[TUHS] earliest Unix roff

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Tue Sep 17 00:54:28 AEST 2019

Holy smokes, Clem, you are me and I am you.  I couldn't agree more with 
this post, especially 'least astonishment'.

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 09:42:56AM -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> What irks me is the blatant force-feeding of any system to the users, be it
> ITS, UNIX or Windows into another.   It's ok to offer an alternative
> interface, but when the system has a mechanism, your tools need to be *socially
> compliant* with it, not try to make 'those users become like me.'
>  Frankly, that is a pretty arrogant behavior. Yes, I know the argument is
> two fold.  GNU is not UNIX and we wrote it (he who has the gold, gets to
> rule).
> BTW:  If it makes you feel better, I've been fighting this attitude at a
> number of places, particularly Intel, for years.   For instance, our dev
> tools folks wrote their own Installer 'because it was easier for them and
> they could use it everywhere').   That's a no-no.  If you have Windows
> product, you must use Microsoft's installer, if you have a Mac, you use
> what Apple gives you, if you have VMS, you used the (wretched) setld, or in
> this case, for Linux its rpm/yum et al.; etc.     But they had their own
> 'installer group' and it was easier for >>them<< than for the users.
> I think the rule of 'least astonishment' is what needs to be the high order
> bit when building tools for people.   Again, offering emacs (or any other
> ITS tool) is fine, but when the new tool is installed on Windows/UNIX/Mac
> et.. it needs to behave itself with the rest of the system, particularly if
> there is already a mechanism in place to do a support function.
> Simply, I would not mind info(gnu) and texinfo(gnu) if there was a way to
> created man pages (or Windows / Mac help).  But having a man page that
> basically says, see figure one
> <https://www.dourish.com/goodies/see-figure-1.html> is not cool.
> my 2 cents from a grumpy old guy....
> Clem

Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

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