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Re: gEDA-user: Solving the light/heavy symbol problem

On May 25, 2011, at 5:58 AM, DJ Delorie wrote:

> I think what a GUI does is no different than what Make does - it lets
> you encapsulate complex operations into simpler ones.  When a user
> clicks on "run simulation", they don't care how many steps it takes to
> do that, they just want their simulation.  When you run "make sim" to
> run your simulation, you don't care what the Makefile does, only that
> it does it.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I often use "make -n" or look at the rules in the makefile. One problem juggling many long term projects is that I forget how I organized the processes years ago when I set things up. That's part of the power of "make": it can hide or reveal as needed.

> The solution to these problems is not "transparent tools", it's
> "better documentation".

Sure. That's easy to say, very difficult to implement.

>  I've seen the Makefiles ISE spits out, that
> doesn't tell me how the tools work.

Bad factoring is always a problem.

> Now, I don't think the GUI should hide information for the sake of
> being obscure.  I think the GUI should hide information because the
> user already has enough to worry about.  We get a lot of users
> complaining about "too many clicks" or "why can't I do that in the
> gui".  They use a GUI because they want to work on their design, not
> learn how to use our tools.  Many of them don't even know a shell
> window exists.

They don't automate. There's a place for that. But what makes gED*A* *uniquely* powerful is its friendliness to automation.

John Doty              Noqsi Aerospace, Ltd.

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