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Re: SEUL: Text vs. X

On Sat, 14 Feb 1998, Erik Walthinsen wrote:

> > > line but making it easy to switch to XDM once he knows X works.  
> > yep.
> No.  Our target user doesn't give a damn how the machine works.  (S)he 
> simply wants to write a letter to their Mom, or their boss.  Asking them to 
> use startx until they feel comfortable with XDM is asking them to 
> understand something they don't care about.

maybe this wasn't phrased so well. let's try "start X from a shell
until X is working properly ". 

> > > We must insure he knows how to set up XDM and how to return to command
> > > line.  
> > yep
> NO!  SEUL exists to make computers easier for people to use, not to force 
> them to learn something that doesn't matter to them.

Very true. But there comes a point where they need to know something (for
example, how to turn their machine on.) The point is that if they get
caught in the 'loop of Death', they should know how to hit C-M-F1 to get
out of the loop and into the shell. 

The documentation that is really important should be
conveniently available online, and the really really important stuff can
go in places where they have to see it (motd files, menu-dialogues...)

> And we must give him only the info he wants and needs.  Forcing a user to 
> understand how the machine works 

yep. Though deciding exactly what's needed isn't a simple matter. The goal
is (?) to make sure s?he needs as little as possible then making damn sure
s?he knows at least that.
> > good point. Again, menu shells are great info providers, since you can
> > walk them through some pre-amble before they fire up anything. I hope you
> > guys aren't sick of hearing about my menu-shell idea already ... (-:
> We need a shell of this kind, but it must only be a fallback for the case 
> where X doesn't work.  Nothing more.

you're right... the main point of the text mode program should be
diagnostic. At least, that more than anything else seems to be what is

But if it could
conveniently be extended to fire up text editors, mailers pine , 
and access online help
(possibly via lynx ) ... then why not ? This is more a question/idea than
a conclusive statement/manifesto. 

And also, there's the issue
some-one else raised: what if the machine doesn't have the hardware for X
? I'm not really clear whether SEUL is supposed to require X-Windows to
work or not. If it's to be usable without X, then the text-menu stuff
starts to look fairly important all of a sudden.

-- Donovan