Linked by Kostis Kapelonis on Mon 29th Nov 2004 18:55 UTC
Editorial The IT sector today is a complete mess. The end-users rarely understand this, but most insiders reach a point when they realize that things should be different. The problems are numerous but they all reduce to a basic principle. IT and consumer electronics companies are interested more about money than helping people solve their problems. Of course companies need to make a profit and nobody denies that. They should however make money by helping people and not by creating more problems for them.
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RE: Bad examples
by Eric Garland on Tue 30th Nov 2004 01:27 UTC

Excellent points. I agree with most of them.

The article opens with the claim that computers are too complicated because thatís what makes people money. The arguments are mostly BS as you rightly pointed out but I agree with the original premise.

Computers are too complicated, but the problems are much harder to solve than getting rid of a save button. They are always getting better though. Mt Rainer will eventually make floppy-like access to CD's possible. Rapid searching of large bundles of end user's data will eventually get easier. Coupling of metadata with binary data will get easier. As computers get faster and have more resources and expand into new rolls they will keep getting better at the things that people use them for.

There is, however, a fundamental problem with software that's income counts on selling upgrades: The upgrades must have new features and look different or nobody will buy them. That is annoying for users who learned how to run the old ones. F/OSS has the advantage of, if it's not broken, people usually leave it alone.

For example, the new Start Menu in Windows XP is a vast improvement on the old one in terms of functionality and efficiency. Yet the number of *experienced users* who immediately change it back to the old way because the new way sucks [1] is enormous.

It does suck. It sucks because it takes up highly valuable 1'st tier space with "My Pictures, My Music, My Documents, and Set Program Access and Defaults" all of which I almost never access (Yes, I know you can remove them.) It sucks because it violates object permanence. Unlike most people I purposely organize my start menu and I want certain things in certain places. It sucks because I can't put only the things I want in it. It has 2 main advantages, the 2 columns and the recently used list. Neither of them are worth giving up the ability to customize the menu.