[rescue] tired of current GUIs / a rant about the daily

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Wed Oct 23 21:55:56 CDT 2019

> To some extent that has become true; the level of technical expertise
> required to use a computer has steadily risen as the technology has
> progressed.

That's not my perception.  I see people with no technical expertise to
speak of using computers routinely now.  (They call them "smartphones",
but they're just computers with a software layer hiding the worst of
the complexity.)  And, of course, there are things like drive-by-wire
cars, elevators, supermarket checkout registers, and many other
devices, which are now computers with user interfaces that hide their
underlying nature quite thoroughly from almost everyone who isn't
either making or fixing them.

> [T]he majority of people who use computers are NOT programmers, do
> NOT create software,


> If the computer professionals didn't view the world from only their
> perspective, the priorities in software development overall would
> change (for the better) and the end user would, once again, be put
> first.

The end user _is_ first in a lot of cases.  The people writing code for
the elevator controller, for the drive-by-wire car, for the smartphone,
are in an ecosystem where the end user does rule.

Or, rather, management's idea of the end user.  (Unfortunately, this
means that all end users have to live with management's idea of the end
user, which is painfully Procrustean for those who - like me, in most
cases - match that idea poorly to not-at-all.)

Here on this list, we have a somewhat skewed view of the world, because
the list tends to concentrate the people who build software for
computer geeks to use on general-purpose desktop computers.

That said, even when writing software for a car, or an elevator, it
still can make sense to optimize for human time instead of computer
time.  I do it routinely myself, when, for example, I write a program
in a single file and recompile the whole thing when I've changed two
lines, instead of breaking it down into smaller modules so only the
stuff I actually changed gets recompiled.

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