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Re: proficiency-level tag for debian packages

On Tue, May 31, 2005 at 06:41:20PM +0200, Mark Edgington wrote:

> For example, a package like OpenOffice or Firefox are end-user 
> applications which most users (even those completely unfamiliar with 
> linux) would have a good chance at understanding and being able to use. 
>  On the other hand, a package like nmap might not be something my 
> Grandma would be wanting to use every day, and thus it might be better 
> to have a higher proficiency-level rating for such a package.
> The motivation for such a thing is that it would make it possible for 
> package-management tools to operate in an "easy" mode which would only 
> display (or display in a separate category) packages which have a 
> proficiency-rating < x.  This would be very handy in that it would 
> permit using Debian and an apt frontend like synaptic to make it easy 
> for more-or-less "computer-illiterate" people to install new packages 
> which match their skill-level, without having to wade through hundreds 
> of libraries and technical tools which they would never use.

During Debtags[1] meditation, I've been thinking about this a lot.
However, it's hard to measure "easyness" universally enough.  For
example, I consider openoffice more complicated than abiword, which is
more complicated than gedit, for writing text.  However, I consider
gedit more complicated than abiword, which is more complicated than
openoffice, for formatting text.

One could say that tuxpaint is simpler than gimp.  A graphic designer
probably finds gimp to be easier to use than tuxpaint for photo-editing,

And yet, one can say that emacs is the easiest of it all, because you
just have to learn one tool to do everything :)

So, my idea on this for Debtags is to delegate this kind of
categorization to Custom Debian Distributions.  This is because CDDs
know who their users are, and know what's appropriate and what's
complicated for them.

I consider this to be a very good way of having all possibly
controversial categorization (easyness, beauty, appropriateness,
politeness...) to have a chance of existing when they are needed,
without trying to undergo the impossible (or dubious) task of taking
decisions that pretend being universal when they cannot be.

If you are interested in helping on this, please join
debtags-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org [2], although it's not clear yet
how to properly implement CDD-specific tagging and it could be quite a
complicated "first task" to pick up.



[1] http://debtags.alioth.debian.org
[2] http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/debtags-devel
GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico@enricozini.org>

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