The Unix Haters' Handbook

Tony Duell ard at
Sun Apr 6 12:36:08 CDT 2008

> Some of them are still accurate. Others are a little outdated. Some,
> and these are the ones that kinda annoy me, are the kind of complaints
> that people come up with when they are unwilling to think outside of
> their favored OS's techniques. I mean, the complaints about command
> names? "rm" is not particularly intuitive, but good things require a
> little learning. I admit that TOPS-XX and VMS did pretty good with the
> ability to shorten command names, but "DELETE" is only one of several
> possible commands a new user might try--"REMOVE", "JUNK", etc.

I've yet to find any user interface that doesn't need learning. It took 
me a long time to work out how to change directories under VMS -- coming 
from a Unix/OS9 background, SET DEFAULT was hardly expected.

And on the Mac, I first thoguht that if dragging a file to the trash 
deleted it, then dragging a disk to the trash should reformat it. 

There's also the danger of confusing 'easy to learn' with 'easy to use'. 
Some things are easy to learn becuase they're so limited in what you can 
do there just isn't that much to learn. Personnally, I'd prefer a more 
powerful system that will actually help me to get the job done, even if I 
ahve to spend a fair amount of time learning to use it properly. Good 
tools (no mattter what sort of tool) need practice to use properly.


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