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Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences

by matija (Priest)
on Mar 08, 2004 at 11:12 UTC ( #334756=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences

Why is it that people need to get a licence before we will trust them to obey the few simple rules of driving, and yet they are allowed to use a computer when they can't even type?

I think that both problems are of the same cloth. People demand that any work on computers be simpler than driving a car. People demand that using a web application must be simpler than using the same application on the desktop.

One possible reason is that web applications started out by being simpler/doing fewer things than desktop applications.

I think the solution is in not empasizing that something is a web application. It is simply an application that just happens to be accessed through the browser. If you don't follow that philosophy you can get caught in management's method of trying to make a complex problem simple by blindly converting it into a web application.

  • Comment on Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences

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Re: Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences
by simon.proctor (Vicar) on Mar 08, 2004 at 11:17 UTC
    I agree,

    Invariably I think because the simpler applications are simply views of simple database queries then the client base assume you can just *throw html* around your data and everything magically works.

    As it happens my current internal client wanted to know why my project would take 30 days instead of 10 for this very reason. Thankfully when I broke the time down they accepted it. Sadly I still only got 15 days to do it (I've just started day 11).
Re: Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences
by hardburn (Abbot) on Mar 08, 2004 at 14:38 UTC

    An unskilled driver is a danger to others, potentially even life-threatening. The worst an unskilled computer user can do is inadvertantly pass around a virus. I don't think it's a fair comparison. Though a virus could have the potential to be life-threatening in some situations (perhaps it jams the bandwidth of a hospital's internal network), it's much rarer.

    Besides that, licensing computer users could get to be a thorny issue very quickly. ("You use GNU/HURD? Sorry, it's not on the approved list of operating systems. Your computer license is revoked.")

    ----
    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

      An unskilled driver is a danger to others, potentially even life-threatening. The worst an unskilled computer user can do is inadvertantly pass around a virus. I don't think it's a fair comparison.

      Perhaps in the worst case, yeah. But, I think this is a situation where it is more useful to look at the average case rather than the worst case. In the average case, an unskilled driver is a huge pain in the ass for everybody. The same goes for an unskilled computer user. Unskilled computer users are the reason that many viruses are able to spread as far as they can. Unskilled computer users force designers to dumb down interfaces making it harder for skilled users to do what they need. Unskilled users do create a lot of problems that wouldn't exist if the unskilled set had even the slightest bit of clue.

      I agree that "Computer Licenses" (and I think that we're really talking about "Internet Licenses" rather than "Computer Licencing" here. A computer not connected to the internet does no more harm than a car that isn't turned on.) are definitely not the answer, but you can't ignore that unskilled computer users are a problem.

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