Switch to .ruby extension?

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Karl von Laudermann, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. The current convention for Ruby source file names is to end them with
    a .rb extension. This strikes me as too minimalistic. Why not .ruby?

    File extensions of more than three characters are very commonplace,
    now that Windows supports them. HTML files generally have a .html
    extension; you very rarely see .htm anymore. And Java source and
    object files have .java and .class extensions, respectively. "ruby" is
    only two more letters than "rb", but I think it's clearer and more
    aesthetically pleasing.

    So, I propose a change in the convention from .rb to .ruby. Now, I'm
    not suggesting that everyone change all of their existing scripts and
    libraries, or even the files in the Ruby distribution. That would be
    excessive for such a small thing. But, for example, the Windows
    installer could associate both .rb and .ruby files with ruby.exe, and
    we could start using .ruby in new projects.

    Yes it's a silly little thing. But ever since Y2K, I've been wary of
    excessive abbreviation. :) Besides, it's the attention to the little
    things that makes Ruby so appealing.
     
    Karl von Laudermann, Jun 11, 2004
    #1
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  2. Karl von Laudermann

    Neil Stevens Guest

    Karl von Laudermann wrote:

    > ... we could start using .ruby in new projects.


    What stops you from doing so now?

    You're sure never going to get me to start mangling my script names that
    way. I leave script names unadorned, in case I ever wish to change the
    implementation. This already paid off with shell scripts that I moved to
    ruby. :)

    --
    Neil Stevens - neil @hakubi.us
    "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who
    are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
    -- Albert Einstein(?)
     
    Neil Stevens, Jun 11, 2004
    #2
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  3. Karl von Laudermann

    Mark Hubbart Guest

    On Jun 11, 2004, at 10:23 AM, Neil Stevens wrote:

    > Karl von Laudermann wrote:
    >
    >> ... we could start using .ruby in new projects.

    >
    > What stops you from doing so now?


    Well, it's not just a convention. it's built-in. Try requiring 'foo'
    when the file is named foo.rb.

    FWIW, I see no reason not to support this, as long as it's an alternate
    extension. Having a file named foo.ruby is at least as easy to
    recognize as foo.rb.

    > You're sure never going to get me to start mangling my script names
    > that
    > way. I leave script names unadorned, in case I ever wish to change the
    > implementation. This already paid off with shell scripts that I moved
    > to
    > ruby. :)


    Same here :) But I think OP was talking about libraries/included code.

    > --
    > Neil Stevens - neil @hakubi.us
    > "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who
    > are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
    > -- Albert Einstein(?)


    "I should have been a plumber." -- Albert Einstein :)
     
    Mark Hubbart, Jun 11, 2004
    #3
  4. Karl von Laudermann

    Neil Stevens Guest

    Mark Hubbart wrote:

    >
    > On Jun 11, 2004, at 10:23 AM, Neil Stevens wrote:
    >
    >> Karl von Laudermann wrote:
    >>
    >>> ... we could start using .ruby in new projects.

    >>
    >> What stops you from doing so now?

    >
    > Well, it's not just a convention. it's built-in. Try requiring 'foo'
    > when the file is named foo.rb.
    >
    > FWIW, I see no reason not to support this, as long as it's an alternate
    > extension. Having a file named foo.ruby is at least as easy to
    > recognize as foo.rb.


    Sure, I'm concerned about scripts, not libraries, though.

    >> You're sure never going to get me to start mangling my script names
    >> that
    >> way. I leave script names unadorned, in case I ever wish to change the
    >> implementation. This already paid off with shell scripts that I moved
    >> to
    >> ruby. :)

    >
    > Same here :) But I think OP was talking about libraries/included code.


    Well, he did say scripts and libraries. I don't see what the names matter
    for libraries, though. Only the scripts are user-visible.

    --
    Neil Stevens - neil @hakubi.us
    "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who
    are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
    -- Albert Einstein(?)
     
    Neil Stevens, Jun 11, 2004
    #4
  5. The obsessive levels of abbreviation in the *nix world infuriate me.
    Especially when it's so easy to make verbose and abbreviated commands
    exist together, and do the same thing.

    I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which is
    no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out how to
    copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info on
    "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't what
    it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask someone how to
    copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing "cp",
    with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour it took
    me to figure out the command in the first place.

    When I mention to *nix people how easy it would be to make "copy" work
    simultaneously along with "cp" for the sake of user-friendliness, I'm
    met with scorn and rage, and cat-calls saying "go back to windows". It
    seems that most *nix people have no interest in other people, even to
    the small extent of making things accessible for newcomers to their
    favorite tools. That's what I call an antisocial failure to communicate.

    Ruby ought to have a either a .ruby extension, or no extension at all,
    as someone else mentioned in this thread. I'm sure lots of anti-social
    types find their meaning in life by insulting the intelligence of people
    who can't figure out what ".rb" means, but I'm not one of them. I
    wholeheartedly agree with you, that abbreviations are ancient relics of
    an elitist and anti-social past, and they should be buried with the
    creaky old coots that invented them.


    Karl von Laudermann wrote:

    > The current convention for Ruby source file names is to end them with
    > a .rb extension. This strikes me as too minimalistic. Why not .ruby?
    >
    > File extensions of more than three characters are very commonplace,
    > now that Windows supports them. HTML files generally have a .html
    > extension; you very rarely see .htm anymore. And Java source and
    > object files have .java and .class extensions, respectively. "ruby" is
    > only two more letters than "rb", but I think it's clearer and more
    > aesthetically pleasing.
    >
    > So, I propose a change in the convention from .rb to .ruby. Now, I'm
    > not suggesting that everyone change all of their existing scripts and
    > libraries, or even the files in the Ruby distribution. That would be
    > excessive for such a small thing. But, for example, the Windows
    > installer could associate both .rb and .ruby files with ruby.exe, and
    > we could start using .ruby in new projects.
    >
    > Yes it's a silly little thing. But ever since Y2K, I've been wary of
    > excessive abbreviation. :) Besides, it's the attention to the little
    > things that makes Ruby so appealing.
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tyler Zesiger, Jun 11, 2004
    #5
  6. Hello Neil,

    NS> Karl von Laudermann wrote:

    >> ... we could start using .ruby in new projects.


    NS> What stops you from doing so now?

    Some braindead lines in the ruby interpreter. You can't even "require" rbw files
    without patching the hardcoded extensions names in eval.c

    --
    Best regards, emailto: scholz at scriptolutions dot com
    Lothar Scholz http://www.ruby-ide.com
    CTO Scriptolutions Ruby, PHP, Python IDE 's
     
    Lothar Scholz, Jun 11, 2004
    #6
  7. Karl von Laudermann

    Hal Fulton Guest

    {OT] was Re: Switch to .ruby extension?

    Tyler Zesiger wrote:
    > The obsessive levels of abbreviation in the *nix world infuriate me.
    > Especially when it's so easy to make verbose and abbreviated commands
    > exist together, and do the same thing.
    >
    > I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which is
    > no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out how to
    > copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info on
    > "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't what
    > it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask someone how to
    > copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing "cp",
    > with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour it took
    > me to figure out the command in the first place.


    True. But the best thing would have been to read a tutorial of some
    kind. It would have taken an hour, and you might have saved many hours
    that you now will not get back.

    > When I mention to *nix people how easy it would be to make "copy" work
    > simultaneously along with "cp" for the sake of user-friendliness, I'm
    > met with scorn and rage, and cat-calls saying "go back to windows". It
    > seems that most *nix people have no interest in other people, even to
    > the small extent of making things accessible for newcomers to their
    > favorite tools. That's what I call an antisocial failure to communicate.


    Heh heh, no scorn and rage here.

    Ordinarily this would be easy in Unix -- you'd make a link from cp to
    copy. But it doesn't work here (unless I'm behind the times) for an
    interesting reason. Such programs as cp. mv, and ln are traditionally
    actually links to the *same* program on disk. Their different behavior
    is explained by the fact that this program checks argv to see what name
    it was invoked with, in order to know how to behave.

    Believe me, this made a lot more sense in 1972 than it does today.

    Of course, most shells have an "alias" feature; you can do something
    like alias copy=cp or the like.

    Failing that, you could always make your own script "copy" that simply
    said cp $* or whatever.

    > Ruby ought to have a either a .ruby extension, or no extension at all,
    > as someone else mentioned in this thread. I'm sure lots of anti-social
    > types find their meaning in life by insulting the intelligence of people
    > who can't figure out what ".rb" means, but I'm not one of them. I
    > wholeheartedly agree with you, that abbreviations are ancient relics of
    > an elitist and anti-social past, and they should be buried with the
    > creaky old coots that invented them.


    LOL!

    There are many things in society, not just in computing, where this is
    true. :)


    Hal Fulton,
    Creaky Old Coot
     
    Hal Fulton, Jun 11, 2004
    #7
  8. Karl von Laudermann

    James Britt Guest

    Karl von Laudermann wrote:

    > The current convention for Ruby source file names is to end them with
    > a .rb extension. This strikes me as too minimalistic. Why not .ruby?
    >
    > File extensions of more than three characters are very commonplace,
    > now that Windows supports them. HTML files generally have a .html
    > extension; you very rarely see .htm anymore. And Java source and
    > object files have .java and .class extensions, respectively. "ruby" is
    > only two more letters than "rb", but I think it's clearer and more
    > aesthetically pleasing.
    >
    > So, I propose a change in the convention from .rb to .ruby. Now, I'm
    > not suggesting that everyone change all of their existing scripts and
    > libraries, or even the files in the Ruby distribution. That would be
    > excessive for such a small thing. But, for example, the Windows
    > installer could associate both .rb and .ruby files with ruby.exe, and
    > we could start using .ruby in new projects.


    The package installer for Blogtari uses the .ruby extension.

    This came out of necessity; I moved from distributing the app as a
    tarball to deploying a self-extracting Ruby script that prompts the user
    for configuration details, writes out (or updates) the config file, and
    installs the program. But whereas serving up *.tgz worked fine, serving
    up *.rb from the web server caused it to execute on the server :).

    While there are any number of workarounds for this, I opted to use the
    ruby extension and tell Apache to serve it as a particular MIME type so
    that browsers would prompt the user to save it to disk.


    Jamess
     
    James Britt, Jun 11, 2004
    #8
  9. Karl von Laudermann

    Gennady Guest

    Tyler Zesiger wrote:
    > The obsessive levels of abbreviation in the *nix world infuriate me.
    > Especially when it's so easy to make verbose and abbreviated commands
    > exist together, and do the same thing.
    >
    > I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which is
    > no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out how to
    > copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info on
    > "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't what
    > it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask someone how to
    > copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing "cp",
    > with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour it took
    > me to figure out the command in the first place.
    >
    > When I mention to *nix people how easy it would be to make "copy" work
    > simultaneously along with "cp" for the sake of user-friendliness, I'm
    > met with scorn and rage, and cat-calls saying "go back to windows". It


    Go back to windows ;-)

    More seriously, In Unix you spend almost all your time at the command
    prompt, so it would "infuriate" me if I had to type at least twice as
    much all the day if commands were called as you suggest. As for
    newcomers, short command names is the least problem they would encounter
    if they switch from Windows (for completely fresh people it does not
    matter what command set to learn anyway).

    On the other hand, you have a lot of means to alias any command in any
    Unix shell.

    > seems that most *nix people have no interest in other people, even to
    > the small extent of making things accessible for newcomers to their
    > favorite tools. That's what I call an antisocial failure to communicate.
    >
    > Ruby ought to have a either a .ruby extension, or no extension at all,
    > as someone else mentioned in this thread. I'm sure lots of anti-social
    > types find their meaning in life by insulting the intelligence of people
    > who can't figure out what ".rb" means, but I'm not one of them. I
    > wholeheartedly agree with you, that abbreviations are ancient relics of
    > an elitist and anti-social past, and they should be buried with the
    > creaky old coots that invented them.
    >
    >
    > Karl von Laudermann wrote:
    >
    >> The current convention for Ruby source file names is to end them with
    >> a .rb extension. This strikes me as too minimalistic. Why not .ruby?
    >>
    >> File extensions of more than three characters are very commonplace,
    >> now that Windows supports them. HTML files generally have a .html
    >> extension; you very rarely see .htm anymore. And Java source and
    >> object files have .java and .class extensions, respectively. "ruby" is
    >> only two more letters than "rb", but I think it's clearer and more
    >> aesthetically pleasing.
    >>
    >> So, I propose a change in the convention from .rb to .ruby. Now, I'm
    >> not suggesting that everyone change all of their existing scripts and
    >> libraries, or even the files in the Ruby distribution. That would be
    >> excessive for such a small thing. But, for example, the Windows
    >> installer could associate both .rb and .ruby files with ruby.exe, and
    >> we could start using .ruby in new projects.
    >>
    >> Yes it's a silly little thing. But ever since Y2K, I've been wary of
    >> excessive abbreviation. :) Besides, it's the attention to the little
    >> things that makes Ruby so appealing.
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    Gennady, Jun 11, 2004
    #9
  10. Karl von Laudermann

    Mark Hubbart Guest

    Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    On Jun 11, 2004, at 10:55 AM, Tyler Zesiger wrote:

    > I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which
    > is no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out how
    > to copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info
    > on "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't
    > what it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask someone
    > how to copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing
    > "cp", with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour
    > it took me to figure out the command in the first place.


    heh :) I had a similar experience, coming from a Mac, with no command
    line, to a Mac running OS X, with a full fledged UNIX interface, when
    you want it... it was all very frustrating until a friend pointed me in
    the direction of the 'apropos' tool. After that, it was mostly smooth
    sailing.

    I don't think that there should be extra commands littering up the one
    monolithic namespace of shell commands. A simple 'help' tool, which
    relays a few ways of finding various commands, should, IMHO, be
    included. A few tips about apropos, man, and a short note about how
    command line arguments work. That would be enough, I think, to get a
    determined person up and running.

    cheers,
    Mark
     
    Mark Hubbart, Jun 11, 2004
    #10
  11. Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    I think I may be earning myself a reputation as a user-friendliness
    Nazi, but I see no reason why a CLI can't be *very* user friendly. For
    example, if someone types in "copy", it could spit out some
    context-sensitive help about the right way to do a copy. These are the
    nice little touches that take a product into the realm of maturity, in
    my opinion. When it's so well designed, and so well understood by the
    designers, that it's designed to help you get to where you're trying to
    go, even when you're not exactly sure how to proceed.

    Most people argue that, if you've got the gumption to use Unix, you've
    got the gumption to hike the learning curve - And if you need to have
    your hand held along the way, you're better off with a GUI'd OS anyways.
    All of that may be true, but it's beside the point. The point is that
    the paradigm is all wrong. To intentionally make things cryptic, and
    then to leave them that way for decades on end is deplorable, and speaks
    volumes about the direction that The Powers That Be are headed in.

    Is it a crime to make a powerful and sophisticated software system easy
    enough for children to use? Is it so bad if all the complexity is tucked
    away under a nice interface until needed? (Be it command line or GUI, or
    who knows what else). MacOSX seems to be a hit with Mac users.
    Apparently, shoving all the sophistication under the rug has worked for
    them. *nix OS's are a decade behind in the UI/user-friendliness
    department, and there's no good reason for it to be like that. The
    hardcore hackers don't need to lose anything if Timmy The Five Year Old
    has an overlying interface to Unix that makes sense to him, so why the
    incredible opposition to user-friendliness?

    My beef is with *nix people who think user-friendliness is a bad thing -
    A threat to their way of thinking. It's utter nonsense. Software is kind
    of a commodity these days, in that oftentimes, you can't even give it
    away. That which isn't used, has no value. That which is used more, has
    more value.

    The user-friendliness paradigm in the *nix world should change, it makes
    no difference whether it necessarily needs to or not. Everything good,
    should be easy to use, otherwise, it might as well not be so good. If
    someone out there isn't able to use it, for that person, it doesn't even
    exist.

    That's the way I think.



    Mark Hubbart wrote:

    >
    > On Jun 11, 2004, at 10:55 AM, Tyler Zesiger wrote:
    >
    >> I remember when I first started using linux (now I use FreeBSD, which
    >> is no better in this regard), I spent an hour trying to figure out how
    >> to copy a file..."copy" didn't work. Searching the internet for info
    >> on "copying" didn't turn up anything, probably because Google wasn't
    >> what it is now, back then. I had to finally get on IRC and ask someone
    >> how to copy - Turns out it's "cp". It will take me a decade of typing
    >> "cp", with it's two fewer letters than "copy", to earn back the hour
    >> it took me to figure out the command in the first place.

    >
    >
    > heh :) I had a similar experience, coming from a Mac, with no command
    > line, to a Mac running OS X, with a full fledged UNIX interface, when
    > you want it... it was all very frustrating until a friend pointed me in
    > the direction of the 'apropos' tool. After that, it was mostly smooth
    > sailing.
    >
    > I don't think that there should be extra commands littering up the one
    > monolithic namespace of shell commands. A simple 'help' tool, which
    > relays a few ways of finding various commands, should, IMHO, be
    > included. A few tips about apropos, man, and a short note about how
    > command line arguments work. That would be enough, I think, to get a
    > determined person up and running.
    >
    > cheers,
    > Mark
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tyler Zesiger, Jun 11, 2004
    #11
  12. Karl von Laudermann

    Zach Dennis Guest

    Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]


    >I think I may be earning myself a reputation as a user-friendliness
    >Nazi, but I see no reason why a CLI can't be *very* user friendly. For
    >example, if someone types in "copy", it could spit out some
    >context-sensitive help about the right way to do a copy. These are the
    >nice little touches that take a product into the realm of maturity, in
    >my opinion.


    Since the CLI is mostly used by developers, hard core users, wannabe geeks
    and system administrators i don't really see the need to make the CLI this
    user friendly. Not everything is meant to be a all in one jack in the box
    with instructions on how to crank the lever. Would you like ASCII drawn
    color images next to give the uesr a visual cue as well?

    >When it's so well designed, and so well understood by the
    >designers, that it's designed to help you get to where you're trying to
    >go, even when you're not exactly sure how to proceed.


    Ok, the last place I want an end user is on the command line. They might
    hurt themselves or the machine. And if you don't know how to use a product,
    operating system, programming language, etc... RTFM.

    As operating systems upgrade they may include all of these nice step by step
    guides and procedures on how to do something, but since everything is
    merely a perspective away I think that it causes more of a problem then it
    solves. One person may like "cp", another "copy", another "duplicate",
    another "clone" , another "copyfile", and the list can go on and on. To
    support every variation would be a waste of developer time. And if you say
    dont' support them all only support "copy" then you are being selfish and
    only looking at this from your perspective. At some point someone had to
    make the decision for it to be consistent across the board and I applaud
    them. I have never used any languageset besides the default english one that
    comes with any OS, but I would be interested to see if the spanish version
    changes "cp" to "~cpiol" or some variation. If commands are consistent
    across languages then I even more so disagree with you.

    >Most people argue that, if you've got the gumption to use Unix, you've
    >got the gumption to hike the learning curve - And if you need to have
    >your hand held along the way, you're better off with a GUI'd OS anyways.


    Only insecure people who like to feel like they are 1 step higher then
    others on the food chain do this. It makes them feel like somehow they are
    better, smarter, more intelligent! Computers aren't innate, nothing in
    technology is. Everything you know you have learned. You don't have a two
    year old who innately knows how configure a syslogd server one day.


    >All of that may be true, but it's beside the point. The point is that
    >the paradigm is all wrong. To intentionally make things cryptic, and
    >then to leave them that way for decades on end is deplorable, and speaks
    >volumes about the direction that The Powers That Be are headed in.


    Cryptic? cp to do a file copy isn't cryptic. An MD5 Hash of cp to do a file
    copy is cryptic.

    >Is it a crime to make a powerful and sophisticated software system easy
    >enough for children to use?


    No let's put a giant red button on each machine that says format, so they
    can go push it. Anyways that is why children start with LeapFrog when they
    are young, then they progress to using a computer. Then they learn on how to
    use the computer.

    >Is it so bad if all the complexity is tucked
    >away under a nice interface until needed? (Be it command line or GUI, or
    >who knows what else). MacOSX seems to be a hit with Mac users.


    And Linux is a hit with Linux users, BSD is a hit with BSD users and Windows
    is a hit with uneducated users. ;) MacOSX and MS Windows are the only OS's
    where the Apple or Microsoft tried to reach every age, child, race and
    religion of computers. Linux/BSD/UNIX were never intended that way. You are
    taking the problem that Linux/BSD/UNIX solve and trying to reshape it.

    >Apparently, shoving all the sophistication under the rug has worked for
    >them. *nix OS's are a decade behind in the UI/user-friendliness
    >department, and there's no good reason for it to be like that.


    Again the *Nix OS's were never intended to be an all in one jack in the box.
    That is Windows and OSX's job. And although Windows and OS X are very pretty
    they run much slower then my CLI nix box and because they have nice pretty
    icons ticks me off, especially when the icons by default in Windows Longhorn
    are half the size of my 21" monitor.


    > The
    >hardcore hackers don't need to lose anything if Timmy The Five Year Old
    >has an overlying interface to Unix that makes sense to him, so why the
    >incredible opposition to user-friendliness?


    There are distributions of Linux that aim for this sort of thing. Maybe you
    should google for it or check it out....http://www.linuxiso.org

    >My beef is with *nix people who think user-friendliness is a bad thing -
    >A threat to their way of thinking. It's utter nonsense. Software is kind
    >of a commodity these days, in that oftentimes, you can't even give it
    >away. That which isn't used, has no value. That which is used more, has
    >more value.


    User friendliness is not a bad thing, but realize most *nix people don't use
    *nix for UI's and GUI's. Most *nix users won't have a need for a intuitive
    all in one UI and GUI. So why would they want to support it, if it doesn't
    necessarily benefit them? And there are distro's aimed for UI and GUI
    friendliness, go look at the link I gave you and browse the different
    distros.

    When you go buy technical books do you look for the popup books? If so I can
    totally see where you are coming from and why you had so much frustration
    finding "cp".

    Also if you would have moved from Unix to Windows, you be asking where "cp"
    was and wtf "copy" was there.

    Zach





    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
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    Zach Dennis, Jun 11, 2004
    #12
  13. Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    Zach Dennis wrote:

    >>I think I may be earning myself a reputation as a user-friendliness
    >>Nazi, but I see no reason why a CLI can't be *very* user friendly. For
    >>example, if someone types in "copy", it could spit out some
    >>context-sensitive help about the right way to do a copy. These are the
    >>nice little touches that take a product into the realm of maturity, in
    >>my opinion.

    >
    >
    > Since the CLI is mostly used by developers, hard core users, wannabe geeks
    > and system administrators i don't really see the need to make the CLI this
    > user friendly. Not everything is meant to be a all in one jack in the box
    > with instructions on how to crank the lever. Would you like ASCII drawn
    > color images next to give the uesr a visual cue as well?


    As a matter of fact, I think that's an excellent idea. But, as I
    mentioned later in the post, it's not really the point. It's the
    anti-user-friendliness paradigm that's the real problem, not the
    peculiarties of the command line, per se.

    [snip]

    > Ok, the last place I want an end user is on the command line. They might
    > hurt themselves or the machine. And if you don't know how to use a product,
    > operating system, programming language, etc... RTFM.


    Someone once told me to "RTFM" when I couldn't figure out how to work a
    *nix text editor. I felt insulted, that he insinuated that *I* was the
    one with the problem, not the text editor. In fact, text editors are
    dang near the oldest software technology we have. I've used dozens,
    maybe even hundreds of them, and not once have I ever had to "RTFM"
    before starting to use it, because they've all adopted the same
    intuitive UI conventions that have worked well for a decade - Except for
    *nix editors. They're 20 years out-of-date.

    If you try to argue that typical *nix editors are in fact easy to use
    (vi, et al), and it's "obvious" how to use them, as many *nix people do,
    maybe you should step out of your geek-bubble and try learning something
    completely new - maybe something that's also poorly designed and 20+
    years out of date.

    I'd suggest something like American manufacturing. As soon as someone
    hears you complaining about stupidly the drill index is organized,
    you'll probably be told something as insulting as "RTFM". Almost
    everything is unintuitive, from a newcomer's perspective, if not
    everyone's. To the dinosaurs still working in American industry, it's
    "obvious" how things work, and they'll have no patience with you. As
    I've seen happen many times before, your intelligence will be called
    into question and you'll get fired the next day.

    All because of crappy systems that refuse to die, because of arrogance
    and silly "tradition".

    > As operating systems upgrade they may include all of these nice step by step
    > guides and procedures on how to do something, but since everything is
    > merely a perspective away I think that it causes more of a problem then it
    > solves. One person may like "cp", another "copy", another "duplicate",
    > another "clone" , another "copyfile", and the list can go on and on. To
    > support every variation would be a waste of developer time. And if you say
    > dont' support them all only support "copy" then you are being selfish and
    > only looking at this from your perspective. At some point someone had to
    > make the decision for it to be consistent across the board and I applaud
    > them.


    I think "copy" is something everyone could agree upon, but I don't see
    why it should take up a lot of developer time to make a "synonym file"
    that contains all of the words and phrases that might trigger a help
    program to explain the proper way to do things...even if that proper way
    is still good 'ol cp.

    >I have never used any languageset besides the default english one that
    > comes with any OS, but I would be interested to see if the spanish version
    > changes "cp" to "~cpiol" or some variation. If commands are consistent
    > across languages then I even more so disagree with you.


    Once again, the *nix world is behind the times. It's called
    "localization". There's no reason that it can't be internationalized.
    Mandrake Linux has already taken a stab at it. Microsoft has been doing
    it for a decade, or more. It can be done, and the interest is surely
    there. The only reason it hasn't happened is because of the arrogant
    "RTFM" mentality in the *nix crowd, and the unwillingness of The Powers
    That Be to cooperate. How hard would it be to create a language plugin
    system that can intermediate between the OS inner workings and the end
    user, in order to provide the language the user wants?

    I'm not suggesting we go and much with all the stuff that's well tested
    and works well, since that was your idea. But, once again, none of this
    is the point. The point is that user-friendliness is frowned upon in the
    *nix culture, for no good reason. I can only attribute it to arrogance,
    or maybe something akin to forbidding the translation of the bible from
    Latin. Who knows.

    >>Most people argue that, if you've got the gumption to use Unix, you've
    >>got the gumption to hike the learning curve - And if you need to have
    >>your hand held along the way, you're better off with a GUI'd OS anyways.

    >
    >
    > Only insecure people who like to feel like they are 1 step higher then
    > others on the food chain do this. It makes them feel like somehow they are
    > better, smarter, more intelligent! Computers aren't innate, nothing in
    > technology is. Everything you know you have learned. You don't have a two
    > year old who innately knows how configure a syslogd server one day.


    Oh yeah, I totally agree. That's the root reason for all this ranting
    I'm doing. Nothing is obvious, no matter how many times people say that
    it is. I guess that's why we have warning labels on everything in the
    USA, haha. Well, maybe the actual reason is because of the argument
    behind who's responsible for things not being obvious...

    >>All of that may be true, but it's beside the point. The point is that
    >>the paradigm is all wrong. To intentionally make things cryptic, and
    >>then to leave them that way for decades on end is deplorable, and speaks
    >>volumes about the direction that The Powers That Be are headed in.

    >
    >
    > Cryptic? cp to do a file copy isn't cryptic. An MD5 Hash of cp to do a file
    > copy is cryptic.


    If a black screen with a blinking cursor is not cryptic, I don't know
    what is. Windows has a "Start" menu. Why can't the command line say
    "type 'man' for help" the first few times it boots up? I can't tell you
    the grief I suffered in the IRC chans when I first asked for help. All
    people would say is simply "man". What is "man"? I didn't know.

    Oh, here's a good opportunity to mention that "help" doesn't help unless
    you know exactly what you need help with. "help cp" works, but as I
    found out all those years ago, "help copy" does not. That makes the help
    command virtually useless for someone who has no idea where to begin.

    >>Is it a crime to make a powerful and sophisticated software system easy
    >>enough for children to use?

    >
    >
    > No let's put a giant red button on each machine that says format, so they
    > can go push it. Anyways that is why children start with LeapFrog when they
    > are young, then they progress to using a computer. Then they learn on how to
    > use the computer.


    Computer games for the youngest children are no more complex than
    leapfrog. It's certainly a good way to start the progression, as you
    say. I'm not even going to comment on the big red button idea.

    >>Is it so bad if all the complexity is tucked
    >>away under a nice interface until needed? (Be it command line or GUI, or
    >>who knows what else). MacOSX seems to be a hit with Mac users.

    >
    >
    > And Linux is a hit with Linux users, BSD is a hit with BSD users and Windows
    > is a hit with uneducated users. ;) MacOSX and MS Windows are the only OS's
    > where the Apple or Microsoft tried to reach every age, child, race and
    > religion of computers. Linux/BSD/UNIX were never intended that way. You are
    > taking the problem that Linux/BSD/UNIX solve and trying to reshape it.


    Yep.

    *nix OS's can do anything, so why limit them to an elitist geekdom? As
    far as I know, you're wrong about what *nix OS's were intended for. It
    looks to me like they've been designed to capably handle anything you
    want them to.

    >>Apparently, shoving all the sophistication under the rug has worked for
    >>them. *nix OS's are a decade behind in the UI/user-friendliness
    >>department, and there's no good reason for it to be like that.

    >
    >
    > Again the *Nix OS's were never intended to be an all in one jack in the box.
    > That is Windows and OSX's job. [snip]


    This webpage -
    http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~shane/dokumentasjon/commandline.html - has the
    following to say about what Linux is useful for:

    "You can hook it up to twelve other Linux boxes and make it into part of
    a parallel computer. You can configure it so that a hundred different
    people can be logged onto it at once over the Internet, via as many
    modem lines, Ethernet cards, TCP/IP sockets, and packet radio links. You
    can hang half a dozen different monitors off of it and play DOOM with
    someone in Australia while tracking communications satellites in orbit
    and controlling your house's lights and thermostats and streaming live
    video from your web-cam and surfing the Net and designing circuit boards
    on the other screens."

    >>The
    >>hardcore hackers don't need to lose anything if Timmy The Five Year Old
    >>has an overlying interface to Unix that makes sense to him, so why the
    >>incredible opposition to user-friendliness?

    >
    >
    > There are distributions of Linux that aim for this sort of thing. Maybe you
    > should google for it or check it out....http://www.linuxiso.org


    I know about those. They're the exceptions to the rule. I'm complaining
    about the rules, not the exceptions.

    >>My beef is with *nix people who think user-friendliness is a bad thing -
    >>A threat to their way of thinking. It's utter nonsense. Software is kind
    >>of a commodity these days, in that oftentimes, you can't even give it
    >>away. That which isn't used, has no value. That which is used more, has
    >>more value.

    >
    >
    > User friendliness is not a bad thing, but realize most *nix people don't use
    > *nix for UI's and GUI's. Most *nix users won't have a need for a intuitive
    > all in one UI and GUI. So why would they want to support it, if it doesn't
    > necessarily benefit them? And there are distro's aimed for UI and GUI
    > friendliness, go look at the link I gave you and browse the different
    > distros.


    GUI's aren't really what I'm advocating here. I use the commandline
    exclusively, and I like it. I'm advocating a general attentiveness to
    user-friendliness. Unix systems aren't really experimental anymore, it's
    time to make them easier to use.

    > When you go buy technical books do you look for the popup books? If so I can
    > totally see where you are coming from and why you had so much frustration
    > finding "cp".


    I'm too old for popup books, but I *do* look for books that are easy to
    understand. Doesn't everybody? And, I had a hard time finding "cp"
    because I was staring at a black screen with a blinking cursor, with no
    other clues as to what to do next - NOT because I have the mind of a 3
    year old, as you insinuate.

    > Also if you would have moved from Unix to Windows, you be asking where "cp"
    > was and wtf "copy" was there.


    Yes, but only if I had a hard time finding out the proper way of doing
    things. Windows is in a whole other league as far as this is concerned.

    > Zach
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > ---
    > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    > Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    > Version: 6.0.692 / Virus Database: 453 - Release Date: 5/28/2004
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tyler Zesiger, Jun 11, 2004
    #13
  14. Karl von Laudermann

    Ben Giddings Guest

    Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    Ok, this is really not the area to discuss the pros and cons of generic
    user friendliness. If you really want to get into it, could you do it
    offline?

    For what it's worth, I think the .ruby filename extension idea is a good
    one. As far as I know, Windows doesn't have problems with long
    filenames anymore, so why not?

    And, although I don't think it's appropriate for this list, I still want
    to make a couple of comments about unix user-friendliness:

    Tyler Zesiger wrote:
    > Someone once told me to "RTFM" when I couldn't figure out how to work a
    > *nix text editor. I felt insulted, that he insinuated that *I* was the
    > one with the problem, not the text editor. In fact, text editors are
    > dang near the oldest software technology we have. I've used dozens,
    > maybe even hundreds of them, and not once have I ever had to "RTFM"
    > before starting to use it, because they've all adopted the same
    > intuitive UI conventions that have worked well for a decade - Except for
    > *nix editors. They're 20 years out-of-date.


    Unix editors are not "out of date", they're just different. Saying that
    Unix editors are out of date is like saying that Chinese is out of date.
    So many countries now use a roman alphabet, that China should "get
    with the times" and use a roman character set, and complaining that it's
    hard to read Chinese.

    I agree, the first time you use vi or emacs you'll definitely need a
    manual close by or you'll be completely lost. On the other hand, how
    many career programmers do you know that use Notepad as their primary
    editor?

    The ideal for usability is something that has a gradual learning curve,
    and has extremely advanced features that are slowly exposed. Very
    things meet that ideal, however.

    Notepad has an extremely shallow learning curve, but it plateaus very
    quickly. Emacs and vi have very steep learning curves, but it could be
    argued that they never plateau.

    I agree that both vi and emacs would be better editors if you could
    start them in 'beginner' mode, where they were constantly helping you
    out, and, as you progressed, they became less and less helpful, and
    exposed more and more hidden features. That would be great for
    beginners, and as the beginners became more and more advanced, they'd
    unlock more of the more powerful features of the editor.

    But vi and Emacs are not commercial products. They're made by advanced
    developers for advanced developers, and so far, nobody has found it to
    be a priority to make them easy to use at first try. And why should
    they? There are plenty of other editors that are really easy to use,
    visual ones like Kedit or terminal ones like pico.

    It used to be that Linux was only for the extremely daring, and the very
    knowledgable. These days using Knoppix is probably almost as easy as
    using Windows. But the focus of all these usability improvements has
    been the graphical environment. Both Gnome and KDE do a lot to make a
    new user's experience as friendly and easy as possible.

    So far, nobody has really found it necessary to make the commandline
    user friendly. I guess the theory is that if the GUI is made friendly
    enough, people don't have to even know the commandline exists (and I
    guess OS X is proof that concept can work).

    > If a black screen with a blinking cursor is not cryptic, I don't know
    > what is. Windows has a "Start" menu. Why can't the command line say
    > "type 'man' for help" the first few times it boots up? I can't tell you
    > the grief I suffered in the IRC chans when I first asked for help. All
    > people would say is simply "man". What is "man"? I didn't know.


    Oh, it can! It would be really easy to modify the shell startup files
    to print this sort of message out, or to set up a bunch of useful
    aliases. By default, 'zsh' tries to correct you when you mistype
    something. Isn't that friendly?

    The thing is, people who care about usability have focused on the
    graphical environment. The nice thing about open source, however, is
    that you're free to fix anything you feel is open.

    If you think that the default shell startup files should print out a
    page of introductory text explaining how to use the shell, create those
    files, and either find a distribution that wants to use them, or start
    your own 'CommandlineFriendly' distribution. If it really bothers you,
    but you're not willing to put any time into fixing it, then why are you
    complaining?

    However, knowing that a commandline is difficult, why would you start
    using it unprepared? There are lots of books out there that will help
    you learn Unix, so why not use them?

    To me, complaining about the user-unfriendliness of the commandline is
    like complaining about the user-unfriendliness of a jet cockpit. It
    probably could be made much more intuitive, on the other hand, the vast
    majority of people who find themselves in jet cockpits are experienced
    pilots. Rather than needing a simple, friendly interface, they need
    something that gives them full control.

    Anyhow, this is either trolling or just way offtopic, so I say we stop now.

    Ben
     
    Ben Giddings, Jun 11, 2004
    #14
  15. Karl von Laudermann

    Zach Dennis Guest

    Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    This is way OT now. So I will leave this this:

    I see where you are coming from, but I do not necessarily agree with you.
    Perhaps someone besides the Linux OS teams could write a package for the
    type of behavior you are looking for, but I do not think it is in the scope
    of the core OS itself.

    Zach




    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.692 / Virus Database: 453 - Release Date: 5/28/2004
     
    Zach Dennis, Jun 11, 2004
    #15
  16. Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    Ben Giddings wrote:

    [snip]

    > Tyler Zesiger wrote:
    >
    >> Someone once told me to "RTFM" when I couldn't figure out how to work
    >> a *nix text editor. I felt insulted, that he insinuated that *I* was
    >> the one with the problem, not the text editor. In fact, text editors
    >> are dang near the oldest software technology we have. I've used
    >> dozens, maybe even hundreds of them, and not once have I ever had to
    >> "RTFM" before starting to use it, because they've all adopted the same
    >> intuitive UI conventions that have worked well for a decade - Except
    >> for *nix editors. They're 20 years out-of-date.

    >
    >
    > Unix editors are not "out of date", they're just different. Saying that
    > Unix editors are out of date is like saying that Chinese is out of date.
    > So many countries now use a roman alphabet, that China should "get with
    > the times" and use a roman character set, and complaining that it's hard
    > to read Chinese.


    Actually, Unix editors aren't different - they're the same as every
    other text editor was 20 years ago. That is to say, obsolete. (or should
    I say obsol33t?)

    It's ironic you should sarcastically mention Chinese as being out of
    date, because that's *exactly* how it's viewed in China. China has
    always had a literacy problem because the Chinese language, the
    characters specifically, were just too difficult to master. So, in
    modern times, the Chinese government has pushed for it to be simplified
    in an effort to improve literacy rates. It's impossible to build a
    technologically advanced populace when the primary barrier to entry
    isn't higher education, it's mastering your own language.

    > I agree, the first time you use vi or emacs you'll definitely need a
    > manual close by or you'll be completely lost. On the other hand, how
    > many career programmers do you know that use Notepad as their primary
    > editor?


    I prefer TextPad. I don't think anyone uses Notepad anymore, not for 10
    years at least. Your comparing to something that's long since been
    superceded.

    > The ideal for usability is something that has a gradual learning curve,
    > and has extremely advanced features that are slowly exposed. Very
    > things meet that ideal, however.
    >
    > Notepad has an extremely shallow learning curve, but it plateaus very
    > quickly. Emacs and vi have very steep learning curves, but it could be
    > argued that they never plateau.


    I don't think having a shallow learning curve means it can't be
    sophisticated. We're talking about text editors here, it's the easiest
    work you can possibly do with a computer, it almost takes effort to
    figure out how to make it hard to do.

    In any case, when I open up textpad, or any of the thousands of other
    modern text editors, it works just like notepad until I dig into the
    menu options. Typing letters makes new letters, using backspace or
    delete gets rid of them.

    [snip]

    >> If a black screen with a blinking cursor is not cryptic, I don't know
    >> what is. Windows has a "Start" menu. Why can't the command line say
    >> "type 'man' for help" the first few times it boots up? I can't tell
    >> you the grief I suffered in the IRC chans when I first asked for help.
    >> All people would say is simply "man". What is "man"? I didn't know.

    >
    >
    > Oh, it can! It would be really easy to modify the shell startup files
    > to print this sort of message out, or to set up a bunch of useful
    > aliases. By default, 'zsh' tries to correct you when you mistype
    > something. Isn't that friendly?


    That's just great, I spend a month figuring out how the OS works, then
    another month figuring out how to do that, and I've accomplished nothing
    with my time, and by the time I'm done, I no longer need what I've just
    spent so much time and money doing. Oh, and the best part is, once I'm
    done doing all that, and I no longer need it for myself, and I've lost 2
    months worth of working time, I can't recoup my losses because of the
    GPL...(this thread will never die if someone replies to this).

    > The thing is, people who care about usability have focused on the
    > graphical environment. The nice thing about open source, however, is
    > that you're free to fix anything you feel is open.
    >
    > If you think that the default shell startup files should print out a
    > page of introductory text explaining how to use the shell, create those
    > files, and either find a distribution that wants to use them, or start
    > your own 'CommandlineFriendly' distribution. If it really bothers you,
    > but you're not willing to put any time into fixing it, then why are you
    > complaining?


    Let's assume for the time being that I'm a user, not a Unix hacker, and
    that I wouldn't even know where to begin.

    > However, knowing that a commandline is difficult, why would you start
    > using it unprepared? There are lots of books out there that will help
    > you learn Unix, so why not use them?
    >
    > To me, complaining about the user-unfriendliness of the commandline is
    > like complaining about the user-unfriendliness of a jet cockpit. It
    > probably could be made much more intuitive, on the other hand, the vast
    > majority of people who find themselves in jet cockpits are experienced
    > pilots. Rather than needing a simple, friendly interface, they need
    > something that gives them full control.


    Another ironic comment, just like the one about the Chinese language.
    Have you ever flown a multimillion-dollar, incredibly sophisticated, US
    military jet fighter? They're designed to be very easy to use, even
    under the most stressful circumstances (like moments before death). It's
    designed to be as simple to use as possible, with the UI intervening at
    every step. Nothing of the power and sophistication is lost in making it
    user-friendly, but quite a lot is gained. The pilot can still adjust
    every parameter on that machine, without interference from the UI,
    simply because it's well designed.

    > Anyhow, this is either trolling or just way offtopic, so I say we stop now.
    >
    > Ben
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tyler Zesiger, Jun 12, 2004
    #16
  17. Karl von Laudermann

    Mark Hubbart Guest

    Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    Hi,
    I just had to comment on one thing.

    On Jun 11, 2004, at 2:40 PM, Tyler Zesiger wrote:

    >>> The
    >>> hardcore hackers don't need to lose anything if Timmy The Five Year
    >>> Old
    >>> has an overlying interface to Unix that makes sense to him, so why
    >>> the
    >>> incredible opposition to user-friendliness?

    >> There are distributions of Linux that aim for this sort of thing.
    >> Maybe you
    >> should google for it or check it out....http://www.linuxiso.org

    >
    > I know about those. They're the exceptions to the rule. I'm
    > complaining about the rules, not the exceptions.


    Hrm. The reason I have to use the command line at times is because the
    GUI was created to be "User Friendly". If we attempted to make *all*
    unix command lines accessible to children and other inexperienced
    people, it would suck the power right out of it, just like the gui. I
    figure that GUIs are for user-friendliness, and command lines are for
    raw power. I don't resent the difficult time I had learning how to use
    the command line; I figure it's the price I paid to be able to use that
    power. If you aren't willing to learn it, you don't get to use it.

    I still say a small tool (named 'help') would be a good idea, but I
    don't see it as being a full fledged tutorial, just a set of quick
    pointers. I know that one of the first things I typed when I sat down
    to figure out this "Terminal" thing was 'help'. If that had pointed me
    to 'apropos' and 'man', I would have gotten started a lot sooner.
    Instead, a friend did it, and I learned it after all.

    If you want a super user-friendly command line, install it. But don't
    make me use it, I won't touch it. It's user friendly enough for me.

    cheers,
    Mark
     
    Mark Hubbart, Jun 12, 2004
    #17
  18. Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    I'm not talking about the command line per se, I'm talking about
    user-friendliness in general.

    Mark Hubbart wrote:

    [snip]

    > If you want a super user-friendly command line, install it. But don't
    > make me use it, I won't touch it. It's user friendly enough for me.
    >
    > cheers,
    > Mark
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tyler Zesiger, Jun 12, 2004
    #18
  19. Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    On Jun 11, 2004, at 8:13 PM, Tyler Zesiger wrote:

    > I'm not talking about the command line per se, I'm talking about
    > user-friendliness in general.


    You are right, all trollers talk about same thing. You are no exception.

    >
    > Mark Hubbart wrote:
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >> If you want a super user-friendly command line, install it. But don't
    >> make me use it, I won't touch it. It's user friendly enough for me.
    >> cheers,
    >> Mark

    >
    >
    >


    Sincerely,
    Gennady Bystritsky
     
    Gennady Bystritsky, Jun 12, 2004
    #19
  20. Re: Switch to .ruby extension? [OT]

    Gennady Bystritsky wrote:

    >
    > On Jun 11, 2004, at 8:13 PM, Tyler Zesiger wrote:
    >
    >> I'm not talking about the command line per se, I'm talking about
    >> user-friendliness in general.

    >
    >
    > You are right, all trollers talk about same thing. You are no exception.


    Oh, you've heard these complaints before? So maybe there's some merit in
    them.

    >> Mark Hubbart wrote:
    >>
    >> [snip]
    >>
    >>> If you want a super user-friendly command line, install it. But don't
    >>> make me use it, I won't touch it. It's user friendly enough for me.
    >>> cheers,
    >>> Mark

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Sincerely,
    > Gennady Bystritsky
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Tyler Zesiger, Jun 12, 2004
    #20
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