Art Alexion on 13 Sep 2004 19:35:03 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] Interesting Article from eWeek

Paul L. Snyder wrote:

Tobias DiPasquale wrote:

"Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
- Samuel Clemens

Quoting Howard Bloom <>:

Save this one too:

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys
the pig.

-- unknown - maybe I invented it.

Then you must be SF grandmaster Robert Heinlein! ;)

Pansies or chrysanthemums, once you start wrestling in the
garden the result is going to be a muddy mess. This is a
good thing if you prefer rolling in the mud to tending
the garden, I suppose.

I like that.

While we're tossing quotes into the ring, here's one that I
think apropos.  It's from Heinlein's _Time Enough For Love_,
as is the above quotation:

 Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to
 avoid excessive wear.  Honorifics and formal politeness
 provide lubrication where people rub together.  Often the
 very young, the untravelled, the naive, the unsophisticated
 deplore these formalities as "empty", "meaningless", or
 "dishonest", and scorn to use them.  No matter how "pure"
 their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that
 does not work too well at best.

This is getting *so* off-topic...

Anyway, not to disparage Heinlein, but look at the simplicity of the Clemens quote vs. the Heinlein. Incredible how much one can say about something in one sentence...

Now to get a bit back on topic, one of the things that kept me learning and using Linux is that elegant simplicity -- something it seems windows programmers abandoned. (And now a plug: one of the Addison-Wesley books provided to us through Jeff Abrahamson is Eric S. Raymond's book, _The Art of Unix Programming_ [¨Zen and¨ is implied]. A valuable read even for us non-programmers. In it he explains the elegance through simplicity ethic of Unix programs, and how complex problems should be solved with modularity rather that monstrously large programs -- prone to problems, and consisting of often useless functionality that, at best, devours performance. This big spaghetti program seems to be the windows way. When hardware gets more powerful, windows users never get to enjoy better performance, because their software demands increase to keep up with it.)


Art Alexion
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