Fw: [clug] Flirting Techniiques For Men (Paul Wayper)

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Sat May 2 06:38:56 GMT 2009

Daniel Pittman wrote on 2/5/09 3:17 PM:

> Finally, you also have the lesser technical problem that using a web
> based forum is going to drive away technically skilled people because it
> increases the cost of dealing with CLUG.

> For me, those considerations actually make the "discussion" part of most
> web forums sufficiently costly that I just /can't/ participate.  

> I could
> manage literally a tenth or less of the same work — and, then, only when
> connected to the Internet, not while travelling, or in a batch
> operation.
> The same is true of others, as is the simple matter that many of the
> more experienced peolpe in the area just don't /like/ the new web forums
> very much.[3]

> Web forums certainly offer some technical advantages, but they also
> offer a lot of technical drawbacks, and generally they don't work well
> to build the sort of community that has historically been found around a
> LUG.


> Regards,
>         Daniel


Good points you raise.
Are the "Web 2.0" approaches useful in all cases & for all users?
I think you definitively show that are not.

Reminds me of an elegant piece of research in 1983 (!) by Mike Lesk.
This predated the GUI vs Command Line (CLI) debate.

 - Novices/Occasional Users need a result, not speed. Need System help.
 - Expert users need speed and precision. These interfaces are complex.


Joel on Software comments on the phenomena.

Lesk quote from ESR's "Art of Unix Programming":

"The commercial world generally goes for the novice mode because
(a) purchase decisions are often made on the basis of 30 seconds trial, and
(b) it minimizes the demands on customer support to have only a
dumbed-down GUI.

I find many non-Unix systems very frustrating because, for example, they
will provide no way to do something on a hundred or a thousand files; I
want to write a script, and there's no support for it.

The basic problem is that they've assumed all users are novices all the
time, and then they bash Unix because it doesn't cater to that model."

Mike Lesk:

Lesk & Geller article:
"User interfaces to information systems: choices vs. commands"

Do users prefer selection from a menu or specification of keywords to
retrieve documents?

We tried two experiments, one using an on-line library catalog and the
other an on-line news wire.

In the first, library users could either issue keyword commands to see
book catalog entries, or choose categories from a menu following the
Dewey Decimal classification of the books.

In the second, news wire users could read Associated Press news stories
either by posting a keyword profile against which all stories were
matched, or by selecting them from a menu of current news items.

For the library users, keyword searches were clearly preferred, by votes
of 3 and 4 to 1; for the news stories, retrieval by keyword search is
50% less common than menu choice.

We suggest that the difference is based on the degree of user
foreknowledge of the data base and its organization.

Menu-type interfaces tell the user what is available.
If the user already knows, as in the library where a majority of the
users have a particular book in mind, then the menu is merely

But when the user does not know what is available (almost the definition
of "news" is that it is new, and unpredictable), the menu is valuable
because it displays the choice.

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

More information about the linux mailing list