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About satandrads and politics
When I proposed to force the user to specifically ask for VI to be
installed the idea behind it was not because I think it is a great
idea in the usability sense but as a gauntlet thrown to traditions. I
think a system mimicking traditional UNix is basically unuitable for
reaching the masses. That means that for Linux reaching world
domination (for the uninformed this is a Linus's joke) one day or
another Linux will have to propose another UI for those people who
have no interest in power use. Perhaps times are not mature and
perhaps we are not the people who should be doing it but for Linux
sdpreading a day will have to come where Linux people will say: "we
will no longer accept diktats coming fom proprietary Unix". Otherwise
Linux will reamin a niche system.
About standards: the Posix standard tells a Unix system should include
VI but notice that there were no Linux representaives in this committee
(in fact Linux diddn't even exist) and still less representatives of
the kind of people we are targettting and who are begining to come to
Linux. To say bluntly this standard is alien to us.
I will give an analogy based on real world. Silversmiths are major
users of silver so they define the standard on how they need silver to
be delivered to them. And one day silver bacomes as cheap as copper.
As we all know silver is a better electrical conducer than copper
(yes, it is true) so electrical industry tries to make wire using
silver but then the silversmiths begin yelling "There _are_ standards:
you are forbidden to ask for ingots of different sizes as those we
use, you are not allowed to use silver in the form of wire covered by
an insolating material, only legitimate uuse is manufacturing spoons
and about your designers they have the sacred duty to study art".
That si more or less what is happenning in Linux world today.
So the point is: "Do we dare to challenge tradition and
traditionalists frontally or do we take a lower profile approach?" By
lower profile I mean providing for programs never calling it (the user
must call it explicitly) and providing for the user ever having an
alternative even when using rescue floppies. And of course
mentionning it in the announce.
Jean Francois Martinez
Project Independence: Linux for the Masses