Re: Great SWT Program

Owen Jacobson <>
Tue, 20 Nov 2007 00:39:11 -0800 (PST)
On Nov 19, 3:56 am, <> wrote:

In article <>,
 <> wrote:

A good UI would have such useful things discoverable as soon as they
would be useful, instead of years later.

Uh-huh. I found out about Eclipse's useful keyboard shortcut
for inserting "import" statements by word of mouth from a more
experienced user. Same for its "comment out a range of lines".
How did you find out about them? I wouldn't mind knowing about
a method of discovery that hasn't occurred to me.

I'm not the guy those questions were aimed at, but just as an
anecdotal data point: I found them in the menus and eventually learned
the keyboard shortcuts to them as a matter of avoiding the time wasted
playing with the mouse, much the same as I learned some of emacs'

It does, however, suggest the likely depth of your psychological bias
and how likely you are to be blinkered to any faults in the software
under discussion.

Have I not said on many occasions that my platform of choice
is not without flaw? Admittedly I find its flaws familiar and
forgivable, while I have little patience with the perceived flaws
of other platforms, but I recognize that there's some bias at work
there. Would I like your platform better if I gave it a chance?
Maybe. But why retrain ....


It's the same reason why responsible developers don't scrap and
rewrite mature code just because it might be better this time around
-- better the flaws you know about than new, unfamiliar, hard-to-
predict flaws.


bash, emacs, vi, and the whole suite of coreutils and esoterica around
them are pretty well-understood, now. They don't *have* hard-to-
predict flaws, and they tend not to have very many remaining
undocumented bugs[1]. Someone trying to find out if vi is worth using
will be spoiled for arguments and illustrations for and against. To a
certain extent the same can be said of IDEs; there's no shortage of
for and against information about Eclipse, Netbeans, IDEA, and
friends. However, there is much less information about most random
Windows utilities on the internet than there is about the
corresponding Unix utilities, making picking a Windows tool much more
of a "try it and see" proposition.

In the absence of a local expert, I'm not sure how easy it would be
to get started

Well I am. The answer being "well-nigh impossible". Ditto emacs.

What evidence do you have for this position? Your own experience?
With all due respect, you don't seem any more willing than I am
to deal with something that doesn't work the way you think things
should work.

I'm some kind of walking argument[0], anyways: I've still never read
the emacs tutorial, nor recieved any kind of training from others in
the use of emacs. I think I might've asked a question about specific
keybindings at one point. Nonetheless, I can use it quite well enough
for my own purposes.

though there do seem to be a lot of books and online
resources available, and surely some of them could help a beginner.
One who actually wanted to learn, anyway.

And could conveniently flip between vi/emacs and the online resource
(not at all a given if running in a text-mode environment).

I doubt that anyone wanting to learn these tools, these days anyway,
would be operating a text-mode-only environment. More likely would
be to have vi/emacs running in one window and a browser in another.

Indeed. A true novice is going to be helpless in a completely text-
only environment almost by default; I've seen very, very few that made
total sense without at least some documentation. Fortunately, the
only ways these days to get to a text mode UI are to either already
know about them or to be told one exists, which gives you a starting
point for asking questions like "how do I..." and "where's the...".

[0] That's a joke, son. Don't take it, I say, don't take, I say,
don't take it too serious now.

[1] Not none; if you check the gnu-emacs bugs list there's a fairly
recent bug report from me about some fairly old code. Seems very few
people have the character '@' in their $USER...

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