[svlug] eWeek article on MS Outlook

Ray Olszewski ray at comarre.com
Mon May 15 14:35:46 PDT 2000


At 01:33 PM 5/15/00 -0700, Rick Moen wrote [in part]:

>Microsoft OSes have a concept called "opening" or "launching" 
>a file, an action usually performed by double-clicking on something.  
>This characterisation conceals the vital question, which the user
>_should_ be concerned about, of whether one is merely viewing the 
>file, or executing (running) it.

Only recent ones. MSDOS has no such concept, and if it was implemented in
Windows 3.1, it was implemented incompletely. 

The concept derives, at least proximately, from the Mac OS, and was ... by
Mac loyalists in the 1980s, at least ... touted as one of the striking
supriorities of Mac OS: that double-clicking on a program launched the
program, while double-clicking on a data file did the "same" thing -- it
launched the program "associated" with the file ("association" on the Mac
was (still is? I'm way out of date on MacOS) even more invisible to the user
than MS's use of extensions).

I'm not disagreeing with your main point, Rick ... I quite agree with you,
in fact. It's just worth remembering that MS didn't dream up this idea (did
Apple? or does it derive, like so much else, from PARC?) or have a monopoly
on it.

Your concluding comment, below, applies equally to MacOSs at least up to
7.5. (Based on experience on beginners' lists, I'm starting to ask myself
how much it, specifically the sentiment in the final sentence, applies to
GUIs like KDE as well.)

>Obviously, there is a ghastly user-level hazard here that is in no way
>limited to Visual BASIC Scripting or to MS Outlook / MS Outlook Express:
>The OS's fundamental design actively _encourages_ cluelessness and
>ignorance, _and_ actively stands in the way of users having crucial
>knowledge.

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray at comarre.com        
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