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LXer 01-29-2010 11:40 AM

LXer: Stupidware
Published at LXer:

The computer has become an integral part of life these days, and along with them comes the need for good software. There are many ways to write good software but the best software begins with a good set of options. Among those options, in my opinion, should be a setting to turn off "needless, idiotic prompts that serve no purpose other than to waste our time".


GrapefruiTgirl 01-29-2010 11:50 AM

Heh :) good for a chuckle!

carbonfiber 01-29-2010 12:30 PM

There are plenty of idiots using *BSD and Linux. There are plenty of idiots using *BSD and Linux, and who design their own skins/themes/websites/icons, can "compile and package software" and are currently learning python. That's not even the point. You don't have to be an idiot in order to accidentaly click on something that you -really- didn't want to click on. What "Ian" is asking for is not Smartware but Assholeware. Perhaps instead of "idiot prompts", we (I'm a programmer, you see) should put "jerk messages". Instead of "Are you sure you wish to close this program and lose the document you've been working on for 5 hours?" there should be: "AHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU PRESSED THE EXIT BUTTON!!! YOU IDIDIOT!!! AHAHAHAHAAH! ALL YOUR WORK IS NOW LOST!! AHAHAHAHA!". Yes. Of course, -then-, users would say "Ohmigosh why would any developer -do that-. Accidents happen, why can't they do something to prevent harming their users!? Like a simple prompt or something?". Indeed. Indeed. Ian - you are a great thinker, cheers mate.

Hangdog42 01-29-2010 12:30 PM

What software developers don't realize is the role that Evolution plays in all of this. If you make an interface more idiot proof, you're only apply selective pressure to create more idiotic idiots. After just a few versions, you've created idiots capable of plumbing previously unheard-of depths of idiocy.

It is high time to recognize that Slackware is the salvation of humanity.

carbonfiber 01-31-2010 03:12 AM

Funny thing (I think): log in to LinuxQuestions, then click the "Log Out" link. It's to the upper-right part of the page, to the left of the "Main Menu". You will be greeted with a confirmation dialog:


"Are you sure you want to log out?"
As for Slackware, KDE is part of the official packages. For a distribution that doesn't wish to hold your hand, it sure provied a hold-my-hand-desktop-environment.

brianL 01-31-2010 04:45 AM


carbonfiber 01-31-2010 04:50 AM

That's more like it!

H_TeXMeX_H 01-31-2010 04:59 AM

Well, actually, I've disabled any and all idiot prompts in all the GUI programs that I use. And, what probably may surprise a number of you is that things work a lot faster and with fewer mistakes. For example, I use ROX-Filer, and I disabled the prompt for delete, so when I want to delete it just deletes it, period, no trash bin, no nothing, it goes into the void. And in all these years of using it this way I have NEVER deleted anything by mistake. But, in the past, when I was using window$ even with all the safeguards that existed, I did delete things by mistake. You would think this is counter intuitive, but it is not. If you know that there exist safety nets you will be more careless in what you do and thus make more mistakes, while if there are no safety nets, you will be more careful.

However, the command line is a bit different, I did make safety wrapper scripts for running rm and dd as root that will prevent you from deleting important things. Although I've never really misused these as root, I've gotten close, and the damage that can be done is much greater than as a user, so here it probably is warranted. It isn't really an idiot prompt tho, because it doesn't prompt, it just tells you that it's a bad idea and refuses to do it.

carbonfiber 01-31-2010 05:13 AM

I don't know, should we remove seatbelts and airbags from automobiles for the same reasons? I'll say again: accidents happen to people who are not idiots (too). Also, consider scenarios in which the user uses (...) key-combinations. A missed key (we all have our typos) and.. Move the mouse by accident and you might be sending the wrong command to the wrong window (if you have focus-follows-mouse, especially in a tiled window manager environment).

H_TeXMeX_H 01-31-2010 05:49 AM

Well, maybe it would be good to remove seatbelts, maybe people would drive more carefully knowing that they will die should they f**k up. But, mostly, people die on the road not because of speed, but because they're stupid and/or reckless.

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