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Weak hashtables & aggressive caching
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Date: 2006-08-14 (17:35)
From: Matt Gushee <matt@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Weak hashtables & aggressive caching
I will try to make this my last off-topic message on this subject.

Brian Hurt wrote:

> I'm running X remotely to access remote machines (note the plural).  One 
> of the advantages of X is that I can run GUI apps on machines that I'm 
> not sitting in front of.

And what percentage of the computer-using population do you suppose has 
*ever* done that?

> I'm also using RealVNC to log into other 
> Windows machines.  Please don't assume *your* situation is *everyone's* 
> situation,  as this makes your software signifigantly less usefull.

No. It limits the population of users for whom the software is useful, 
which is a very different matter. Don't make assumptions about what I 
assume. I know very well there are different kinds of users; where my 
thinking differs from the mainstream is that I believe it is 
impossible--or at least very difficult--to create software that delivers 
a good user experience for all types of users.

To take one example, what tool would you use to develop a Web site? Some 
people find Cold Fusion highly productive. That's fine. I find Vim to be 
far more productive than any other tool I've tried, at least for the 
kinds of Web sites I develop (mostly my own). I'd bet a large sum of 
money that either one is far better for its target users than some 
hypothetical app that tried to address both groups.

BTW, some of the leading thinkers on human-computer interaction (e.g. 
Jef Raskin and Alan Cooper) have argued--based on extensive 
research--that offering many different ways to accomplish a task is 
usually bad for usability. They're talking about user interfaces, but 
their thinking is at least consistent with my broader claim that no 
single app is suitable for all circumstances.

Anyway, if I release an app to the public, I try to be very clear--as 
clear as you can be in words and screenshots--about what it does and 
doesn't do, and what kinds of users and usage situations it is suitable 
for. If people don't want to use my software, that's fine. If I can't 
develop something that will bring in significant income--and I long ago 
gave up hope of doing that--I'll bloody well develop something I like. 
As long as I'm clear about what I like, and don't expect the whole world 
to agree with me, I don't see why that's a problem.

Matt Gushee
: Bantam - lightweight file manager : matt.gushee.net/software/bantam/ :
: RASCL's A Simple Configuration Language :     matt.gushee.net/rascl/ :