[clug] Ubuntu 10.4

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Thu Apr 1 19:10:20 MDT 2010

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic <ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com> writes:
> Daniel Pittman <daniel at rimspace.net> writes:
>> Ivan Lazar Miljenovic <ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com> writes:
>>> /me goes back to tweaking his XMonad config
>> Regardless of my views, though, I am not sure that "fiddling with my window
>> manager" is a very strong argument for more flexibility at the expense of
>> complexity.
> Maybe you're not familiar with XMonad, but it's specifically written to
> be customised by editing the config file.

I am familiar with it, although the use of Haskell as the configuration
language made it too heavy an investment for me to trial[1] last time
I went around and played with my working environment.[2]

That is pretty much entirely missing my point, though, which is about how you
chose to argue the point that we both agree on: that flexibility can be worth
the extra complexity, and that GNOME have thrown out the baby along with the

What I was trying to suggest is that, essentially, people (including me)
are likely to look at your investing time in *tools* as little different
to investing time in playing solitaire: fun, but not actually productive.

So, my point isn't about how you configure the window manager, or about the
fact that editing files was involved.  It wasn't really anything to do with
the window manager at all, ultimately.

My point was that this is a weak argument:

    Flexibility is good.  As proof I show you that I can spend time adjusting
    the way my window manager works.

It is weak because people look at it and thing:

    ...and the *only* thing this lets you do is spend time adjusting your
    window manager?  Talk to me when you actually produce something of
    lasting, or even transient, value to anyone else.

Telling people why flexibility lets you be more productive is great, and my
opinion is that the world would be better off if more people invested time in
building flexibility into systems, as well as configuring their environment to
allow them to be more productive.

I don't think telling them that you spend time on your tools, rather than what
you produce with those tools, achieves that goal.


So, essentially, I am arguing about how best to argue a point we both support.

[1]  Learning Haskell would be nice, but I have used type-inference languages
     before, and I have other things on my "cool-but-not-immediately-useful"
     list of stuff to learn ahead of it.

[2]  ...and, yes, this *does* mean that we are in agreement about the
     fundamental parts of this: investing in tools *is* valuable, and can
     provide good results.

✣ Daniel Pittman            ✉ daniel at rimspace.net            ☎ +61 401 155 707
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