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Re: Simple spreadsheet program.

On 13.03.18 10:48, David Wright wrote:
> On Tue 13 Mar 2018 at 21:31:00 (+1100), Erik Christiansen wrote:
> > Too true. After a couple of hours of failing to get any GUI drawing
> > package, not least LibreOffice, to do anything useful, I used Vim to
> > textually produce the 8 drawings for my house; plan, elevations &
> > sections, and site plan. It took about 800 lines of Postscript, and I
> > didn't have to crack the inscrutable secrets of an obstructive GUI
> > interface.
> OTOH the results of your work were highly scrutable?

Adjectives describe nouns, in the quoted text that is "interface secrets".
The quoted text did not refer to output/results.
The quote of my function to draw a door in a floorplan shows my text
input, not output/results.
The result of conversion of the postscript to pdf is a suite of drawings
when displayed with e.g. xpdf. (Scrutable even to local government
officials, at considerable cost saving compared to using an architect.)

But there is perhaps an unstated point - that the postscript language
(the interface) is not equally scrutable for all. I found it infinitely
easier to learn a fully discoverable textual language than how to crank
a mouse engine in mysterious ways. Eric Raymond perhaps said it best.
(See sig)


The meta-problem here is that the configuration wizard does all the approved   
rituals (GUI with standardized clicky buttons, help popping up in a browser,
etc. etc.) but doesn't have the central attribute these are supposed to achieve:
discoverability. That is, the quality that every point in the interface has
prompts and actions attached to it from which you can learn what to do next.
                                   - Eric Raymond, in "The Luxury of Ignorance."

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