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Re: SEUL: On Compiling

Jay Bloodworth wrote:

> 'Compile' is a scary word.  If you know nothing about computers it sounds
> jargonny; if you know just enough to be dangerous it sounds ominous.  Call
> it an install, call it an upgrade, call it a party in a box.  Just don't
> call it a compile.  (Mac users could probably cope with it being called a
> rebuild).

Good point. And now you've let the cat out of the bag: if we don't end
up calling it "party in a box", I'll be sorely disappointed.

> Compiling takes a long time.  On my P6 200 with 64MB RAM it takes over
> five minutes.  On my 486/40 with 8MB of busted RAM, it took around three
> hours.  While there are a few precedents for asking users to run a time
> consuming task for the good of there systems (Defrag), there are not many.
> We need to dress up compiling with, at a minimum, a status bar. and
> encourage users to see it as an important but routine aspect of system
> maintenace.

Like you said, Mac users are used to rebuilding their desktops. Win
users are used to spending a long time auto-detecting new hardware. This
would be roughly the same amount of time on a modern box. The only
problem is it's not automatic. Users are content to wait if they think
the computer is doing their work for them. If you tell them, "You've got
to configure all these settings, then you've got to wait twenty
minutes", they'll be a bit put out, I imagine.

Of course, with Linux, the compile can be backgrounded. In Win95,
multitasking is poor to nonexistent, so autodetecting hardware is sort
of an all-consuming procedure. If the user knew that he/she could work
during the compile, albeit a bit more slowly, he/she might be content.

But you're right. Let's come up with a good euphemism. How about "kernel
optimization"? :-)

Michael J. Peck
Hewlett-Packard, Convex Division
Opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of my employer.
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