Re: "The Debian exim 4 packages suck badly" on firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Suffield <email@example.com> writes:
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2005 at 09:04:59PM -0600, Donald J Bindner wrote:
>> When you compile a kernel and check the help on a module, you'll
>> never find "If unsure, don't say Y." Something to think about...
> That's because the string is "If unsure, say N".
> asuffield@cyclone:/usr/src/linux-2.6.10$ grep unsure * -r | grep Kconfig | egrep -c "say '?Y"
> asuffield@cyclone:/usr/src/linux-2.6.10$ grep unsure * -r | grep Kconfig | egrep -c "say '?N"
> So much for that theory. Testing it took no more than a couple of
> minutes; you could have done that yourself and saved us all the time
> of a couple of mails.
I think you may have missed Donald's point. As I read his original
message, you're confirming exactly what he was trying to drive at. "If
unsure, don't say Y" feels awkwardly backwards to me as well, compared to
"If unsure, say N." Both sentences are, of course, logically equivalent
if there are only two options, but I have to go through a small bit of
additional processing to understand what I should do when presented with
the first phrasing, and it leaves me with a vague wondering if I missed
some other third choice.
That's not even getting into the valid point raised by someone else,
namely that it's unfortunately easy to read right past the "don't" in the
"if unsure, don't say Y" phrasing. My eye, if I'm in a hurry, picks up on
"unsure" and "Y" in that sentence and I can easily see myself not paying
close enough attention to parse and understand all the connecting words.
Certainly, that's my problem for not being attentive enough, but it's
worth making it easier on the poor sap in a hurry. That effect is even
worse when the phrasing is more drawn-out, like "If X, you should not say
Russ Allbery (firstname.lastname@example.org) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>