Very Worried at MS .net

Alistair Davidson lord_inh at
Tue Jul 17 22:20:38 UTC 2001

markj at wrote:
> On 17 Jul, Alistair Davidson wrote:
> >> I would, but life's too short to pay much attention to splashsnort.
> >> Skimming it, I don't see what you're getting at.
> > There are some quite interesting posts further down, by a user called
> > anticypher. I don't know how much of what (s)he says is true though.
> Most slashdot users don't know what they're talking about or are lying
> anyway.</sweeping-generalisation>

Yeah. If only technocrat was still the way it used to be :(

> > I think I'll stickj with Java for the time being. Now, if only that was
> > maintained by an independent body...
> I think all I'll say to that is

Hmm... that's very interesting. But isn't LISP server-side?

The point of Java was that it runs client-side, and on a VM to make it
cross-platform. dotNet goes a step further by allowing a wider range of
languages to run on the VM (or so I hear... I'm certainly no expert. I'm
having trouble understanding the entirety of dotNET, because it seems to
incorporate everything from a virtual machine to remote authentication
to the kitchen sink. I'll maybe go do some research in a minute.)

Is there a VM other than dotNET's that will run LISP? If so, how large
is its installed userbase?

A Free VM that could run a wide range of languages would be very nice,
especially since the bazaar development model has shown itself to be so
good at optimisation and stability, exactly what a good VM needs.
> > What we need to really start focusing on is coming up with new ideas for
> > improving user friendliness IMHO. If we can innovate in technical areas
> > we can do the same when it comes to user interfaces, and it's vital to
> > do so- ultimately, your average user is far more interested in his/her
> > system being easy to use than how fast or stable it is. It's the sad
> > truth that they'll put up with several crashes a day to avoid using a
> > command prompt.
> I'm quite of the same opinion and I'd welcome being pointed towards a
> general forum where such things can be discussed when relating to free
> software.  I've been spending some time talking to the people behind
> ROX as I was a great fan of RISCOS's
> usability.  However, it seems that the interface left some significant
> problems ignored: no icons, as far as I can tell or remember.

Yeah. I quite liked RICOS for some things. Certainly, it was good for
the time. Maybe what we need is to form a "free usability project" or
something, under the auspices of the FSFE. Incorporate psychologists and
programmers and GUI experts. Have them first examine past and present
UIs, then brainstorm for new, innovative, ideas. Then they could publish
a set of proposals to improve user friendliness.

After the initial report, their job would be to continue the process of
brainstorming, and to examine bleeding-edge research UIs and psychology
papers looking for new ideas.

Would such a committe be feasible? Would anyone (ie KDE and Gnome)
listen to them?
> When we have both stability *and* interface, will anything stop us?

Inertia and PHB's might. We cannot afford to be complacent or arrogant.
Just ask Atari.

Rick's World:

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