Closed-source considered harmful (was: JavaScript considered harmful)

Hernan M. Foffani hfoffani at
Fri Jan 11 15:07:44 EST 2002

Not related to Python, but what the heck!

> >> Users must understand their tools, because modern tools are too
> >> and pressing incorrect button these days may easiliy lead to
people death,
> >> or huge money lost, and all that.
> >
> >Hmm, I don't really understand how my car works.  I don't think
that has any
> >impact on my ability to be a safe driver, though.
> OTOH, you probably had many hours of instruction on using a car
> hours of supervised driving) before you were permitted to drive one
> your own.

While it helps, complexity for users doesn't relate to understanting,
learning or practicing processes.
There are several studies which demonstrate that device usability is
inversely proportional to the number of switches the device includes.
Modern human manages fairly well up to 15 or so switches.
No one needs any training to ring a the bell. That is 1 switch.
The 15 switches devices includes telephone and 4 op calculators. They
are used by thousand millions of people without any much hassle.
But computers with modern keyboards breaks this natural human limit.
That's why users need so many hours of training!
The natural reaction of the ordinary people to overcome this obstacle
is the two-finger typing.
These facts are already known by our industry. The same keyboard-less
PC in a mall that is used by many untrained people cannot be
efectively operated if its include a full keyboard by the same people.
And of course, this is the reason that Apple Computer sells PCs with
smaller keyboards.

sorry, couldn't resist.

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