freebsd - for the win

Charlie Kester corky1951 at
Sat Jun 12 22:51:36 UTC 2010

On Sat 12 Jun 2010 at 13:12:55 PDT Chip Camden wrote:
>Call me fatalistic, but I think there is a direct relationship between
>FreeBSD's high quality and it's lack of popularity.  If it catered to
>the common herd, its compromises would be many.

I think we're straying from the original topic, but I agree. 

I worked at Microsoft Developer Support in a previous life, beginning at
the time that Visual C++ and MFC were first introduced.  One of
Microsoft's big selling points was what they called "wizards" --
basically, a set of simple, dialog-based code-generation tools. What I
observed, over and over again, is that people would use the wizards to
create simple MFC applications and then get hopelessly stuck as soon as
they needed to do something the wizards or the MFC framework didn't
easily provide.  All the wizards had accomplished was to move the point
where people got stuck; they hadn't done anything to increase people's
understanding of how MFC-based code worked or how best to customize it.
What the wizards did accomplish was to bring in a whole bunch of new
customers who were encouraged to think of themselves as MFC programmers,
without requiring them to have even the most elementary competence in

I'm reminded of this whenever I see proposals to make the FreeBSD system
install and configuration more graphical and "user-friendly".   Same
goes for the ports system.

As one of my old colleagues used to say, "There are no shortcuts to the
righthand side of the learning curve."

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