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Re: Fax programs! help please. (fwd)

On Tue, 14 Jan 1997 edwalter@students.wisc.edu wrote:

> On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, Johann Spies wrote:
> > able to encourage them if Linux become more user friendly.  Most computer
> > users are computer illiterates and the program user-interfaces must
> > overcome that problem.

> I don't think linux is intended to be a suitable replacement OS for
> "computer illiterates" and other people who want to put no work into
> their system, and I hope linux developers are not trying to make it
> that.  

Good point.  It was not my idea to have a system people can work on
without putting work into it.  Even on a MSDOS-machine it does not work.

> I have nothing against great, user-friendly tools to make
> administration easier, but I don't think the computer should be left
> to administer itself completely.  

I agree.

> I do see a case for user-friendly apps and such that allow *users* to
> use the system without any need to learn unix, but I see this in a
> multi-user environment such as an office or department where there is
> a system administrator *somewhere* who is responsible for upkeep.  For
> machines that will sit on a desktop and only ever have one user, that
> one user *must* learn to be the administrator.  Either that or they
> could just reinstall from scratch every time something goes wrong?

> I don't know.  Linux is a very powerful OS, and part of its power
> comes from its flexibility and configurability.  I don't know of a
> good way to have an "automatic" OS that is also as flexible and
> powerful.  

It is one thing to learn to do elementary Linux administration on a
single desktop like I am working on and another thing to be able to
(and have time to) understand the inner workings and all the possible
configurations of all the programs you install.  Without giving up on
any configureability or power of the program, is should be possible to
write a user friendly program that can speed up the process of
installation and configuration for the user.  Take emacs for example.
As somebody who has never seen the program before I could start
working with it right away after installation.  I could do that
without reading a lot of manuals or spending a lot of time to
configure the program beforehand.  Later I could start the process of
finetuning the program and explore more possibilities.

> Forgive my rambling, or just fire away.  Just adding my two cents

No reason to apologise.  I think a debate like this is a good thing.



Johann Spies

Windsorlaan 19
Suid Afrika (South Africa)
Tel. Nr. 0331-46-1310

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