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Re: A good charge against free operating systems

>>>>> "Frodo" == Frodo Baggins <thehobbit@altern.org> writes:

Frodo> On Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 11:03:06AM +0100, Frédéric Aguiard
Frodo> scripsit:
>> ...snip...  You can't ask a secretary to understand all the
>> complexity of a linux system. You can't even ask her to use a shell,
>> nor anything like vi or latex or anything else. This is not HER
>> job. She just needs a tool, a tool providing her what she needs for
>> her daily work, a tool that does not break up in her hands while just
>> using basis functions, nor doing something reasonably foolish.  I, as
>> a computer engineer, can understand most of the subtle technical

Frodo>  This is bullshit. Classical from head-inflated engineer to
Frodo> despise of 'secretary' as unable to understand the wonderful
Frodo> things they do oh soooooooo weeeeeeeeeeellllll.

A secretary doesn't *need* to know the organization of the filesystem,
or partitioning, or network configuration (well, at least not *all* the
details), etc.  If they don't need to know it to do their job, what good
is it to make them learn?  If he/she wants to understand all of Linux,
or use vi, then that's fine.  Just don't *require* it of them.

Frederic, as a computer engineer, may be expected to know all those
details.  It might be required for his job.  But a secretary should not
*need* to know them to do his/her job.

Frodo>  First, I do not think that using LaTeX, at least sticking to
Frodo> standard features or some fixed style sheet is something
Frodo> exceeding the capacity of someone who can understand the
Frodo> intricacies of word or excel, who keep completely changing the
Frodo> GUI with each release.

The question is not whether they *can* use such a tool, but rather,
whether they *should* use such a tool.  For a lot of people (not
necessarily secretaries), writing a LaTeX document is too much effort
for their time.  For many simple tasks, such as writing letters, or
one-pagers, LaTeX takes more time than it is worth.  It's much easier to
just open up some word processor.

Computers are tools.  They are meant to make our jobs easier.  Just
because I *can* use a screwdriver to pound in a nail doesn't mean I

Use the right tool for the job.

Frodo>  Second, which is a 'tool that does not break up in her hands
Frodo> while just using basis functions'??? Are you speaking about
Frodo> Microsoft products? Then, look again. They break _all_the_time_>
Frodo> But as you are an exalted computer engineer you probably doesn't
Frodo> handle the problems the humble and lowest secretaries have with
Frodo> their tools...

Do you disagree with Frederic's statement that all a secretary *needs*
is a tool providing him/her with what he/she needs for his/her daily
work, which does not break up in his/her hands just using basic
functions?  I would also add that it should be reasonably easy to use.
It should be substantially less work that by paper and pencil.

I don't think that he was referring to Microsoft products.  I don't
think that such a tool even exists yet.  It is what Linux programs are
aiming to be.


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