At 10:01 PM 2002-07-05 -0700, Roger B.A. Klorese wrote:
Nick Simicich wrote:
If a product is designed to be used by the "unwashed masses" it should
make them appear washed. It should also protect them. Outrage, in
particular, was actively bad in all these regards. Microsoft could have
produced a product that worked and played well with other programs and
protected naive users from the dangers of the Internet.
Well, lots of people believe it's the job of the criminal justice system
and of their service providers or IT departments to protect them from
danger, and will choose simplicity over security every time.
They are stupid and wrong. They would not fail to install a front door on
their house because they had a police department. This falls back to
thinking that the act of using a computer is somehow different from
anything else that they do in the world. It is not. We worked for a long
time to make computers part of the real world. Guess what. Some success
has been achieved---with all the warts that implies.
It is simpler to leave your keys in the ignition and your doors unlocked
because that way you never lock your keys in the car and you never lose them.
But people do not, in fact, choose simplicity over security in real life.
For example, people believe that 802.11 systems are simple - there are
fewer wires to connect, you plug them in and forget them. When all of the
risks are actually explained, I have seen people unhook them, or redo their
home networks to put their wireless segments outside of their firewall, or
simply decide that it is not within their capability to secure them and
that the actual simple solution is to use a wire.
As for working with other products, they did the same thing Lotus and
Novell did, as well as AOL and Compuserve: develop a closed,
highly-featured system that then had to get on the net without giving up
all the things it did better than any standards-based tool.
I assert that you have given up no functionality that is actually
meaningful in the context of communicating using e-mail. Please note that
I consider the ability to set your fonts, sizes, etc, detrimental to this
process --- I have a font that is easy for me to read and colors that are
easy for me to read. Any changes to this slow me down and distract from
> The early
versions were actively awful - if you were not talking to another
Outskirts program, you sent large uuencoded sections, and it was hard to
figure out how to turn them off since all of the "high function" stuff
(i.e., only seemed like a good idea if you were high) seemed to be the
default since Outset seemed to be assuming an all Microsoft world.
Yes, but 95+% of the people who ever saw it *lived* in an all-Microsoft
world. It depresses me how much integrated functionality I need to give
up to deal with standards-based tools.
Awww.....my heart bleeds for you. I put forth the assertion that the
"functionality" you give up is mostly meaningless complexity and has
nothing to do with the sort of communication that the real world systems we
administer (e-mail lists) are designed for.
And you do not live in an all Microsoft world once you send to a list which
has non-Microsoft users on it. When your baggage is so irritating that,
time after time, people write in and complain about the baggage, that
damages the whole list by distracting from the on-subject communications.
Microsoft was a large company, designing a program to be used by many
users - they could have done a good job.
They designed a product to be used by Microsoft users, just as Novell (or
one of its acquisitions) developed GroupWise to be used by all-Novell
users and Lotus developed Notes to be used by all-Lotus users.
And none of those, frankly, do the job of e-mail communication with, for
example, customers, (you know, the people who are important to any
business?) who are not using those systems well. Having been in a
situation where my customer communication looked stupid because of the
miserable tool that was not capable of doing a reasonable job with the
lingua franca because it's private dialect was too distracting, I can tell
you that customers notice.
"Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of
-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Nick Simicich - njs @