Text-mode apps (Was :Who are the "spacists"?)

Rick Johnson rantingrickjohnson at gmail.com
Fri Mar 31 21:17:26 EDT 2017

On Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 12:43:59 AM UTC-5, Chris Angelico wrote:
> Except that it doesn't actually take very much work to call
> on someone else's library, which is what you get when you
> use Unicode properly. (At least, assuming you're using a
> decent language like Python, which comes with Unicode
> libraries, and a decent GUI toolkit if you're going that
> way.)

Really. Since when does Python come with a "decent GUI kit"?

> Nope. I can't speak Mandarin, but I can make absolutely
> sure that all my programs can accept Chinese characters. A
> friend of mine sent me an audio file with a name that
> included some Chinese, and I was able to handle it no
> problem.

Most people just quietly change the filename and move on,
but if you want to spend the extra time worrying about every
foreign charactor, you certainly have that right. But you
don't have a right to lecture everyone else about your new
found religion.

Sometimes, as we pat our self-righteous selves on the back,
we forget that our incessant proselytizing for the "religion
of inclusivity" is only helping multi-national corporations
attain evermore market share (...somewhere, in a corporate
penthouse perched high above the peasants who scurry below,
a CEO dons a most devilish grin...). The iPhone has come to
dominate every market in the world. And in some ways (being
a revolutionary device and all) this is good, however there
are downsides to this complete and total domination. Indeed,
the iPhone customer has become something of a bedazzled
twit, lusting after whatever superficial marking ploys are
pulled from Jobs' decomposing arse. What does this have to
do with coders, you ask? Well, we are merely pawns in a
greater game...

> >> [ ] Uses no diacritical marks
> >
> > Why is it my responsibility to encode my text with
> > pronunciation tutorials? Are we adults here or what?
> >
> >> [ ] Writes all text top-to-bottom, left-to-right
> >
> > Not my problem. Learn the King's English or go wait for
> > extinction to arrive.
> And these two cement your parochialism thoroughly in
> everyone's minds. "Pronunciation tutorials", eh? Sure. Tell
> that to everyone who speaks Spanish, Turkish, Norwegian,
> German, or Vietnamese, all of which use diacritical marks
> to distinguish between letters. English is the weird
> language in that it uses letter pairs instead of adorned
> letters (eg "ch" and "sh" instead of "ç" and "ş").

Well, it seems the designers of English knew a thing or two
about time machines long before GvR did. Hmm, that makes
wonder if ol' GvR ever worked at a patent office...?

> Also, which king are you referring to, exactly? Whose
> English do you speak?

Only "right-proper English", old chap. ;-)

> > The only justification required is the bottom line. If your
> > products generate profit, then you're doing something
> > right. Besides, you don't need _everyone_ on the planet to
> > buy your product to be a success. Unlike the business
> > practices of Apple, we would be wise to leave plenty of
> > room for others to enter the market. Competition is good
> > for everyone. Monopolies are evil.
> Riiiiiight. What's the "bottom line" for open source
> software? How do you measure whether your product is
> generating a profit or not?

Easy. You count the number of active community members. You
also closely observe the "community health tends" over time.
Having a small community today is not necessarily a bad
thing if the community is healthy and growing. OTOH, a large
unhealthy community today could be a ghost town tomorrow.
Biologist refer to that phenomenon as extinction. Which is
neither good nor profitable.

Rectangular sheets of paper with dead presidents printed on
them are not the only source of profits. Crowd sourcing can
be quite a profitable enterprise even in the absence of
money -- that is, *IF*, and only *IF* -- you invest the time
required to lower barriers of entry and foster participation
from diverse external sources. Social homogeny and
intellectual isolation lead to collective oblivion.

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