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Re: Is `.deb' still better than `.rpm'?

The way I read the dselect discussion my feelings are that most people
are happy with what dselect does (even if they don't know it, cf.
standard machine configs), but are perhaps not too enamoured of the
programme's interface...

>>>>> "Simon" == Simon Martin <smartin@reuna.cl> writes:

    Simon> and a great concept, but let's make it pretty. A lot of
    Simon> good products have died through lack of beauty.

...however, while it's probably true that much _propriety_ software
goes to the wall for being ugly, I wonder if this is necessarily the
case with good free software?

My feeling is that the percolation/propagation model for free software
is far different to that of proprietry software. Here it's much more
important _what_ the programme does then how it looks, because it
tends to spread by word of mouth--users impressed with results--rather
than glitzy ads. There is also the fact that there is much better
support for getting over the "unintuitiveness" of such programmes
(mailing lists such as this) and also I think it's in part due to the
fact that the load balance between user and programme is much better,
and more honest, than in proprietry models. Free software generally
makes no claims to be "intuitive" ("Point and click---at anything;
don't worry! I'll read your mind (and if I can't, I'll try to change
it...)"), but rather to get a good job done (at which it generally
succeeds). And what is "intuitive" anyway?  It's only another type of
learned behaviour, e.g. I always expect C-a to take me to the
beginning of a command line and C-k to delete to the end; if it
doesn't I'm not happy. Therefore I think the question is more of
consistency than intuition with interfaces. So what are people's
favorite programmes? How could they get dselect to work with that
"learned intuition"? I use Emacs most of the time, so that would lead
me to be more comfortable with a dselect that behaved like Emacs does
(let's say `g' to scan for new packages from an existing packages.gz
file, C-x C-f to open a new packages.gz file, `d' to deselect a
package, etc.). Certainly pull down curses menus would be a good idea
too (menus are generally "intuitive" because most people have used

What do other people think? Is this a useful way to look at the

Thanks for your time,


| Graeme A Stewart, pgp key ftp://ariel.igeofcu.unam.mx/pub/pgp/	|
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