Best article I’ve read for a while even though it is from ’96.
Why isn’t there any attempts on unifying the thesis of UNIX shell systems with the synthesis of Mac-systems?
I know that ubuntu and unity get a lot of hate. I am a convert however. Why? Yes, because if you pressed win/meta and or alt you could search the system or the applicatioin menu respectively via text.
It just seems so frustrating that we have all this computer power at our disposal and all it’s used for is to apply updates it seems. The average office worker is so extremely far from getting to it’s full potential. Seriously employing one semi coder could replace 10s of people so easily. Their tasks wouldn’t be mindnumbingly boring either as the most common issues would be automated away first.
Instead what do big coorporations do. Move offshore to lower salaries.
Seriously employing one semi coder could replace 10s of people so easily.
Seriously employing one semi coder could replace 10s of people so easily.
Citation most definitely needed. I’d really like to have someone who knows the ins-and-outs of say, tax law, accounting, or employment regulations working with that specific field than some person who might be really good at working on a computer.
Not applicable for all groups of 10 people obviously. But I guarantee that there are busload after busload of people doing mindless thingsg they hate badly day in and day out. Take tax offices for instance anecodtal evidence for sure but I have experience of going there with the same question twice and getting two different answers. Question is if you can even find a person who knows the ins and outs of accounting in the first place that easily.
Then again there is this theory that states that the jobs that are the most well paid today will be the first to be replaced.
So according to it (don’t have the time to find it atm) logical thinking is the most recently developed from an evolutionary perspective as such it’s actually the least complex in terms of neurons and synapses. Therefore it’s simpler to replace say an assistant than a waiter for example. The act of balancing a human body alone is magnitudes more complex than accounting in terms of processing power.
** edit: To clarify further, when I say semi-coder what I mean is someone with expertise in the field along with “supercharged” computing abilities. At some point we replaced secreteries with computers and computers that where room filled with women doing basic arithmetic with electronic computers, right?
Tax offices have other constraints other than then purely economical put on them. For instance, in the US, there’s active lobbying by tax-preparation software companies against simplified filing of taxes by citizens. So plenty of people have to spend time and money they really don’t need to spend due to rent-seeking and regulatory capture.
Here in Sweden, the tax collection and tax agency are streamlined. Information is easy to find online, and presented clearly. In my personal communication with them, they have been courteous and efficient. No-one likes paying taxes but at least it’s not difficult to do in Sweden.
Very few companies who are faced with competitive pressures from others can afford to keep 10 people doing the work of one. These tasks will be rationalized away. The exceptions are those organizations that for some reason or another are exempt from such pressures.
Actully it was in Sweden I had problems with the taxes. Not a citizen so perhaps it wasn’t a common question however. Of course you’ll find worse examples if you go looking.
It’s not only taxes here do a lot of clerk work could benefit immensly from things like this.
We actually agree on the point that they would be rationalized away. Apart from socialist Sweden’s tax workers where logic doesn’t apply. In many cases the jobs are being outsourced abroad. Just as with factory workers eariler moved to different countries. However it is insanity, they ought to focus on quality instead of quantity. The German car industry focused on automation and close cooperation with educational insitituions and they are still going strong.
Also if there is no technology to make that one person do the work of N persons it won’t happen. That’s what I want to find an user interface paradigm that goes beyond this one thing at the time nonsense in favour of something more of the type we are used to as coders.
Meanwhile companies making computers outsorce to Asia. What happens they learn how to do it, ““steal” the design and outmanovers them on priice. The list is so long.
All of this is like the romans having the knowledge of steam engines but not looking into it due to slave labour from their conquests.
This is one concept that the Trumpers in the US is very right about. From a US perspective and for the sake of development in general quality over quantity is so much better..
** EDIT: Really interesting point btw about lobbying in the states, but that’s just one of the inefficiences in workplace management that allows for subpar systems to go on
Communication within an organization is a hard problem.
Anyway my point is that not all human pursuits can be or should be automated. For some stuff, like legal issues, there are specific roadblocks built in to ensure judicial fairness. No doubt someone can come up with an expert system that can determine if a defendant is guilty in 95% of cases, saving a ton of money and resources, but we’re not prepared to accept that 5% error rate.
nah I’m thinking more of stuff like querying databases and stuff like that.
What bugs me is the following:
A: Computers are really good at doing repetitive series of tasks fast
B: Humans are really bad at A
Still even though we have A & B the mainstream user interface for computers is designed with a point and click notion that is you can do one thing at the time.
So if we have two approaches to day:
I: Thesis Say you want to do Y on N files and move them to X. The UNIX shell abstractions gives the user access to the computers powers. it does however take years of practice before you learn to do so efficiently
II: Antithesis The Xerox alto approach / mac version on the other hand takes zero time to learn but do the example from I with 10’000 files and you’ll have wasted so much time and probably the result isn’t even right
III Synthesis What I am calling for is an approach that is not designed in the 70s but is designed to be quick to learn but that does enable the user to tap into the true purpose of having a computer. And no automation tools such as autohotkey or whatever doesn’t really apply as they are afterthoughts. This ought to be built from the ground up with this goal in mind
At least macOS has a decent shell built in. I’ve been able to leverage my Unix scripting knowledge to automate a lot of tasks in macOS that I simply lack the resources to do on Windows.
gotten a bit better with powershell though. It exposes all the .NET stuff so you can do crazy much with it. But oh it’s so verbose System.foo.whatever.fooObject.blah.blah. I get why you did but when you’ve learned UNIX shell it just flows so much better.
What I’d like to see is an obvious graphical representation of basic operations such as unions and iterators and so forth for common end users. Basically the essential ideas behind each command line utility but packaged in a modern interface. Also with a way to visualize vast quantities of data using not text .
That’s a good point - it took me a long time to get comfy with the text-mangling of shell (and I’m a nerd). PoSh ups the ante with object-orientation, but that’s still nerdy as hell. Having something integrated, visual but can drop down to text for scriptability would be great. People keep talking about Hypercard, maybe it was like that.
yeah hm maybe I should take a look at hypercard.
I do happene to research text entry methods and one of my idea is the following: if we have a good model for entering the text and replace symbols/words with shell commands it might work as such an interface.
I intend to plug my text entry experiments along with prediction algorithms into the shell and see what happens. I do not expect any groundbreaking developments but maybe maybe I can inspire someone to think outside of the box and find the solution we’re after.
subscribe by rss at http://tbf-rnd.life/feed and you’ll see when I finally come to shell integration
Thanks for an interesting discussion!
the pleasure is entirely mine!!