Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

From: Sean 'Captain Napalm' Conner <spc_at_conman.org>
Date: Mon Apr 22 01:22:23 2002

  I'm reworking the quoting here, since the Great Richard Erlacher seems
insistent upon leaving the quoted material below his response.

It was thus said that the Great Richard Erlacher once stated:
> Quoting R. D. Davis:
> > How can anyone do anything useful with a computer without the
> > following? Emacs, TeX/LaTeX, dvips, the Bourne shell for scripts,
> > ghostview, gimp, xv, PostgreSQL or Oracle, Perl, C, various useful
> > UNIX utilities (e.g. tar, awk, nawk, grep, sed, dc, ed, diff, cal, at,
> > bc, od, lint, etc.), to name a very few of the extremely useful
> > programs that run on UNIX systems.
> I've never gotten one iota of use from any of the tools you mention, though, I
> have a "friendlified" version of EMACS. These are all development-related
> tools. Software development only qualifies as useful work in the rare case
> that you're involved in software development.

  Of the programs mentioned, od, C, Perl, shell scripts and lint are
defintely developer tools, awk, nawk (which are nearly the same thing),
grep, sed and diff may appear to be developer tools but do have their uses
elsewhere. tar, ed, cal, at and bc are general purpose tools and while some
(like tar and ed) can be used in a devopment capacity, I personally, in the
10 years or so of Unix development I've personally done, have ever used cal,
at or bc as a developer.

  Emacs again, can be used for development, but it is a general text editor
(and a programmable one at that). TeX/LaTeX is only used in development if
you use the WEB programming environment that Donald Knuth uses---otherwise
it's a typesetting program that does a better job at output than Microsoft
Word does, and dvips is a program to convert TeX/LaTeX output files and
convert them to PostScript. ghostview is for displaying PostScript files on
the screen, gimp is an image manipulation program (like Photoshop, and I
don't know many software developers that use it, other than the programmers
working on Photoshop and/or the Gimp), xv is an image viewer and PostgreSQL
and Oracle are databases and used by a wider audience than just developers.

  But to catagorize all of them as ``development-related tools'' is a
disingenious thing to say.

> Even in hardware development, the
> software is a burden. It's a burden on the cost of other goods and services.

  What does this even mean?
> Friendlier OS' (e.g. Windows) have equivalent tools that are less onerous in
> the demands they place on the user. Just ask the typical programmer what a
> "regular expression" is. Better yet, give him a task requiring the use of
> grep for a list of, say, 100 words and phrases. When he complains after about
> a week that he's not made much progress, THEN ask him what a regular
> expression is.

  And what does this have to do with anything? Anyone that is familiar with
how Unix works and can use grep can probably use grep on a list of 100 words
or phrases without much problem. Giving the same problem to someone not
familiar with UNIX and yes, you'll get complaints. Heck, stick me with a
Windows box and IIS to configure and I'll be lost for a week and wanting to
know why we can't use Apache instead?

  -spc (Or why Windows has to be rebooted after making a network change,
        or a program has been installed, or removed, or the mouse moved
        too much, or ... )
Received on Mon Apr 22 2002 - 01:22:23 BST

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