences, epicycles, or whatever, this theory fails Occam's Razor;rather spectacularly I might add. We need a bug in perception *here*;then another one *there* that just happens to render the firstunperceivable; then *another* one to hide the second one ... All to dowhat? Provide a theory or model to explain *something* I suppose. Butnothing here needs an elaborate explanation. There is a far simplerexplanation for e.g. guys like Joe Attardi attacking me, and that isthe theory that guys like Joe Attardi are assholes. Or are you tryingto come up with a "theory" that proves something nasty you believe tobe true about me? It's always a bad idea to start with a preconceivedconclusion and then attempt to prove it, unless it's direct datarather than something you just think (or wish) were true. Einstein hasbeen a topic in this ng recently, and his self-confessed greatestblunder was failing to predict that the universe would be changingsize as the initial formulation of general relativity indicated, andinstead fudge-factoring the theory to fit the preconceived notion of astatic universe, which was a matter of philosophical fashion absentany empirical evidence. Likewise, trying to create or modify a theoryto "predict" that I'm an idiot, a nut, or what-have-you is equallysilly and doomed to failure for the simple reason that I'm none ofthose things, and whatever nasty thing you're trying to prove simplyisn't true and therefore *cannot* be proven. A rational and matureperson may try to "explain" why I'm a nut or whatever, but uponfailing to come up with any consistent theory in which I am one willbe forced to conclude that I am in fact perfectly sane and he'll justhave to revise his original, nasty but unfounded beliefs. A person whoclings to their wishful thinking of my being whatever-it-is,presumably because their ego demands that I be inferior in some way,and clings and clings despite all evidence to the contrary, is, on theother hand, a stark raving loon and should not be allowed within 100feet of a net connection again. :P> > Exactly. I wouldn't lie.>> In my usage, "lie" usually indicates a deliberate falsification;> one can also say something that's not true because of a mistake.I wouldn't do that, either.> > If it's not, then what is it? Simply an insult that came to mind,> > without any particular belief prompting it? That would fit with some> > peoples' behavior here, that's for sure...>> Sure, I randomly insult people all the time in Usenet.  (Not.)No; your behavior does ordinarily seem more organized than some Icould name. However, your persistence with this notion that somethingis wrong with my brain despite a total lack of evidence *and* repeatedclaims to the contrary baffles me. I can only assume it stems fromsome desire of yours, probably to be able to feel superior orsomething; that's the usual explanation for that sort of thing IME.> > > > Moving along now...>> > > Let's do that.>> > Then why do I still see about a dozen unread posts in this thread to> > go, with more of them by you than not by you? :P>> Perhaps because the thread has split into multiple branches, some of> which have little if anything to do with your mental functioning?What about the post I'm responding to now? :P
0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 4:41:09 AM
On Sep 26, 7:52 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <1190751409.278189.27...@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,>>  <bbo...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 24, 5:45 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> > > In my C++ days I really enjoyed using gcc and gdb via emacs, which would let> > > me coordinate the source and the debug session.>> > I don't doubt it. Same thing Eclipse can do, except Eclipse doesn't> > require you to manually monkey with all the plumbing to make it> > happen, nor does said plumbing tend to spill raw sewage all over the> > kitchen floor if you lack a bunch of domain-irrelevant technical> > knowledge and/or get it wrong. ;)>> What *are* you on about with the raw sewage part of the analogy.Simple: it's the worst-plausible-case-scenario when plumbing springs aleak somewhere.> I also have run gcc and gdb from emacs and found them to be useful> as a sort of minimalist IDE.For sufficiently small values of "minimalist", e.g. to the extreme of"so minimalist it does not have a user interface to speak of"...:P
0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 4:42:19 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 26, 7:05 am, Owen Jacobson <angrybald...@gmail.com> wrote:>> blmblm @ myrealbox. com wrote:>>> (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic>>> indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to>>> emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then>>> I discovered that vim had them too.>>>> A fairly straightforward DSL for adding support for new languages...>> Methinks something's wrong here. DSL has nothing to do with text> editors, nor IDEs; low-level networking, perhaps.>> Or did you mean something other than, well, DSL, as generally supplied> by your local phone company?Domain-Specific Languagehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain-specific_programming_language 
0
Mike
9/28/2007 5:58:03 AM
On Sep 26, 9:15 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> Sure.  My point was that the behavior I find annoying -- silently
> making changes that aren't backwards compatible -- seems to be more
> common with the new-style than the old-style tools.

I'd object to such behavior too, but it's an issue that's obviously
orthogonal to whether or not a program has a decent user interface.

> I think I was imagining that with a single-user system, every
> version of an application might have its own config.ini file (same
> name for all), but each could be stored in a folder specific to
> the application version, together with the executable, or some
> such, and that this might be slightly more difficult to manage
> with per-user files because of the identical filenames -- not
> impossible, no, just a bit more trouble and hence perhaps not
> done as often.

It's easy -- the application just creates an "/appname/version/"
directory under the user's home directory to put its settings stuff
in. Any fool can code this functionality if they can code all the rest
of an application that is complex enough to need it. I can practically
see the code for this in my head. :P

> > Really? This is the first I've heard of any unix app even knowing that
> > there is such a thing as a function key.
>
> When was the last time you used a Unix/Unix-like system?

On a PC a few years ago with some distro or another installed on it.
Nothing designed for the console (rather than for X/KDE/Gnome/
whatever; the box had KDE) seemed to know that anything but the
printable characters, space, enter, shift, ctrl, alt, and backspace
existed. A few also knew the arrow keys existed. None seemed to
recognize pageup, pagedown, home, end, Fn, or delete.

> What evidence would you find believable?  I could hardly be
> mistaken about this -- I mean, I did some experiments before
> writing the above paragraph -- so are you saying I'm lying?

Frankly I don't know what is going on here, but as I understood it, vi
didn't support so much as the arrow keys -- it expected you to
navigate using h, j, k, and l. Yes, four keys that not only aren't the
arrows, but are not even arranged in a cross, but rather in a straight
line! Of course, there's also the problem that this overloads the
meanings of four of the letters you might want to type into a
document...which leads to the crufty mode thing, of course...

> Why would I do that, when it would be so easy for you to refute the
> claim with a simple experiment?

Well, actually, it's not, since I don't have ready access to a *nix
box for the time being.

> In other words, don't worry about keeping the existing user base
> happy; force them to adapt to what the majority does.

If we're talking a few nostalgia buffs vs. everyone else in the world,
then hell yes! Except it's moot anyway -- there are perfectly good,
"normal" text editors for KDE/Gnome nowadays so with any luck nobody
will ever be forced to use vile (or emacs) again. This is rather like
how we no longer have dungeons and corporal punishment and arbitrary
arrests and convictions without trials in the West (modulo Bush and
cronies' misbehavior with supposed "terror suspects" of course), but
there remains a thriving BDSM community.

> In case it's not clear, I'm not trying to argue that everyone
> should use the same tools I do; I'm saying that there is a place
> for tools that appeal only to a minority.

Even if it's a baffling kink. BDSM at least has a certain
sociobiological logic to it. Emacs and vi ... that's like getting off
on being bound with your eyes taped open and forced to watch the most
terrible B-movies in history mixed with old reruns of /I Love Lucy/,
all of them remastered using a kaleidoscopic filter and colorized by
the "catastrophic containment failure in a paint factory" method,
while your feet are tickled and your ears are subjected to electric
shocks. Give me a plain old whips-and-chains experience over that
*anyday*. :P

> > I'm not aware of a WYSIWYG word processor with LaTeX-style logical
> > structure. Seems there's demand for such a thing though. Automatic
> > behaviors should all be turnable-offable someplace.
>
> Or better yet, they should default to "off" and be turn-on-able.
> My opinion, though.

No problem there.

> I think my point is that somehow a "point and click" interface
> obscures that (1) is needed.  In my opinion, anyway.

Not intrinsically. And sometimes the technical expertise needed is an
artifact of a layer lower down. Should the user care about the details
of how data is transmitted to the printer, for example? No, and proper
print driver configuration doesn't require it; it tries to autodetect
the right protocol for the particular printer that is in use.

> Your "window dressing" apparently includes my "useful functionality
> required to qualify the application as a 'real text editor'".

AFAICT from what you wrote elsewhere, your "window dressing" includes
"useful functionality required to qualify the application as an IDE".
Or maybe you simply use "real text editor" as a synonym for IDE; I
dunno.

> Well, the old-style Unix model is that everything is stored in
> text files, and you use a single editor to work with all of them,
> rather than having to learn a new editor to work with each new
> type of file.

Cute. Of course, thinking more moves ahead leads inevitably to:
* For each type of file there's specialized features that would
  be useful.
* Hence the editor gets bloated with various modes and features
* Hence you get a single feeping creature that is full of
  everything but the kitchen sink.
* And you STILL have to learn a new editor to work with each
  new type of file. You just invoke it differently, and they
  are all part of the same gargantuan executable instead of
  having separate ones. Worse, their documentation is all
  part of the same gargantuan help file, which makes getting
  help for one of them orders of magnitude worse than if they
  were kept decently separate.

AFAICT the motivation for all of this was, ironically, lack of
standardization: if separate IDEs, configurators, etc. all used the
same key bindings for basic editing commands, nobody would object
since the only things needing learning for each one separately would
be the domain-specific features that would all have to be learned
anyway. The lack of CUA on the other hand meant each one would
inevitably have its own idiosyncratic bindings for basic navigation
and cut/copy/paste and what-have-you as well, though (hjkl?!) and as a
result people would want to use just one and stick with it -- and then
cram all the IDE and other functionality into the one. And a feeping
creature is born!

In a sense, Windows users do have a "kitchen sink" editor of a sort --
in a sense, every editor whose basic text manipulating functionality
and navigation works the same is a specialized mode of a system
editor. But the modes are not exposed to the user nor any
complications arising therefrom, and each has separate documentation.
Indeed, the comctl32.dll textarea control is this "system editor" and
provides hooks for the embedding application to add extra
functionality, though some roll their own for extra flexibility, while
sticking to CUA so that the user doesn't notice or care. All the cruft
stops hanging out and becomes an implementation detail users can
safely ignore. Now THAT is a standard system-wide editor!

> Applications that need to do text editing from
> within the application call the user's editor of choice.  I think
> it's still a model that makes sense, though maybe it's not for
> everyone, and perhaps some applications need more interaction
> with the editor than is possible with this model.

See above.

> Say what?  the text editor isn't trying to be a command processor
> here; it's giving me access to the rest of the system without
> the need for cutting and pasting between windows.

That's it exactly -- in this case, what you really want is a command
processor with better interactivity/editing functionality, not an
editor with auto-paste-from-shell functionality. What you're
ultimately doing there is shell stuff, with fancier editing than the
shitty shell-prompt line-editor allows. Which suggests a command
processor with better editing functionality rather than an editor with
command launching and output redirecting functionality. Kludges like
this indicate the need to redesign the system in question from the
ground up.

> Here's an example:  I'm writing a document and want to include
> the result of doing some simple calculation.  I can express
> the calculation in the form expected by a text-mode calculator,
> pipe it into the calculator program, and get the result back in
> my document.  Of course there are other ways to accomplish this
> involving cutting and pasting, but they strike me as somewhat
> more trouble, if easier to learn.

What's really needed here is a better calculator -- or maybe a better
text editor, or something. What exactly are you editing or doing here?
Perhaps the application for that shouldn't be a bare-bones text editor
at all but a specialized one with OLE-like features to embed
calculated values and other stuff. A cross between Word and Excel, in
a sense. Or even a general "embedding and linking based document"
editor in which you can embed text paragraphs, inline math results,
images and other media, and so forth and invoke specialized sub-
editors for each, with more of them pluggable as desired. Microsoft
tried something like this a time or two in their office suite and
failed miserably, but it can probably be done right. Just not by
Microsoft. :)

> > AFAICT, you're really looking for an IDE, not a plain old text editor,
> > here.
>
> Well, no, because a lot of these are useful features no matter
> what kind of text I'm editing (source code, mail message, newsgroup
> post, etc.) -- maybe not syntax highlighting, but the other
> ones.

I don't see how. When editing source code, an IDE that embeds or
drives an editor makes sense, rather than an editor that embeds an
IDE. When editing mail or news, a mail/news client that embeds or
drives an editor makes sense, rather than an editor that embeds a mail/
news client. And so forth. Each of the embedding applications can
bring domain-specific specializations: syntax highlighting and
language awareness here, address book functionality and spellchecking
there, and so forth, as well as connecting with the task's wider
context: the compiler and rest of the tool-chain here, NNTP/SMTP/POP
functionality, account management, and message browsing there, and so
forth.

This, by the way, is what you have, in effect, on Windows.

> > Think about which keys are needed? It's completely intuitive with,
> > say, Notepad; shift+navigation keys moves one endpoint of the
> > selection (the other being wherever you were when you first started
> > holding down shift).
>
> Shift + navigation keys is intuitive?!  In whose universe?  Now,
> that the key marked with a left arrow should move the cursor left
> is semi-intuitive (though I think it does presuppose a notion
> of cursor that total newbies might not have), but how would you
> know that Shift does what you describe without reading about it
> somewhere, or having someone show you?  Once you've discovered it,
> sure, it works in a lot of circumstances.  But discovering it?

First of all, and this will seem strange to you since it's not
apparently the unix way, but: it's documented, and it's documented in
basic introductory tutorial documents rather than buried somewhere
around page 666 of a 917-page tome to boot.

Secondly, like the basic cursor-stuff it's so universal (except for
museum-piece apps from the dark ages that is) that you pick it up
early on and need never worry about it again. Hell, moving one end of
a selection is a form of navigation, but modified, so using a modifier
key together with the navigation keys to effect it just plain makes
sense, and furthermore extends naturally to whatever additional
navigation features you might devise. Selection-end-moving and
navigation are orthogonalized.

> > The latter are noninteractive tools.
>
> So?

So the discussion was about user-interfaces. Noninteractive tools
lacking one is normal, which puts them beyond the scope of this
discussion except as functionality that could be embedded in something
that had an interface.

> If you want an interactive tool, gnuplot.  I'm pretty sure just
> about everything I know about it was learned without a live tutor.
> Now, if I didn't already have some familiarity with similar tools,
> I might have had more trouble.  But I do, just as Windows users
> have familiarity with the conventions of *their* platform.

At least our platform *has* conventions. (For the user-interface. I
know unix has arcane conventions for command line argument syntaxes,
directory structure, and other things, none of which are 100%
intuitive or especially well-documented, but it clearly has none at
all for interactive UI!)

> The old-style help systems (man and info pages) are admittedly
> a weak point, better as reference documentation than tutorials.

Better as one-time pads than either, I'd expect. Well-nigh unusable
for their putative purpose due to the clumsy interface that makes
navigating them in a decent manner impossible, but chock-full of
entropy and ten to the quadrillion bits of it too!

Well, except that copies abound, so the entropy in them isn't very
secret. :P

Perhaps if it was possible to actually navigate them properly it would
not be so, but any attempt to do anything on Unix seems to involve man
this, page down (er, space) times sixty trillion, read some stuff,
exit, man that, page down some more, etc. etc.; one big hypertext
system with clickable links would be far more useful than anything
requiring actually exiting and rerunning the so-called help browser
six times just because you need to consult six different chapters of
the system's documentation! Of course the inability to have all of the
stuff you're referring to on the screen at the same time also puts a
crimp in things; even Windows help is broken there as you usually
can't spawn multiple browser instances. HTML files plus Firefox is
clean and simple to author and works great -- users can right-click
and "open in new tab" and keep tabs open to many different things at
once to facilitate quick reference during a task, and Firefox has a
search you can actually discover and use and that then actually
behaves in a reasonable fashion. (Windows Explorer's is slightly
broken, however. Since that's a file search, it should support
wildcards and the like. Indeed, searches for foo*bar and foo?bar work
more or less as expected, and just foo bar will find e.g. foo diddly
bar which foo*bar would also find and also bar diddly foo which
foo*bar wouldn't, but if you want to find only foo bar, with the bar
right after the foo, "foo bar" doesn't work -- it returns nothing!)

> > Should rename that to "pwned", since that's what you are if you are in
> > a constrained-width environment in this day and age. :P
>
> Your monitor is infinitely wide?  Cool.  Where can I get one of those,
> and a big enough room to keep it in?

It's all thanks to this nifty thing Xerox PARC invented back in the
late seventies called a "horizontal scrollbar". There's also the whole
"1280x1024 and a decently small font pitch allows ~200 characters per
line *without* scrolling" thing. That's 5/2 the character width of an
old terminal, in case you were wondering.

Now a decently modernized command prompt box would be quasi-graphical
and supply a prompt that actually collapsed with ellipses, e.g. C:\foo
\b...ker\mumble\f...cks\data17> with tooltip expansion of the
"berserker" and "fiddlesticks" in there. Coding this is left as an
exercise for the reader. :)

> > Another benefit of the GUI way -- information can be stuck in various
> > places about the screen to be referred to, without being in the main
> > task area, and there's room for a lot more of it besides. :)
>
> One could put this in the top line of a text-mode application's display
> as well.

Of course, that's costing you 1/24 of your screen real-estate instead
of around 1/100 of it in a GUI. :)

> Okay with me.  I don't insist that everyone use my preferred set
> of tools, just that they leave me to use them in peace and not try
> to explain to me how wrong-headed I'm being.  The downside is that
> I don't learn as well what most people's experience of computers
> is like, which is limiting in its way -- though nice in other ways.

Eh -- well, using them in peace wouldn't draw attention on a newsgroup
automatically, unless people decide to poke around in the headers
looking for "User-Agent: trn" or the like just to pick a fight. AFAIK
that rarely happens and it's only people that choose to publicly
evangelize software with unusable UI that get it. ;)

And those that publicly blast GUI software, of course, which is the
same thing you're asking me not to do, but in reverse...

> > That's not my observation. See above. Hell, when "something goes
> > wrong" on Windows 90% of the time it's fixed with a reboot, or a
> > reinstall of the offending app, or both. When "something goes wrong"
> > on Unix 100% of the time it's fixed with voodoo, for which your local
> > witch-doctor will probably charge money. If you can even find one. :P
>
> Not my experience.

You've obviously been lucky then. Or had some recourse beyond the
unusable documentation the systems tend to ship with. The four failure
scenarios I'm familiar with on unix are:
1. Something doesn't work, and the error message + documentation are
   cryptic. It quickly becomes clear that fixing it requires learning
   almost as much about the thing's internals as it took to code the
   damn thing to begin with. Time to email the developers.
2. Something doesn't even compile, and you're no programmer, and even
   if you are, you don't have time to learn all the specifics of this
   particular program as if to hack and modify it; you have a job to
   get done! It quickly becomes clear that fixing it requires you
   email the developers.
3. Something doesn't work and as a result X won't run, which means no
   GUI. You're stuck with a single "window" that can therefore only do
   one thing at a time and old, crufty documentation whose browser UI
   ranges from unusable through abysmal to non-existent. It quickly
   becomes clear that you'll be spending the next six hours slogging
   through poorly-organized documentation in poorly-organized UIs
   trying to find the information needed to make X run again. You
   give up and phone the local geek, since trying to configure and use
   the console-mode mailer is like trying to shave in the dark with a
   new, maximally-sharp blade and fading flashlight batteries during a
   magnitude 6.5 tremor.
4. Something doesn't work and as a result the machine won't boot,
   which means no access to the documentation that might help you fix
   it at all. Of course there's also no such thing as safe mode. It
   quickly becomes clear that you're hosed. Time to wipe and
reinstall.
   Hope you had recent backups.

Of course, item 4 happens on Windoze too, but safe mode + system
restore or whatever will usually save your bacon. And my observations
have been that 4 almost never happens with NT/2K/XP, and actually
happens more often with Linux -- and a simple power failure can be
enough to cause it there. Either no boot, or a boot directly into grub
or fsck or something like that instead of anything that either
resembles a normal shell or has a user interface. Of course this means
the drive/filesystem is hosed, which means no documentation, which
means same conclusion as option 4. Maybe a guru can fix it from there,
without referencing the now-inaccessible-and-possibly-now-nonexistent
fsck documentation without which no normal human being can hope to
accomplish anything at a cryptic and mute fsck-repair-mode command
prompt.

With luck, they've now gotten it to the point that it no longer is
designed around the assumption that you're running your unix on a
mainframe in a major datacentre with a UPS, but that still leaves
categories 1 through 3...

Mainly those happen on Windows through boneheadedness or bugs in the
software. On Unix they also seem to happen from simply trying to set
up and use something in a non-fancy way, because setting something up
on Windows is pick-install-directory, select-options, click-install,
reboot whereas on Unix it is somewhere in between a) setting up an
entertainment center whose instruction pamphlet is the size of the
Encyclopedia Britannica and written in Swahili plus pictograms that
appear to be lifted from the Ming Dynasty edition of the Kama Sutra
and certainly bear more relation to this than to the components you
have arrayed before you and b) setting up a shiny new CANDU reactor
with the optional fuel reprocessing module and waste storage vault --
some assembly required, moon suit sold separately. (The instruction
manual for one of *those* fills a small library, or so I'm told.)

> "cd" is an unusual combination, though, isn't it?  (As it happens,
> on the man page on my system, the third occurrence of "cd" was
> the one that was most helpful.)

Lucky you. The third out of 54,252 occurrences being the right one is
a minor miracle, comparable to winning the $1000-$5000 level prizes in
your local lottery. :P

> > Search queries only a couple of letters long are well-nigh unusable.
> > So is any interface that depends on your using such to navigate.
>
> Binary search is better?  because that's what we're comparing here.

Hypertext is better, or something actually semantically aware so you
can tell it you're interested in the command "cd" and it will ignore
occurrences of the letter combination "cd" that refer to something
else.

> Ctrl-F is somewhat intuitive.  How is F3 intuitive?

It's not, but it makes up for it in being nigh-universal.

> > If you search for a common word, you get a trillion hits. If you
> > search for a rare word or a phrase, you get zero to a handful. The one
> > is simply useless; it's either a slightly faster or a slightly slower
> > page down, depending. The other requires you to know a fair amount
> > about the target already, likely only if you've already been there.
>
> How is binary search better?

It probably isn't, in this case. If the only query you have to go on
is only a couple of letters long, you're fucked. Unless the help
system is semantically aware.

Ironically, in that case "man" *almost* got it right. It apparently
was set up so "man cd" went to the shell man page as "cd" is a shell
command. It dropped the ball when it didn't go to the specific section
of the shell man page that deals with the "cd" command, or to a
separate "cd" man page created because finding things in a single
monolithic linear file for every single shell built-in command will be
like finding a needle in a haystack.

All this means is that the help system in question is actually half-
baked instead of being *completely* uncooked.


> > Only in the specific case of someone doing the sort of thing you
> > describe. Requiring careful record-keeping and cataloguing by the
> > whole user-base strikes me as foolish and needlessly user-hostile.
>
> Yeah, maybe.  But at least it lets people who *do* want to have a
> record do so, as opposed to point-and-click operations that leave
> nothing recordable.

There's no obvious reason mouse gestures can't be recorded, though it
would be better to record the abstractions of the commands invoked
instead -- e.g. hit esc, or alt-C, or mouse1 over the "Cancel" button,
and in all three cases it just records that the command was "cancel".
And of course it would always be the case that the user could, when
recording a macro or whatever, choose to use only keyboard commands.
This is for macro recording and record-keeping of individual edits, of
course; for record-keeping of file versions, built-in versioning tools
in the editing tool seem sensible, and with a journaling filesystem
can just provide an interface to that underlying functionality,
focused onto a particular file. Failing this, the file's location can
be disclosed and the user can manually make copies and backups.

"Treat everything as a document for the user to edit" seems like it
might work here generally.

> Yeah.  And the person who doesn't mind remaining ignorant of better
> ways to do things, and continuing to do manually things that could be
> automated.  (You do have a point.  But I think I do too.)

Only when you *are* automating something should you need to invest a
load of time and effort into learning internals or whatever
complicated command language.

> This doesn't sound much like my experience.  Of course, I do things
> like defining environment variables for directories I use a lot,
> so navigation isn't as difficult as it might be -- $WEBDIR for
> the directory where the files for my "Web site" live, for example,
> so I type "cp file $WEBDIR" rather than giving the full path.

Seems like a kludge/crutch to me, patching over an intrinsically poor
UI with workarounds. Puts me in mind of working with a poor GUI where
a commonly used function lacks a keyboard shortcut so you either
always mouse it or use the shortcut for something nearby and then tab
to it. (Of course the something-nearby might actually be invoked by
doing so, as well, depending on what it is. If it's a text box you're
OK; if it's a command button...)

> Still short on visual cues, but not, IMO, as bad as you're making
> these systems out to be.

I dunno. Creating tons of invisible, undocumented aliases for
everything seems like a crutch and not a very good one at that. Even a
symlink from the root dir would be better; that will actually show up
in a directory listing. Environment variables lurk invisibly in what
passes for the command processor's brain somewhere; no amount of
dir'ing or ls'ing will reveal their existence, let alone what they
point to. You're creating more stuff for you to memorize in this case.
I wonder how cluttered your system is with environment variables you
set as shortcuts to something years ago and eventually forgot about?
How many shortcuts, all but one forgotten, to the same resource? Hmm.

Ultimately though it all comes back to the one fundamental problem and
that is the paucity of information and feedback to the user about the
current state of the system and the locations of nearby/related
things. If I found myself having to do all of my tasks by the narrow
cone of a flashlight beam I'd wonder why the power was out rather than
just live with that state of affairs.

> > So two of the three things are still technically separate with
> > Windows.
>
> But the interesting question is whether you could replace one of
> those pieces with something comparable -- or whether there even
> *is* something comparable.  Unix-y systems are apt to offer a
> somewhat bewildering array of choices, and to allow mixing and
> matching (possibly not arbitrarily so, though).

There's a tradeoff there -- does this get the user genuine added
flexibility or better features? And at what cost in complexity and
therefore undebuggability? Not to mention unsupportability. There are
that many more variables in play when a user complains of a problem or
tries to fix one himself. There's also that many more things whose
versions might get out of synch or something. How closely do they
stick to immutable, graven-in-stone interfaces regardless of
implementation? To the extent that they don't, changing one of them
can presumably bring the whole system crashing down and render it
fully unusable, save in command-prompt-only mode. So basically
unusable. :P

> Not saying the old tools are always best, just that they provide
> something that seems not to even be imagined by people who only
> know GUIs.  Something that somehow combined the best of both
> worlds seems like a great idea, no?  but it's not clear that it
> will be invented by someone who doesn't know the benefits as well
> as the drawbacks of the old tools.

I do know the benefits; they are simply inaccessible to non-expert
users, by and large.

> > But you claimed you could learn something useful and transfer the
> > knowledge to another application. That's impossible if they don't both
> > adhere to *some* standard, but rather each does everything in a
> > totally idiosyncratic way.
>
> But they don't.  What you learn from one application may not be
> 100% helpful in learning the next, but the odds are that it will
> be more than 0% helpful, and I claim that for the kinds of things
> we're talking about here, it will likely be a lot more than 0%.

Really? For example, what app 1 used for navigation that wasn't the
arrow keys -- if app 2 uses a completely non-overlapping set of keys
for this, how exactly does your learning finally how to get around
inside app 1 help you with app 2? It doesn't, and it might even
hinder, after a fashion, because you're now used to using the app 1
keys to navigate.

> On the systems I've used (Linux, Solaris, earlier systems),
> "man" finds the files, converts them to text, and pipes the
> whole lot into your pager of choice (something akin to DOS's
> "more" command, though possible more capable -- the one I use,
> "less", is able to page ahead by arbitrary amounts, search for
> text, etc.).  I have no idea what tool you're talking about.
> Could it be -- I think I remember an "xman" tool that ran under X?
> maybe still does on some systems?

I'm referring to whatever pager or other displaying software presents
the file, along with what passes for something that might be a distant
ancestor of a true UI, to the user. :P

> Now, the fact that some information is only available via the
> "info" pages, and the "info" command has a different interface --
> well, yeah, annoying.

"Annoying" doesn't begin to describe it. The one redeeming feature of
"info" is that it actually has hyperlinks. But how they managed to get
even *those* wrong I can't begin to imagine. Even the browser's back
button -- well, back keybinding -- doesn't even quite do the job. It
goes to some designated "parent" node, instead of the actual previous-
visited node, so it's impossible to properly backtrack. And of course
there's no "open in new tab" or equivalent either, so you can't get
out of the backtracking problem *that* way either, nor have more than
one thing open that you can quickly flip among without running
multiple instances and navigating separately and repetitively in each
in some embedding context with tabs or windows, e.g. using X terms in
X.

OK, there is another redeeming feature; it does seem to have been
designed by someone with enough sense to think that those little arrow
keys arranged in a cross would make for excellent and intuitive
navigation keys. That's not something you can take for granted over in
*nixland! Still, crufty wacky binary format + crufty half-assed
browser implementation = pain, and the parallel existence of HTML +
Lynx/firefox/whatever = no excuse. :)

> There are text-mode browsers too, and in most of these tools,
> trying keys such as "?" and "h" often provides some help that's
> enough to get a person started.

When they don't just beep, produce unhelpful error messages, or
actually have unintended consequences. (And the unintended
consequences simply being the insertion of a ? or an h into the open
document is generally too much to hope for.)

> A person that doesn't insist that
> every new tool behave exactly like the ones he/she has used before,
> anyway.  (Not that I'm knocking consistency.  Consistency is good.
> It's just not the *only* good, and there can be trade-offs.)

I'd be satisfied, for now, if they simply started with not behaving
*entirely unlike* the ones I've used before. :P Baby steps, baby
steps. They can work on actually standardizing on the nearly-universal
basic navigation and editing command bindings later. Features that
have no counterparts in other applications I certainly won't expect to
"behave the same" in those ... that way lies madness, and everything
turning into an emacs clone - complete with kitchen sink. I won't have
it!

> PostScript is being supplanted by PDF these days, as far as I
> can tell.  The ASCII-ness of PostScript is actually, in my opinion,
> one of its attractions.  You know why.  :-)

It does have the ability to be zipped at least. PDF is proprietary and
evil, although at least you can usually find PDF renderers that don't
butcher the neatly typeset text into something resembling a turn-of-
the-century Nintendo game with blocky pixellated fonts. HTML plus
browser plus decent font is much more efficient and surely accessible
and readable than either, and once again uses an ASCII format. As an
extra added bonus feature, the same piece of help documentation that
takes up 80MB as a PS and 800KB as a PDF takes up 80KB as HTML, and a
lightweight browser is not significantly bigger for any of the three
formats than for any other. (For HTML this would mean a stripped-down
HTML browser lacking HTTP capability, used for local files only, and
lacking fancy CSS/JS/ActiveX/Java/etc. capabilities also -- HTML 4.2
only if you please, with inline images and the like working as
expected and most other binary file types besides images occurring in
links simply being launched with the native file associations in
appropriate viewer/editor software.)

0
nebulous99 (149)
9/28/2007 6:30:37 AM
On Sep 28, 12:40 am, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> Repeating the truth doesn't magically make it an insult.> Truth is an absolute defense against accusations of slander.  Ask any lawyer.Of course, none of this is at all relevant, since the nasty things hemeans to imply about me are emphatically *not* true.
0
nebulous99
9/28/2007 7:00:33 AM
nebulous99@gmail.com wrote:
> On Sep 28, 12:40 am, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:
> 
>> Repeating the truth doesn't magically make it an insult. Truth is
>> an absolute defense against accusations of slander.  Ask any
>> lawyer.
> 
> 
> Of course, none of this is at all relevant, since the nasty things he
>  means to imply about me are emphatically *not* true.
> 

Twisted/nebulous99/bbound wrote
   "VTxxx are monochrome".

RGB wrote
   "Wrong. vt241 and vt525 did color text".

I don't see any implication of untrue "nasty things". Please elucidate.
0
RedGrittyBrick
9/28/2007 9:24:34 AM
On Sep 27, 9:23 pm, nebulou...@gmail.com wrote:> On Sep 26, 7:05 am, Owen Jacobson <angrybald...@gmail.com> wrote:>> > blmblm @ myrealbox. com wrote:> > > (*) IDE-like features such as syntax highlighting and automatic> > > indentation / reformatting of source code.  I almost switched to> > > emacs some years ago just to get access to these features.  Then> > > I discovered that vim had them too.>> > A fairly straightforward DSL for adding support for new languages...>> Methinks something's wrong here. DSL has nothing to do with text> editors, nor IDEs; low-level networking, perhaps.>> Or did you mean something other than, well, DSL, as generally supplied> by your local phone company?Excuse me.  I did mean something else: "Domain-specific language."Good day.
0
Owen
9/28/2007 9:28:29 AM
In article <1190952339.619619.241100@y42g2000hsy.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 26, 6:25 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > > I'll say again that it might be worthwhile to check the calibration> > > > of that threat-detection system.> >> > > It's working perfectly TYVM; the estimated rate of false negatives is> > > basically zero at this point.> >> > It's the rate of false positives that concerns me.> > You seem to totally misunderstand the purpose of a threat detection> system.> > Cost of a false positive is at most some time and energy expended> coping with a false alarm.> Cost of a false negative is potentially whatever the worst case damage> is that the enemy might do if they catch you with your britches down.> > It's perfectly normal to bias a threat-detection system in favor of> the odd false positive to prevent any false negatives, because it only> takes one of the latter and your ass is grass.If it were only "the odd false positive", I'd agree.  But itseems to me that dealing with a high rate of false positiveswastes your time and potentially damages your reputation as muchas the perceived attacks.  If you find that an acceptable costcompared to the benefit of avoiding whatever negative consequenceswould follow from not responding to a real attack, well, carry on.Not that I could stop you anyway.-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/28/2007 11:12:57 AM
In article <1190953116.638586.67630@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 26, 6:51 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > > First of all, the "file"system contains everything but the kitchen
> > > sink, rather than just the actual, you know, *files*.
> >
> > By "filesystem" I have in mind something along the lines described
> > in the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system):
> > The mechanism for providing an abstract view of, and/or organizing
> > the bits on, a storage medium in terms of files and directories,
> > with associated timestamps, permissions, etc.
> 
> So a filesystem that does much more than just organize the bits on a
> storage medium is surely a case of creeping *something*, right? ;)

I think of a filesystem as an abstraction built on top of whatever
the storage-medium hardware provides.  Typical Unix filesystems
(without ACLs [*]) don't seem to me to be particularly bloated
with regard to features -- I mean, associated with each file are
a few timestamps, at most 12 permission bits, and two IDs (group
and owner).  That doesn't seem excessive to me.  The two IDs only
make sense in the context of a couple of additional files (lists
of usernames and groupnames, together with group membership),
but again, the overall setup doesn't seem so very complicated.
What am I not getting here?

[*] Access Control Lists, probably mentioned upthread.

> > I was under the impression that the versions of Windows that at
> > least make claims about being multi-user had some mechanism for
> > indicating which files were accessible to which users.  No?
> 
> Yes, but I am fairly sure the system is more parsimonious -- just
> users and read and write permission, or maybe just write permission.
> Maybe allowing separate permission per user instead of just some for
> the owner and some for everyone else though. I don't recall seeing any
> user groups like feature at the filesystem permissions level.

Yes, that's kind of what I remember -- that one could give
different permissions for different users, in some way that's
more flexible than what the Unix model provides.  (That model,
by the way, is really pretty simple.  If you aren't familiar with
it I can try to summarize or find an online description.)

> > And to me a system that provides no multi-user capability, and
> > not even much of a way to make a distinction between normal-user
> > mode and system-administrator mode is -- well, inadequate.
> 
> Perhaps less so these days. Remember that sophisticated, multiple-user
> (and especially multiple-*concurrent*-user) features developed in a
> time when computing hardware was too expensive for individual
> ownership and many people time-shared one system. Nowadays we have
> individually-owned computers, plus servers; servers generally just
> have one blanket set of permissions for remote querents, plus whatever
> system for authenticating actually logged-in users. Most computers
> thus need, for the logged-in users, merely to provide a superuser and
> regular-user mode, to cut down on virus transmission and the like.
> It's going to move in the direction of compartmentalizing things that
> shouldn't affect each other not by a single person using multiple
> "user" accounts at all but using various virtual machines that are not
> even aware of one another (save that the OS will presumably supply the
> ability to manually move data to common areas like the clipboard, and
> to configure shared bits of filesystem visible to more than one VM
> where necessary). It's the natural evolution of PC security.
> 

Very likely part of my bias in favor of "proper multi-user setups"
is historical.  But to me this model seems to still make sense in
my current workplace environment, which includes lab/classroom
machines intended to be used by whoever sits down in front of
them (as well as being a platform for computationally intensive
work being run in the background).  I think it even makes some
sense for personal desktop machines; if all/most configuration
information is stored in a central server, desktops can have
identical, or near-identical, configurations, which should make
it easier for all of them to be managed by the local sysadmin
rather than requiring each user to be his/her own sysadmin.

<shrug>

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/28/2007 11:29:07 AM
In article <1190954539.352153.150420@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 26, 7:52 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > In article <1190751409.278189.27...@g4g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,> >> >  <bbo...@gmail.com> wrote:> > > On Sep 24, 5:45 pm, Lew <l...@lewscanon.com> wrote:> > > > In my C++ days I really enjoyed using gcc and gdb via emacs, which> would let> > > > me coordinate the source and the debug session.> >> > > I don't doubt it. Same thing Eclipse can do, except Eclipse doesn't> > > require you to manually monkey with all the plumbing to make it> > > happen, nor does said plumbing tend to spill raw sewage all over the> > > kitchen floor if you lack a bunch of domain-irrelevant technical> > > knowledge and/or get it wrong. ;)> >> > What *are* you on about with the raw sewage part of the analogy.> > Simple: it's the worst-plausible-case-scenario when plumbing springs a> leak somewhere.Right -- and it makes a mess all over the floor.  The analogy insoftware, I'm thinking, is file corruption.  Does that really happenwith either Eclipse or gcc/gdb?> > I also have run gcc and gdb from emacs and found them to be useful> > as a sort of minimalist IDE.> > For sufficiently small values of "minimalist", e.g. to the extreme of> "so minimalist it does not have a user interface to speak of"...:PSure it has a user interface.  It's just not a GUI.  Oh right --I think in your terms that's "not a user interface to speak of".<shrug>I'm vaguely remember an X version of gdb, but not curious enough tofind out whether it still exists (apparently not on the system I'musing here anyway).-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/28/2007 11:36:23 AM
In article <1190954469.287188.35660@y42g2000hsy.googlegroups.com>, <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:> On Sep 26, 7:46 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > No.  Misperceiving something...> > Public speculations about other peoples' alleged mental defects or> sensory abnormalities or brain lesions or whatever is considered rude.> Please desist.I agree with you about that.  I don't agree that that's what I setout to do, whenever this awful wrangling began, but I'm startingto think that -- yes, whatever it is I'm doing now really iscrossing some line that I didn't set out to cross.[ snip ]> Your posts continue to subtly embed the assumption that what you are> claiming is proven fact rather than your personal speculation, when in> fact it is the latter, and moreover, it's like most completely random> guesses: dead wrong.It's not my intent.  I'm sorry it comes across that way.  I thoughtsurely I was putting enough "seems to me" weasel words to make thatclear.  I guess not.  [ snip ]I'll stop now, and try not to respond to whatever last word you careto add.  (I'm not sure one is needed.)-- B. L. MassingillObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/28/2007 3:33:33 PM
In article <1190961037.906718.180670@n39g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 26, 9:15 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:

[ snip ]

> > I think I was imagining that with a single-user system, every
> > version of an application might have its own config.ini file (same
> > name for all), but each could be stored in a folder specific to
> > the application version, together with the executable, or some
> > such, and that this might be slightly more difficult to manage
> > with per-user files because of the identical filenames -- not
> > impossible, no, just a bit more trouble and hence perhaps not
> > done as often.
> 
> It's easy -- the application just creates an "/appname/version/"
> directory under the user's home directory to put its settings stuff
> in. Any fool can code this functionality if they can code all the rest
> of an application that is complex enough to need it. I can practically
> see the code for this in my head. :P

I agree that it doesn't seem like rocket science.  So why is it that
people who develop applications don't always do this?

> > > Really? This is the first I've heard of any unix app even knowing that
> > > there is such a thing as a function key.
> >
> > When was the last time you used a Unix/Unix-like system?
> 
> On a PC a few years ago with some distro or another installed on it.
> Nothing designed for the console (rather than for X/KDE/Gnome/
> whatever; the box had KDE) seemed to know that anything but the
> printable characters, space, enter, shift, ctrl, alt, and backspace
> existed. A few also knew the arrow keys existed. None seemed to
> recognize pageup, pagedown, home, end, Fn, or delete.

Strange.  I just checked, and mutt (on a Fedora system, but
I'm fairly sure this behavior would be fairly cross-platform)
has been using F1 to bring up help at least since 2001, based on
some e-mail I exchanged with a colleague back then.

> > What evidence would you find believable?  I could hardly be
> > mistaken about this -- I mean, I did some experiments before
> > writing the above paragraph -- so are you saying I'm lying?
> 
> Frankly I don't know what is going on here, but as I understood it, vi
> didn't support so much as the arrow keys -- it expected you to
> navigate using h, j, k, and l. 

That's true of the original vi, as far as I know.  (I think even
there the arrow keys *sometimes* did something useful, but it was
dependent on terminal type, and one learned not to rely on it.)

Of course, no one here is discussing "real" vi; we've been talking
about vim, which is a different program that as far as I know isn't
an offshoot of the original vi except in emulating some aspects of
its user interface.

> Yes, four keys that not only aren't the
> arrows, but are not even arranged in a cross, but rather in a straight
> line! Of course, there's also the problem that this overloads the
> meanings of four of the letters you might want to type into a
> document...which leads to the crufty mode thing, of course...

Touch typists seem to really like being able to do everything from
the, um, "old"? part of the keyboard.

> > Why would I do that, when it would be so easy for you to refute the
> > claim with a simple experiment?
> 
> Well, actually, it's not, since I don't have ready access to a *nix
> box for the time being.

Fair enough.  But I couldn't know that until you told me, so again,
why would I lie when in principle if not in fact ....  Well, whatever.

[ snip ]

> > In case it's not clear, I'm not trying to argue that everyone
> > should use the same tools I do; I'm saying that there is a place
> > for tools that appeal only to a minority.
> 
> Even if it's a baffling kink. BDSM at least has a certain
> sociobiological logic to it. Emacs and vi ... that's like getting off
> on being bound with your eyes taped open and forced to watch the most
> terrible B-movies in history mixed with old reruns of /I Love Lucy/,
> all of them remastered using a kaleidoscopic filter and colorized by
> the "catastrophic containment failure in a paint factory" method,
> while your feet are tickled and your ears are subjected to electric
> shocks. Give me a plain old whips-and-chains experience over that
> *anyday*. :P

I feel sure someone can accommodate you, if that's your preference.

(Perhaps the above rant is an example of the humor someone
mentioned finding in your posts.  I'm not particularly amused,
but then perhaps that indicates a deficiency in my sense of humor.)

> > > I'm not aware of a WYSIWYG word processor with LaTeX-style logical
> > > structure. Seems there's demand for such a thing though. 

LyX?  I haven't investigated it myself, though, only heard it mentioned
as a graphical front end for LaTeX. 

[ snip ]

> > Your "window dressing" apparently includes my "useful functionality
> > required to qualify the application as a 'real text editor'".
> 
> AFAICT from what you wrote elsewhere, your "window dressing" includes
> "useful functionality required to qualify the application as an IDE".
> Or maybe you simply use "real text editor" as a synonym for IDE; I
> dunno.

Syntax highlighting could be useful in writing lots of things other
than program source code -- HTML and LaTeX source come to mind, though
perhaps one could argue that they're forms of source code too.  
Ability to interoperate with the environment, do search-and-replace
using regular expressions, record and play back macros -- those seem
more significant, I think.

> > Well, the old-style Unix model is that everything is stored in
> > text files, and you use a single editor to work with all of them,
> > rather than having to learn a new editor to work with each new
> > type of file.
> 
> Cute. Of course, thinking more moves ahead leads inevitably to:
> * For each type of file there's specialized features that would
>   be useful.
> * Hence the editor gets bloated with various modes and features
> * Hence you get a single feeping creature that is full of
>   everything but the kitchen sink.

Well, as far as I know vim and emacs both package this kind of
functionality in separate plugin-like files, which one could
install or not, so to me this doesn't quite seem like bloat.
But I could be confused, both about how vim works and about
what constitutes bloat.  

> * And you STILL have to learn a new editor to work with each
>   new type of file. You just invoke it differently, and they
>   are all part of the same gargantuan executable instead of
>   having separate ones. 

Well, I just checked, and the executable for vim is about 2M,
and the one for emacs is about 4M.  That seems modest compared to
current memory sizes.  What to compare it to and how to compare --
I dunno.  I thought it might be interesting to look at executable
sizes for some GUI programs, but the ones I've looked at so far
(OpenOffice and Eclipse) seem to be packaged in some way other than
"single executable" that I'm not sure how to assess.  <shrug>
Maybe vim and emacs *are* bloated.

>   Worse, their documentation is all
>   part of the same gargantuan help file, which makes getting
>   help for one of them orders of magnitude worse than if they
>   were kept decently separate.

Well, no.  The basic editing keys are the same, and all of that
extra stuff (interoperability with the environment) is the same.

As for that gargantuan help file -- well, no.  Actually that 
might be better than how vim help is organized -- it's another
sort-of-hyperlinked system that's fairly navigable as a tutorial,
not so much as a searchable reference.

> AFAICT the motivation for all of this was, ironically, lack of
> standardization: if separate IDEs, configurators, etc. all used the
> same key bindings for basic editing commands, nobody would object
> since the only things needing learning for each one separately would
> be the domain-specific features that would all have to be learned
> anyway. The lack of CUA on the other hand meant each one would
> inevitably have its own idiosyncratic bindings for basic navigation
> and cut/copy/paste and what-have-you as well, though (hjkl?!) and as a
> result people would want to use just one and stick with it -- and then
> cram all the IDE and other functionality into the one. And a feeping
> creature is born!
> 
> In a sense, Windows users do have a "kitchen sink" editor of a sort --
> in a sense, every editor whose basic text manipulating functionality
> and navigation works the same is a specialized mode of a system
> editor. But the modes are not exposed to the user nor any
> complications arising therefrom, and each has separate documentation.
> Indeed, the comctl32.dll textarea control is this "system editor" and
> provides hooks for the embedding application to add extra
> functionality, though some roll their own for extra flexibility, while
> sticking to CUA so that the user doesn't notice or care. All the cruft
> stops hanging out and becomes an implementation detail users can
> safely ignore. Now THAT is a standard system-wide editor!

Which is really kind of the Unix model -- a single text editor
called by all applications -- except that with the Unix model you
have a choice of editors.  Which might or might not be regarded
as good.

> > Applications that need to do text editing from
> > within the application call the user's editor of choice.  I think
> > it's still a model that makes sense, though maybe it's not for
> > everyone, and perhaps some applications need more interaction
> > with the editor than is possible with this model.
> 
> See above.
> 
> > Say what?  the text editor isn't trying to be a command processor
> > here; it's giving me access to the rest of the system without
> > the need for cutting and pasting between windows.
> 
> That's it exactly -- in this case, what you really want is a command
> processor with better interactivity/editing functionality, not an
> editor with auto-paste-from-shell functionality. What you're
> ultimately doing there is shell stuff, with fancier editing than the
> shitty shell-prompt line-editor allows. Which suggests a command
> processor with better editing functionality rather than an editor with
> command launching and output redirecting functionality. Kludges like
> this indicate the need to redesign the system in question from the
> ground up.

I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here; I'm not
talking about using a text editor to do things I'd do in the
shell if it were more featureful.  I'm talking about being able to
take parts of the text I'm editing and process them with outside
utilities, and get the results back into the file being edited.

An example would be using the "fmt" command to reflow text
into a paragraph of a specified width.  Sure, the editor could
include that, and I think vim (as opposed to vi) actually does,
but it doesn't need to, when it's relatively easy to invoke the
external command to do it.  *Less* feature bloat for the editor
that way, no?  I think at one point automatic indentation and
reformatting of code also used an external program.  Some of this
stuff is migrating into vim as far as I can tell, and I suspect
that's so vim will work on platforms that don't necessarily have
all those little external programs.  (Windows, for example.)

> > Here's an example:  I'm writing a document and want to include
> > the result of doing some simple calculation.  I can express
> > the calculation in the form expected by a text-mode calculator,
> > pipe it into the calculator program, and get the result back in
> > my document.  Of course there are other ways to accomplish this
> > involving cutting and pasting, but they strike me as somewhat
> > more trouble, if easier to learn.
> 
> What's really needed here is a better calculator -- or maybe a better
> text editor, or something. What exactly are you editing or doing here?

I'm not sure I can come up with an example here.  Here's one
that's a bit contrived:

I'm writing something that talks about integer data types and
want to include the maximum and minimum values.  Those are easy
enough to compute, and if I can do it with a text-mode calculator,
I can do that from within the editor.  The alternative would seem
to me to be to bring up a separate calculator, operate it as usual,
and then cut-and-paste the results into the text file.

> Perhaps the application for that shouldn't be a bare-bones text editor
> at all but a specialized one with OLE-like features to embed
> calculated values and other stuff. A cross between Word and Excel, in
> a sense. Or even a general "embedding and linking based document"
> editor in which you can embed text paragraphs, inline math results,
> images and other media, and so forth and invoke specialized sub-
> editors for each, with more of them pluggable as desired. Microsoft
> tried something like this a time or two in their office suite and
> failed miserably, but it can probably be done right. Just not by
> Microsoft. :)

I almost think I could make a case for the notion that that's 
exactly what those antique editors give you, but in the context
of text files only, and it *does* work.  Of course the "text files
only" limitation is significant.  

> > > AFAICT, you're really looking for an IDE, not a plain old text editor,
> > > here.
> >
> > Well, no, because a lot of these are useful features no matter
> > what kind of text I'm editing (source code, mail message, newsgroup
> > post, etc.) -- maybe not syntax highlighting, but the other
> > ones.
> 
> I don't see how. When editing source code, an IDE that embeds or
> drives an editor makes sense, rather than an editor that embeds an
> IDE. When editing mail or news, a mail/news client that embeds or
> drives an editor makes sense, rather than an editor that embeds a mail/
> news client. And so forth. Each of the embedding applications can
> bring domain-specific specializations: syntax highlighting and
> language awareness here, address book functionality and spellchecking
> there, and so forth, as well as connecting with the task's wider
> context: the compiler and rest of the tool-chain here, NNTP/SMTP/POP
> functionality, account management, and message browsing there, and so
> forth.
> 
> This, by the way, is what you have, in effect, on Windows.

It's also what you have with those old-style Unix programs:  mutt
(for reading mail) and trn (for reading news) both call the user's
specified text editor for, well, text editing.  I'm not thinking
now of other applications where another tool needs to interact
with a text editor closely.  The tools I know about in that 
environment for compiling are command-line tools rather than
anything like an IDE.

Now, emacs.  emacs is a little different.  But we agreed not to go
there, I think, and I strongly suspect that what looks like feature
bloat is actually a very featureful set of plugins.  Maybe that's
the same thing, though.

> > > Think about which keys are needed? It's completely intuitive with,
> > > say, Notepad; shift+navigation keys moves one endpoint of the
> > > selection (the other being wherever you were when you first started
> > > holding down shift).
> >
> > Shift + navigation keys is intuitive?!  In whose universe?  Now,
> > that the key marked with a left arrow should move the cursor left
> > is semi-intuitive (though I think it does presuppose a notion
> > of cursor that total newbies might not have), but how would you
> > know that Shift does what you describe without reading about it
> > somewhere, or having someone show you?  Once you've discovered it,
> > sure, it works in a lot of circumstances.  But discovering it?
> 
> First of all, and this will seem strange to you since it's not
> apparently the unix way, but: it's documented, and it's documented in
> basic introductory tutorial documents rather than buried somewhere
> around page 666 of a 917-page tome to boot.

*WHICH YOU HAVE TO READ*.  Hence not "completely intuitive".  That
was my point.  Agreed that once you pick it, it's broadly useful.

[ snip ]

> > The old-style help systems (man and info pages) are admittedly
> > a weak point, better as reference documentation than tutorials.
> 
> Better as one-time pads than either, I'd expect. Well-nigh unusable
> for their putative purpose due to the clumsy interface that makes
> navigating them in a decent manner impossible, but chock-full of
> entropy and ten to the quadrillion bits of it too!

For suitable definitions of "navigating them in a decent manner",
I suppose.

[ snip ]

> Perhaps if it was possible to actually navigate them properly it would
> not be so, but any attempt to do anything on Unix seems to involve man
> this, page down (er, space) times sixty trillion, read some stuff,
> exit, man that, page down some more, etc. etc.; one big hypertext
> system with clickable links would be far more useful [ snip ]

Agreed.  I guess the point I'd make here is that there are more
choices than just "best imaginable help interface" and "totally
unusable help interface" -- it's a spectrum, and we probably
disagree about where on that spectrum typical Unix help lies.

> > > Should rename that to "pwned", since that's what you are if you are in
> > > a constrained-width environment in this day and age. :P
> >
> > Your monitor is infinitely wide?  Cool.  Where can I get one of those,
> > and a big enough room to keep it in?
> 
> It's all thanks to this nifty thing Xerox PARC invented back in the
> late seventies called a "horizontal scrollbar". There's also the whole
> "1280x1024 and a decently small font pitch 

Oh, you're one of *THOSE* ....  :-)  I like my fonts fairly big.

But just on a quick check, I had no trouble getting a GNOME
terminal window that fills the screen and allows 200-character
lines without wrapping.  How do I know it's 200 characters?
I have vim configured to show row/column position of the cursor at
the bottom.  (I did have to peer closely at the monitor to read
the position.  As I said, I prefer bigger fonts.  But someone
with a different preference could be accommodated.)

> allows ~200 characters per
> line *without* scrolling" thing. That's 5/2 the character width of an
> old terminal, in case you were wondering.

Which is largely irrelevant given that most of the applications we've
been talking about seem perfectly happy to make use of a bigger
"screen" if one is provided by the terminal emulator.

> Now a decently modernized command prompt box would be quasi-graphical
> and supply a prompt that actually collapsed with ellipses, e.g. C:\foo
> \b...ker\mumble\f...cks\data17> with tooltip expansion of the
> "berserker" and "fiddlesticks" in there. Coding this is left as an
> exercise for the reader. :)

Tooltips, ack pfui.  (I can understand the point, but they're
something of a pet peeve of mine.  Something about that "hover
the mouse and wait" thing bugs me.)

[ snip ]

> Of course, that's costing you 1/24 of your screen real-estate instead
> of around 1/100 of it in a GUI. :)

I don't understand why you keep talking as if text-mode applications
were still restricted to 80x24.

> > Okay with me.  I don't insist that everyone use my preferred set
> > of tools, just that they leave me to use them in peace and not try
> > to explain to me how wrong-headed I'm being.  The downside is that
> > I don't learn as well what most people's experience of computers
> > is like, which is limiting in its way -- though nice in other ways.
> 
> Eh -- well, using them in peace wouldn't draw attention on a newsgroup
> automatically, unless people decide to poke around in the headers
> looking for "User-Agent: trn" or the like just to pick a fight. AFAIK
> that rarely happens and it's only people that choose to publicly
> evangelize software with unusable UI that get it. ;)

My perception is that I'm not evangelizing this software so much
as defending it from someone who appears to be poking fun based
on limited knowledge.  As best I can tell from a quick skim of
saved posts, we got into this wrangle when you mentioned CharMap,
I said "I use vim", you suggested I should get with the times,
since console-mode applications would not and could not provide
decent support for Unicode, someone replied that in fact vim
provides support for Unicode, and we were off ....

I suppose defending one's preferred tools *is* in some way sillier
than defending the reputation of a supposedly anonymous ID.
<shrug>

> And those that publicly blast GUI software, of course, which is the
> same thing you're asking me not to do, but in reverse...

Well, I think I've been fairly careful to mention from time to
time that I can perceive some benefits to GUIs, and to say that
some of my dislike of them is personal taste or based on my own
experience.  Maybe that does count as "publicly blasting" them.  
<shrug>

> > > That's not my observation. See above. Hell, when "something goes
> > > wrong" on Windows 90% of the time it's fixed with a reboot, or a
> > > reinstall of the offending app, or both. When "something goes wrong"
> > > on Unix 100% of the time it's fixed with voodoo, for which your local
> > > witch-doctor will probably charge money. If you can even find one. :P
> >
> > Not my experience.
> 
> You've obviously been lucky then. Or had some recourse beyond the
> unusable documentation the systems tend to ship with. 

Some luck, maybe.  Access to a local expert to help, usually.
That does make a difference.  I would claim that some Windows
problems are also solvable only with access to a local expert.

> The four failure
> scenarios I'm familiar with on unix are:
> 1. Something doesn't work, and the error message + documentation are
>    cryptic. It quickly becomes clear that fixing it requires learning
>    almost as much about the thing's internals as it took to code the
>    damn thing to begin with. Time to email the developers.
> 2. Something doesn't even compile, and you're no programmer, and even
>    if you are, you don't have time to learn all the specifics of this
>    particular program as if to hack and modify it; you have a job to
>    get done! It quickly becomes clear that fixing it requires you
>    email the developers.

Most of the times I've run into either of these, it's been with
very old and unsupported stuff I'm stubbornly trying to keep
alive, or with "research software" for which expectations are,
and should be, a little lower.

> 3. Something doesn't work and as a result X won't run, which means no
>    GUI. You're stuck with a single "window" that can therefore only do
>    one thing at a time and old, crufty documentation whose browser UI
>    ranges from unusable through abysmal to non-existent. It quickly
>    becomes clear that you'll be spending the next six hours slogging
>    through poorly-organized documentation in poorly-organized UIs
>    trying to find the information needed to make X run again. You
>    give up and phone the local geek, since trying to configure and use
>    the console-mode mailer is like trying to shave in the dark with a
>    new, maximally-sharp blade and fading flashlight batteries during a
>    magnitude 6.5 tremor.

Unless, of course, you already know how to use "the" console-mode
mailer.  Oh wait, there are several (pine, mutt, elm, mailx .... ).

> 4. Something doesn't work and as a result the machine won't boot,
>    which means no access to the documentation that might help you fix
>    it at all. Of course there's also no such thing as safe mode. It
>    quickly becomes clear that you're hosed. Time to wipe and
> reinstall.
>    Hope you had recent backups.

Time to get out the rescue CD and boot from it.  It may even come
as part of the distribution -- I think when I burned a copy of
the installation disks for my current system, they included one.
Also, as I understand it, there are "live CD" distributions where
the whole thing is on a bootable CD.

> Of course, item 4 happens on Windoze too, but safe mode + system
> restore or whatever will usually save your bacon. And my observations
> have been that 4 almost never happens with NT/2K/XP, and actually
> happens more often with Linux -- and a simple power failure can be
> enough to cause it there. Either no boot, or a boot directly into grub
> or fsck or something like that instead of anything that either
> resembles a normal shell or has a user interface. Of course this means
> the drive/filesystem is hosed, which means no documentation, which
> means same conclusion as option 4. Maybe a guru can fix it from there,
> without referencing the now-inaccessible-and-possibly-now-nonexistent
> fsck documentation without which no normal human being can hope to
> accomplish anything at a cryptic and mute fsck-repair-mode command
> prompt.

Again, not much like my experience.  Waiting for a full filesystem
check after an abrupt shutdown used to be quite annoying, but with
the availibility of journalling filesystems it's not the issue it
used to be.

> With luck, they've now gotten it to the point that it no longer is
> designed around the assumption that you're running your unix on a
> mainframe in a major datacentre with a UPS, but that still leaves
> categories 1 through 3...
> 
> Mainly those happen on Windows through boneheadedness or bugs in the
> software. On Unix they also seem to happen from simply trying to set
> up and use something in a non-fancy way, because setting something up
> on Windows is pick-install-directory, select-options, click-install,
> reboot whereas on Unix it is somewhere in between a) setting up an
> entertainment center whose instruction pamphlet is the size of the
> Encyclopedia Britannica and written in Swahili plus pictograms that
> appear to be lifted from the Ming Dynasty edition of the Kama Sutra
> and certainly bear more relation to this than to the components you
> have arrayed before you and b) setting up a shiny new CANDU reactor
> with the optional fuel reprocessing module and waste storage vault --
> some assembly required, moon suit sold separately. (The instruction
> manual for one of *those* fills a small library, or so I'm told.)

I think ease of installation is an area in which some distributions
have made major advances in the past few years.  I haven't really
experimented, but I hear good things about Ubuntu.  Anyone else
still reading this thread may have another favorite to mention.
Problems are still very possible, but I don't know how much better
Windows would do if one had to install it from scratch.  

But ....

I think a lot of what one finds annoying is conditioned by what
one is used to.  I'm happy to overlook Unix's faults, but quick
to become annoyed with Windows's shortcomings.  I know that.
I suspect for you it's the other way around, though it's only
a guess.

> > "cd" is an unusual combination, though, isn't it?  (As it happens,
> > on the man page on my system, the third occurrence of "cd" was
> > the one that was most helpful.)
> 
> Lucky you. The third out of 54,252 occurrences being the right one is
> a minor miracle, comparable to winning the $1000-$5000 level prizes in
> your local lottery. :P

Oh, get real.  There aren't going to be 50K occurrences of an
unusual string such as "cd" in a document that's, hm, the one I
have access to here is about 4700 lines, and appears to contain
18 occurrences of "cd".  Someone who knows the tools will also
be able to separate out mentions of the function from words
such as "anecdote" too, by searching for "cd" as a whole word.
Admittedly syntax for doing that isn't obvious.  But it's there.

[ snip ]

> Ironically, in that case "man" *almost* got it right. It apparently
> was set up so "man cd" went to the shell man page as "cd" is a shell
> command. It dropped the ball when it didn't go to the specific section
> of the shell man page that deals with the "cd" command, or to a
> separate "cd" man page created because finding things in a single
> monolithic linear file for every single shell built-in command will be
> like finding a needle in a haystack.
> 
> All this means is that the help system in question is actually half-
> baked instead of being *completely* uncooked.

Make that 80% and I might even agree.  :-)?

> > > Only in the specific case of someone doing the sort of thing you
> > > describe. Requiring careful record-keeping and cataloguing by the
> > > whole user-base strikes me as foolish and needlessly user-hostile.
> >
> > Yeah, maybe.  But at least it lets people who *do* want to have a
> > record do so, as opposed to point-and-click operations that leave
> > nothing recordable.
> 
> There's no obvious reason mouse gestures can't be recorded, though it
> would be better to record the abstractions of the commands invoked
> instead -- e.g. hit esc, or alt-C, or mouse1 over the "Cancel" button,
> and in all three cases it just records that the command was "cancel".
> And of course it would always be the case that the user could, when
> recording a macro or whatever, choose to use only keyboard commands.
> This is for macro recording and record-keeping of individual edits, of
> course; for record-keeping of file versions, built-in versioning tools
> in the editing tool seem sensible, and with a journaling filesystem
> can just provide an interface to that underlying functionality,
> focused onto a particular file. Failing this, the file's location can
> be disclosed and the user can manually make copies and backups.

All of this seems possible.  But do you know of any programs that 
actually do it?  I don't.  The "archiving text files" approach is a
pain, but at least it can be done without modifying the applications.

> "Treat everything as a document for the user to edit" seems like it
> might work here generally.

Wasn't that what I was saying ....  :-)  (Well, not exactly, I know.)

> > Yeah.  And the person who doesn't mind remaining ignorant of better
> > ways to do things, and continuing to do manually things that could be
> > automated.  (You do have a point.  But I think I do too.)
> 
> Only when you *are* automating something should you need to invest a
> load of time and effort into learning internals or whatever
> complicated command language.

In a perfect world, yes.  If I have to choose between something
that makes easy things difficult to learn, and something that
doesn't allow automation at all, well, I'm glad to have the choice.
If I didn't have to choose, if there were something that made easy
things easy but also allowed automation, that would be better.
But does it exist?

> > This doesn't sound much like my experience.  Of course, I do things
> > like defining environment variables for directories I use a lot,
> > so navigation isn't as difficult as it might be -- $WEBDIR for
> > the directory where the files for my "Web site" live, for example,
> > so I type "cp file $WEBDIR" rather than giving the full path.
> 
> Seems like a kludge/crutch to me, patching over an intrinsically poor
> UI with workarounds. 

In some ways it is.  I'm kind of stubborn about using CLIs for things
where most people would use a graphical file browser.  Again, I'm
glad to have the choice.

> Puts me in mind of working with a poor GUI where
> a commonly used function lacks a keyboard shortcut so you either
> always mouse it or use the shortcut for something nearby and then tab
> to it. (Of course the something-nearby might actually be invoked by
> doing so, as well, depending on what it is. If it's a text box you're
> OK; if it's a command button...)
> 
> > Still short on visual cues, but not, IMO, as bad as you're making
> > these systems out to be.
> 
> I dunno. Creating tons of invisible, undocumented aliases for
> everything seems like a crutch and not a very good one at that. Even a
> symlink from the root dir would be better; that will actually show up
> in a directory listing. Environment variables lurk invisibly in what
> passes for the command processor's brain somewhere; no amount of
> dir'ing or ls'ing will reveal their existence, let alone what they
> point to. 

"printenv" lists them.

> You're creating more stuff for you to memorize in this case.

Like I "memorize" the route from my residence to my office.

> I wonder how cluttered your system is with environment variables you
> set as shortcuts to something years ago and eventually forgot about?
> How many shortcuts, all but one forgotten, to the same resource? Hmm.

Not as much as you seem to think -- I count 17 of those environment
variables pointing to directories.  I *had* forgotten about a few
of them, but -- 17.  <shrug>  As for having many shortcuts to the
same resource -- why not?  It's not as if symbolic links take
up a lot of space (I wouldn't think -- it's just a path name),
and if I ever do want to look at not-much-used stuff again, it
seems useful to retain the shortcuts to relevant shared resources.
I think on the whole my files are probably less cluttered than
the average person's.  Admittedly I could probably do a lot better
if I knew how to make good use of version-control software.

> Ultimately though it all comes back to the one fundamental problem and
> that is the paucity of information and feedback to the user about the
> current state of the system and the locations of nearby/related
> things. If I found myself having to do all of my tasks by the narrow
> cone of a flashlight beam I'd wonder why the power was out rather than
> just live with that state of affairs.

Yeah.  I think there really may be a "different styles of thinking"
thing going on here.

[ snip ]

> > Not saying the old tools are always best, just that they provide
> > something that seems not to even be imagined by people who only
> > know GUIs.  Something that somehow combined the best of both
> > worlds seems like a great idea, no?  but it's not clear that it
> > will be invented by someone who doesn't know the benefits as well
> > as the drawbacks of the old tools.
> 
> I do know the benefits; they are simply inaccessible to non-expert
> users, by and large.

Not saying *you* don't -- though given that you seem unfamiliar with
current versions of Unix tools, I don't know -- but that most people
don't.  Don't you agree about the "best of both worlds" thing being
desirable?

> > > But you claimed you could learn something useful and transfer the
> > > knowledge to another application. That's impossible if they don't both
> > > adhere to *some* standard, but rather each does everything in a
> > > totally idiosyncratic way.
> >
> > But they don't.  What you learn from one application may not be
> > 100% helpful in learning the next, but the odds are that it will
> > be more than 0% helpful, and I claim that for the kinds of things
> > we're talking about here, it will likely be a lot more than 0%.
> 
> Really? For example, what app 1 used for navigation that wasn't the
> arrow keys -- if app 2 uses a completely non-overlapping set of keys
> for this, how exactly does your learning finally how to get around
> inside app 1 help you with app 2? It doesn't, and it might even
> hinder, after a fashion, because you're now used to using the app 1
> keys to navigate.

This is a problem, but in practice most applications adhere to one
of a smallish number of standards.  The situation is not wonderful,
but I don't think it's as bad as you make it out to be.  Some of
the commonality comes as a result of applications using library
code for command-line editing; there's a readline() function used
by bash and probably many tools that involve getting a line of 
text at a time, and it provides a lot of stuff I find useful, such
as maintaining a (searchable) command history.

> > On the systems I've used (Linux, Solaris, earlier systems),
> > "man" finds the files, converts them to text, and pipes the
> > whole lot into your pager of choice (something akin to DOS's
> > "more" command, though possible more capable -- the one I use,
> > "less", is able to page ahead by arbitrary amounts, search for
> > text, etc.).  I have no idea what tool you're talking about.
> > Could it be -- I think I remember an "xman" tool that ran under X?
> > maybe still does on some systems?
> 
> I'm referring to whatever pager or other displaying software presents
> the file, along with what passes for something that might be a distant
> ancestor of a true UI, to the user. :P

So again it appears that what you're critiquing is not the tool's
actual capabilities, but the ones that are apparent to the novice.
I don't know, maybe that *is* fair.  I just claim that there are
also things about Windows that are equally unobvious to newbies
but taken for granted by experienced users.  Maybe there are fewer
of them.  <shrug>

[ snip ]

> "Annoying" doesn't begin to describe it. The one redeeming feature of
> "info" is that it actually has hyperlinks. But how they managed to get
> even *those* wrong I can't begin to imagine. 

Perhaps because this system pre-dates the Web, browsers, etc.?  
though I'm not sure about that.

[ snip ]

> > PostScript is being supplanted by PDF these days, as far as I
> > can tell.  The ASCII-ness of PostScript is actually, in my opinion,
> > one of its attractions.  You know why.  :-)
> 
> It does have the ability to be zipped at least. 

That wasn't the attraction I meant.  

> PDF is proprietary and
> evil, although at least you can usually find PDF renderers that don't
> butcher the neatly typeset text into something resembling a turn-of-
> the-century Nintendo game with blocky pixellated fonts. HTML plus
> browser plus decent font is much more efficient and surely accessible
> and readable than either, and once again uses an ASCII format. As an
> extra added bonus feature, the same piece of help documentation that
> takes up 80MB as a PS and 800KB as a PDF takes up 80KB as HTML, and a
> lightweight browser is not significantly bigger for any of the three
> formats than for any other. (For HTML this would mean a stripped-down
> HTML browser lacking HTTP capability, used for local files only, and
> lacking fancy CSS/JS/ActiveX/Java/etc. capabilities also -- HTML 4.2
> only if you please, with inline images and the like working as
> expected and most other binary file types besides images occurring in
> links simply being launched with the native file associations in
> appropriate viewer/editor software.)

Yeah, yeah, we probably sort of agree here, though I'm glad to
have a format (PDF) that's suitable for documents where you *do*
want to control the formatting and for which readers exist for
many/most/? popular platforms.

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm (1302)
9/28/2007 4:28:41 PM
In article <1190961037.906718.180670@n39g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,
 <nebulous99@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 26, 9:15 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:

(Okay, a few more things .... )

> That's it exactly -- in this case, what you really want is a command
> processor with better interactivity/editing functionality, not an
> editor with auto-paste-from-shell functionality. What you're
> ultimately doing there is shell stuff, with fancier editing than the
> shitty shell-prompt line-editor allows. Which suggests a command
> processor with better editing functionality rather than an editor with
> command launching and output redirecting functionality. Kludges like
> this indicate the need to redesign the system in question from the
> ground up.

Just out of curiosity, what do you have in mind when you say "command
processor with better editing functionality"?  I'm wondering whether
it's something recent Unix/Linux shells provide, but in an obscure
way, or something I haven't thought of at all.

[ snip ]

> > If you want an interactive tool, gnuplot.  I'm pretty sure just
> > about everything I know about it was learned without a live tutor.
> > Now, if I didn't already have some familiarity with similar tools,
> > I might have had more trouble.  But I do, just as Windows users
> > have familiarity with the conventions of *their* platform.
> 
> At least our platform *has* conventions. 

So does ours.  Several of them.  "The nice thing about standards
is that there are so many to choose from"?  (Who said that?)

[ snip ]

> (For the user-interface. I
> know unix has arcane conventions for command line argument syntaxes,
> directory structure, and other things, none of which are 100%
> intuitive or especially well-documented, but it clearly has none at
> all for interactive UI!)

[ snip ]

> Mainly those happen on Windows through boneheadedness or bugs in the
> software. On Unix they also seem to happen from simply trying to set
> up and use something in a non-fancy way, because setting something up
> on Windows is pick-install-directory, select-options, click-install,
> reboot whereas on Unix it is somewhere in between a) setting up an
> entertainment center whose instruction pamphlet is the size of the
> Encyclopedia Britannica and written in Swahili plus pictograms that
> appear to be lifted from the Ming Dynasty edition of the Kama Sutra
> and certainly bear more relation to this than to the components you
> have arrayed before you and b) setting up a shiny new CANDU reactor
> with the optional fuel reprocessing module and waste storage vault --
> some assembly required, moon suit sold separately. (The instruction
> manual for one of *those* fills a small library, or so I'm told.)

I replied to this briefly yesterday, but I could say a little more:

Many current Linux distributions seem to be aim to be "friendly"
for people whose previous experience is with Windows.  This means
an installation process with menus (point-and-click graphical if
the installer can figure out how to talk to the graphics hardware,
otherwise text menus, I think), GUI tools for doing sysadmin
things, etc.  

Installing optional extras from the distribution is often as simple
as a single command, for which there's probably a point-and-click
interface, though I haven't investigated.  For example, recently
I installed Wine (Windows emulation of some sort) on one of our
systems, by typing 'yum install "wine*"' and eventually responding
to an "is this okay?" prompt.  Everything else was automatic,
and the people I did the installation for haven't complained,
so I guess it worked.

Installing not-from-the-distribution software is sometimes more
complicated, but a surprising number of applications now come
packaged with an installer that operates much like the ones you
seem to be used to from the Windows world.

Even the applications packaged in the old way (archive files
generated by "tar") -- well, my experience has been that un-tarring
the thing and then typing "configure; make; make install" usually
"just works".  

I won't say that any of the above *always* works; sometimes things
go wrong in baffling ways.  I don't *think* that's the norm,
but it's hard to say.  Support for hardware has been a problem
for Linux, since apparently a lot of hardware manufacturers are
unaccountably uninterested in supplying drivers for a minority
o/s, and FOSS types can't always keep up.  But that also seems
to be improving, as best I can tell.

I also think that familiarity with the platform makes more of a
difference than people might suspect.  Even the simplest stuff in
Windows is apt to flummox me, because I don't know the platform
and its conventions.  My first reaction is usually to blame the
platform, but in my more lucid moments I realize that my own
ignorance is also a factor.  Recently I spent, oh, I think an
hour all in all just trying to get my laptop to talk to a local
printer and print a PDF file.  Some things were remarkably easy,
but at some point I got an error message about no printer being
installed that baffled me -- until finally, after a lot of
frustrating Googling, I discovered that the problem was that
there was no "default printer".  <shrug>

[ snip ]

-- 
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer:  I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.
0
blmblm
9/29/2007 6:21:41 PM
On Sep 28, 5:24 am, RedGrittyBrick <redgrittybr...@spamweary.foo>wrote:[snip]> I don't see any implication of untrue "nasty things".Aren't you overdue for your appointment with the optometrist? Youreyesight has clearly gotten alarmingly bad. The sooner you receivetreatment, the better the chances of preserving at least some vision.
0
nebulous99
9/29/2007 9:05:47 PM
On Sep 28, 7:12 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> In article <1190952339.619619.241...@y42g2000hsy.googlegroups.com>,>>>>  <nebulou...@gmail.com> wrote:> > On Sep 26, 6:25 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:> > > > > I'll say again that it might be worthwhile to check the calibration> > > > > of that threat-detection system.>> > > > It's working perfectly TYVM; the estimated rate of false negatives is> > > > basically zero at this point.>> > > It's the rate of false positives that concerns me.>> > You seem to totally misunderstand the purpose of a threat detection> > system.>> > Cost of a false positive is at most some time and energy expended> > coping with a false alarm.> > Cost of a false negative is potentially whatever the worst case damage> > is that the enemy might do if they catch you with your britches down.>> > It's perfectly normal to bias a threat-detection system in favor of> > the odd false positive to prevent any false negatives, because it only> > takes one of the latter and your ass is grass.>> If it were only "the odd false positive", I'd agree.  But it> seems to me that dealing with a high rate of false positivesI don't think there has been a "high rate". I think a lot of thethings you seem to think were false positives were nothing of thekind.> ...potentially damages your reputation as much> as the perceived attacks.This is speculation on your part, speculation that you have mentionedbefore but that you have never substantiated with anything resemblingactual evidence.
0
nebulous99
9/29/2007 9:09:04 PM
On Sep 28, 7:29 am, blm...@myrealbox.com <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> > So a filesystem that does much more than just organize the bits on a
> > storage medium is surely a case of creeping *something*, right? ;)
>
> I think of a filesystem as an abstraction built on top of whatever
> the storage-medium hardware provides.  Typical Unix filesystems
> (without ACLs [*]) don't seem to me to be particularly bloated
> with regard to features -- I mean, associated with each file are
> a few timestamps, at most 12 permission bits, and two IDs (group
> and owner).  That doesn't seem excessive to me.  The two IDs only
> make sense in the context of a couple of additional files (lists
> of usernames and groupnames, together with group membership),
> but again, the overall setup doesn't seem so very complicated.
> What am I not getting here?

I was thinking of the things that are /foo/bar addresses in the
filesystem, but are not actually files at all. Unix brimmeth over with
these. AFAICT, everything that can be a character-stream I/O source or
destination is represented, not just files on storage media, often as /
dev/something. :)

> Yes, that's kind of what I remember -- that one could give
> different permissions for different users, in some way that's
> more flexible than what the Unix model provides.  (That model,
> by the way, is really pretty simple.  If you aren't familiar with
> it