On Thu, Jun 11, 1998 at 05:28:01PM -0700, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> I find it serves a major purpose -- the purpose being that we stop
> thinking in terms of fitting information into a transport layer, and
> start making information available the way the user wants it.
Chuq, I agree heartily with this approach: for example, I've argued for
years that mailing lists and Usenet news should both be replaced with a
medium that combines the attributes of both (and hopefully, incorporates what
we've learned from both) into something that facilitates communication
in the same way both do -- but which I *hope* avoids at least some of
the problems inherent to both.
But as much as I agree with The Big Picture view of where we oughta
be going, I have to say that I still differ with you on the
hide-the-details-in-the-GUI approach. I think that approach is
responsible for some of the mess we see now, e.g. HTML in Usenet
articles, unsubscribe requests posted to Usenet newsgroups, broken
mail headers, and all sorts of user confusion about netiquette.
Not that using specific interfaces would magically solve all this: for
better or worse, this ain't the small 'net of delivermail and A News. ;-)
But I think that just at the moment, the sort-of "universal client"
interfaces are doing more harm than good. *If* we can actually build
a unified medium -- and we probably will some day -- then I think
we'll be ready for a unified interface.
(I hope this is coherent. I'm only on coffee #1.)