ATTENTION: Programmers...

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Equiprawn

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May 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/6/99
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Anson,

I'm not asking this question for myself, I just thought it might be a good
thing for the whole community, that's all.

Equiprawn

fra...@sinopsis.com

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May 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/6/99
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paene lacrimavi postquam anson@DELETE_THISpobox.com (Anson Turner) scripsit:

>Yeah, and let's get rid of nuclear weapons and pollution. And let's stop
>feeding all our grain to livestock and solve the human hunger problem. And
>how about flying cars? Now that I've thought of all these great ideas,
>would somebody mind implementing them for me?

Actually, it's not that hard. Sure, it would take a bunch of inspired
people with time on their hands, but I don't think it's on the level
of the things you described.

Many interesting projects have started with a post of concept.

And while this particular sort of thing has been bandied around before,
I don't think it hurts to poke people once in a while.

And finally, I thought the graphic supplied with the post was good, and
it was certainly more fleshed out than your ideas. So there!

Fraser.
(by the way, there's plenty of food for everybody -- hunger is a problem
of politics, distribution, and the fact that I slept in and wasn't able
to grab breakfast before I got to work this morning)
(I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
(just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
goes vegetarian)

Knight37

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
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<fra...@sinopsis.com> wrote

> (I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
> (just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
> goes vegetarian)

Well you see, men are omnivores, not herbivores, so I doubt your
theory of the world going vegetarian eventually is correct.
I personally believe vegetarianism (is that a word?) is a fad,
kind of in the same way most religions, almost all other "isms",
and certain scientific "theories" are.

Anyway, way off topic.

Back to the idea ... I agree, good graphics. Looked like Equiprawn
is probably a competent web page designer. Or maybe he does interfaces
for a software firm. If not, you might consider thinking about it.

I think the basic idea though, is flawed. I do not think this will
tend to save programmers of IF any time, really. The tool will
either be too simple to do anything useful, or so difficult to
master, you might as well just learn the language and get a text
editor. And I don't even think it will save much time on coding
out a rough sketch of the map. I think a good set of macros in your
text editor is better for this.

One thing I will never agree with is that the GUI is a more efficient
form of interface than a text-only command-oriented interface. I know
I used to get a LOT more done faster when I used 4DOS. GUIs do give
the impression of having an easier learning curve, which is
debatable, and they do seem to have a nicer appearance, if that's at
all important in business apps or programmer apps. I can see a real
advantage to it in graphics apps (CAD, art progs), and there is a
definite advantage for the internet (more interesting), and games.

I don't really think this type of program will encourage new authors
to write good IF. I think we'll end up with a lot of really crappy,
shallow games that most of the IF community will ignore. The only way
for a potential IF author to become one is to sit down and learn the
language, and then keep working on the game diligently until done.
There is no "silver bullet" or "magic wand" that will write the code
for you faster than you can say "xyzzy".

Best hope for someone who just doesn't have the logical mind to learn
programming (I am a firm believer in the "programming as an art form"
rather than "... as a skill" theory), but who loves playing IF and
wants to write their own games, is find an experienced programmer to
code your ideas. You write the game, let the programmer code it.

No software is going to replace the need for a programmer, though.
For one thing, it would take a programmer to write it, and lets face
it. Why would we write ourselves out of a job? :)

knight37

Equiprawn

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
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Hi,

> Back to the idea ... I agree, good graphics. Looked like Equiprawn
> is probably a competent web page designer. Or maybe he does interfaces
> for a software firm. If not, you might consider thinking about it.

Thanks for the compliment! I'm not a web designer, and I don't even work for
anybody - I'll be finishing what American's call high-school this summer (I
live in Ireland, here we call it secondary-school). I have been thinking
about a career in computer graphics, maybe for games, TV or film. Failing
that, interface and webpage design doesn't sound like too bad an idea.

> I think the basic idea though, is flawed. I do not think this will

(snip)


> it. Why would we write ourselves out of a job? :)

You raise some good points. Though I think that along with all the crappy,
shallow IF, you would also see a rise in the level of great IF, as truly
creative people who can't deal with the programming get an alternitive way
to express themselves. You said yourself that GUIs are suited to CADand art
programmes, and personally I think of IF programmes like Inform and TADS as
creative tools, for creating worlds.

Anyway, just throwing the ideas out to simmer in people's brains...

Equiprawn

William Adderholdt

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
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In article <FyPY2.1034$QC4....@news.flash.net>,

Knight37 <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> wrote:
>I think the basic idea though, is flawed. I do not think this will
>tend to save programmers of IF any time, really. The tool will
>either be too simple to do anything useful, or so difficult to
>master, you might as well just learn the language and get a text
>editor. And I don't even think it will save much time on coding
>out a rough sketch of the map. I think a good set of macros in your
>text editor is better for this.
>
>One thing I will never agree with is that the GUI is a more efficient
>form of interface than a text-only command-oriented interface. I know
>I used to get a LOT more done faster when I used 4DOS. GUIs do give
>the impression of having an easier learning curve, which is
>debatable, and they do seem to have a nicer appearance, if that's at
>all important in business apps or programmer apps. I can see a real
>advantage to it in graphics apps (CAD, art progs), and there is a
>definite advantage for the internet (more interesting), and games.

I absolutely agree with you about this. A personal anecdote:

When I was taking computer "science" courses at college, I would debug all
the source code that I wrote on Solaris with a program called "dbx." It
had a very simple CLI (command line interface) with an intuitive syntax.
For example, to run a program, one types "run." To put a breakpoint at
line 25, one types "break at 25." To show the value of variable "foo"
whenever line 30 is executed, one types "trace foo at 30." It was very
easy to use, and it got me out of all sorts of programming jams. (My
fellow students rarely used it, though. They must have been scared away by
the interface.)

However, Sun -- the authors of Solaris -- apparently weren't too happy with
dbx. The CLI was just too, I don't know, FORTRAN66-ish for them. So they
programmed a GUI front-end to dbx, called "Sun Powertools" or something.
(I forget the name.) When I found it had been installed, I was excited and
tried it out right away, expecting it to be dbx on steroids. Instead, it
was more like dbx on crutches.

All the simple commands had been replaced by cryptic icons, with no clue
what icon corresponded to what command. (What would you expect an icon of
a hammer to do in a debugging environment, for instance?) I had to study
the manual to relearn debugging from scratch, in effect translating dbx
commands in my mind into the cryptic icons so the program could translate
my mouse clicks into dbx commands. (It even showed the dbx window while
it was doing this, making it even more annoying.) I gave up on it pretty
quickly.

The folks at Sun had obviously put a lot of time into this program,
however. What on earth for? It did nothing that dbx couldn't do, and it
was much more complex. My guess is that they were thinking about
those fellow students of mine who were afraid of the CLI. The GUI is
certainly less intimidating. But the shame of it is that GUI's have an
undeserved reputation for being easier than a CLI. Often they aren't,
especially when it comes to programming and debugging.

So where does this reputation come from? My guess is that the new
generation of computer users are starting out on GUI's and that CLI's are
simply unfamiliar to them. If people would just spend time using CLI's,
they would find that for some applications it's the best possible
interface.

Writing IF, for example.

William Adderholdt
(written with vi, posted with trn)

Andrew Plotkin

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
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William Adderholdt (wadd...@gte.net) wrote:
> When I found it had been installed, I was excited and
> tried it out right away, expecting it to be dbx on steroids. Instead, it
> was more like dbx on crutches.
>
> All the simple commands had been replaced by cryptic icons, with no clue
> what icon corresponded to what command. (What would you expect an icon of
> a hammer to do in a debugging environment, for instance?)

This is a long and ongoing debate, which I have no great desire to be
involved in again.

However, I will add a single observation: what you are describing is a
very badly designed GUI.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Dylan Thurston

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
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fra...@sinopsis.com writes:

> (I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
> (just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
> goes vegetarian)

Just to head violently off topic... In fact, there would be more food
for everyone if everyone went vegetarian. All the land currently used
to grow food for meat animals could be used to grow food for people,
instead, and more efficiently.

We now return you to your regular discussion.

--Dylan Thurston
thur...@math.unige.ch

fra...@sinopsis.com

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
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paene lacrimavi postquam "Knight37" <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> scripsit:

>> (I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
>> (just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
>> goes vegetarian)
>

>Well you see, men are omnivores, not herbivores, so I doubt your
>theory of the world going vegetarian eventually is correct.

I'm not an omnivore. And what do women eat, by the way?

And it wasn't a theory, it was an illustration. So there.

>Anyway, way off topic.

Yeah, that. Topic stuff.

[ Basic idea flawed stuff deleted ]

I dunno ... it's really hard to predict without trying it, and to my
knowledge nobody's been able to try it. Mind you, I'm an Emacs/xterm
programmer so I'm not the person to ask.

The key would be to write a mapping program that was as easy to use
as a pencil and paper. And that's hard; for example I've never seen
a UML GUI that worked for me.

Fraser.
(if people are omnivores, why do vegetarians live longer?)

fra...@sinopsis.com

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
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paene lacrimavi postquam erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) scripsit:

>William Adderholdt (wadd...@gte.net) wrote:

>> All the simple commands had been replaced by cryptic icons, with no clue
>> what icon corresponded to what command. (What would you expect an icon of
>> a hammer to do in a debugging environment, for instance?)

>This is a long and ongoing debate, which I have no great desire to be
>involved in again.

Well, OK, but some of us are really interested in what the darn hammer
does. You could at least summarise what has gone before.

Fraser.
(I think it's there so you can press it repeatedly and pretend it's a real one)

fra...@sinopsis.com

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
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paene lacrimavi postquam Dylan Thurston <thur...@math.unige.ch> scripsit:

>Just to head violently off topic... In fact, there would be more food
>for everyone if everyone went vegetarian. All the land currently used
>to grow food for meat animals could be used to grow food for people,
>instead, and more efficiently.

Well, yeah, but the point is that there's already enough food to feed
everybody, it just doesn't get distributed. Doubling the amount of
food available (or, depending on your calculations, increasing it by
twenty fold) will only lead to larger warehouses.

On the other hand, it would fix a bunch of other problems. No more
advertising from McDonalds, for example.

Fraser.
(we still have to work out how to stop the Coke ads though)

Andrew Plotkin

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
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fra...@sinopsis.com wrote:
> paene lacrimavi postquam erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) scripsit:

> >William Adderholdt (wadd...@gte.net) wrote:

> >> All the simple commands had been replaced by cryptic icons, with no clue
> >> what icon corresponded to what command. (What would you expect an icon of
> >> a hammer to do in a debugging environment, for instance?)

> >This is a long and ongoing debate, which I have no great desire to be
> >involved in again.

> Well, OK, but some of us are really interested in what the darn hammer
> does. You could at least summarise what has gone before.

Go to any Mac newsgroup and post "GUIs suck." Alternatively, go to any
Linux newsgroup and post "GUIs rock."

The friendly Usenet denizens will then be happy to explain the entire
debate for you, including careful outlines of both points of view.

J. Robinson Wheeler

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
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Dylan Thurston wrote:

>
> fra...@sinopsis.com writes:
>
> > (I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
> > (just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
> > goes vegetarian)
>
> Just to head violently off topic... In fact, there would be more food
> for everyone if everyone went vegetarian. All the land currently used
> to grow food for meat animals could be used to grow food for people,
> instead, and more efficiently.


I still don't see myself being fed properly, because I'm allergic
to the staple vegetables of the vegetarian diets -- the ones that
provide protein, for example. Maybe I could be issued a special
coupon to get a tiny allotment of barbaric food animal meat every
so often.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Knight37

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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<fra...@sinopsis.com> wrote

> >> (I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
> >> (just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
> >> goes vegetarian)
> >

> >Well you see, men are omnivores, not herbivores, so I doubt your
> >theory of the world going vegetarian eventually is correct.
>
> I'm not an omnivore. And what do women eat, by the way?

lol... I knew that would get a rise out of someone. :)

As to what women eat, that's kind of hard to figure out, like anything
related to women. :)

> [ Basic idea flawed stuff deleted ]
>
> I dunno ... it's really hard to predict without trying it, and to my
> knowledge nobody's been able to try it. Mind you, I'm an Emacs/xterm
> programmer so I'm not the person to ask.
>
> The key would be to write a mapping program that was as easy to use
> as a pencil and paper. And that's hard; for example I've never seen
> a UML GUI that worked for me.

I guess my main point is that mapping is not the biggest time sink of
writing a work of IF. That's the easy part. After you've spent all of
20 minutes drawing the map, then you've got to write good text to
describe it (which no GUI can write for you), and write up the objects
that go in those rooms, and the behavior of the objects in relation
to each other and the rooms, and the NPCs that work with the objects
in the rooms, and so on... how do you code that in a GUI?

knight37


Knight37

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message

> I still don't see myself being fed properly, because I'm allergic
> to the staple vegetables of the vegetarian diets -- the ones that
> provide protein, for example. Maybe I could be issued a special
> coupon to get a tiny allotment of barbaric food animal meat every
> so often.

Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)

knight37

Adam J. Thornton

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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In article <wEOZ2.1066$A7....@news.flash.net>,

On that note, I'd like to point out:

"Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats."

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"There's no prayer like desire / There's amnesia in her kiss" - Tom Waits

Matthew T. Russotto

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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In article <7h8dtn$ebr$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>,

Adam J. Thornton <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:
}In article <wEOZ2.1066$A7....@news.flash.net>,
}Knight37 <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> wrote:
}>J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message
}>> I still don't see myself being fed properly, because I'm allergic
}>> to the staple vegetables of the vegetarian diets -- the ones that
}>> provide protein, for example. Maybe I could be issued a special
}>> coupon to get a tiny allotment of barbaric food animal meat every
}>> so often.
}>Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)
}
}On that note, I'd like to point out:
}
}"Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats."

Also they make a nice garnish.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Larry Smith

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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Dylan Thurston wrote:

> fra...@sinopsis.com writes:

> > (I agree that farming animals for food is barbaric though)
> > (just don't expect everybody to be fed properly when when the world
> > goes vegetarian)

> Just to head violently off topic... In fact, there would be more food


> for everyone if everyone went vegetarian. All the land currently used
> to grow food for meat animals could be used to grow food for people,
> instead, and more efficiently.

Sigh. Everyone's an economics expert. Take animals out
of the equation and the price of vegetable food drops
through the floor making it uneconomical to transport
it. Net result: lots of food some places, not enough
food in other places. People in other places starve.
Same economics as what we have today, at a lower price
point. fraser is quite right.

--
.-. .-. .---. .---. .-..-. | Never, ever underestimate
| |__ / | \| |-< | |-< > / | the power of stupid people
`----'`-^-'`-'`-'`-'`-' `-' | in large groups.
My opinions only. |

Matthew T. Russotto

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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In article <anson-11059...@ma-gnaps112.efortress.com>,
Anson Turner <anson@DELETE_THISpobox.com> wrote:
}russ...@wanda.vf.pond.com (Matthew T. Russotto) wrote:
}
}[Other attributions omitted to protect the callous and ignorant.]
}:}>> I still don't see myself being fed properly, because I'm allergic

}:}>> to the staple vegetables of the vegetarian diets -- the ones that
}:}>> provide protein, for example. Maybe I could be issued a special
}:}>> coupon to get a tiny allotment of barbaric food animal meat every
}:}>> so often.
}
}I'm sure we can find you a protein source. Burial and cremation are so
}wasteful, don't you think?
}
}(Almost every food provides protein, BTW.)

True, but there's a few essential amino acids which are not found in
most vegetables; kwashiorkor and other nasty conditions result from
their absence. Soy protein is the usual answer to this; however some
people are allergic to soy.

}:}>Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)
}
}Well, we do taste better.

Better than what? If you mean better than meat-eaters, I'd consider
that a disadvantage. If you mean better than vegetables, I'd have to
plead ignorance.

}:}On that note, I'd like to point out:


}:}
}:}"Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats."
}

}I'm writing to the editors of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations right
}now and demanding that this wisdom be preserved for future generations.
}
}
}:Also they make a nice garnish.
}
}The mental image I am building of Mr. Russotto is that of someone who
}subsists on the animals he runs over in his car while ignoring posted
}speed limits.

Perhaps your mental image is skewed by the fact that you can't keep
attributions straight. My sole contribution to this thread until this
message was the line "Also they [vegetables] make a nice garnish".

My car is not big enough to kill any animals worth eating. It can
mash a mean potato, though, assuming you don't mind a bit of grit...

William Adderholdt

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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In article <anson-11059...@ma-gnaps112.efortress.com>,
Anson Turner <anson@DELETE_THISpobox.com> wrote:
>:}On that note, I'd like to point out:
>:}
>:}"Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats."
>
>I'm writing to the editors of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations right
>now and demanding that this wisdom be preserved for future generations.

Don't worry, it already has been -- in the UNIX fortune file:

Vegetables are what food eats.

Fruit are vegetables that fool you by tasting good.
Fish are fast moving vegetables.
Mushrooms are what grows on vegetables when food's done with them.
-- Meat Eater's Credo, according to Jim Williams

William Adderholdt

fra...@sinopsis.com

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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paene lacrimavi postquam erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) scripsit:

>fra...@sinopsis.com wrote:

>> Well, OK, but some of us are really interested in what the darn hammer
>> does. You could at least summarise what has gone before.

>Go to any Mac newsgroup and post "GUIs suck." Alternatively, go to any
>Linux newsgroup and post "GUIs rock."

Perhaps I should rephrase what I said. I've done the GUI debates
myself, from the early "Real Men don't need a mouse" through "Hey,
three buttons, cool" and I even worked as a Windows programmer
for a while (but I'm better now -- got me Emacs, got me xterm, life
is good).

I've just never, ever seen a hammer in a GUI debugger, and I really
want to know what the hell it does. I can't sleep at night. Although
at least I know it's a hammer; the "copy" icon mystified me for about
ten years -- I knew what it did, I just didn't know what the picture
was. I'm pretty sure it's a clipboard now.

Fraser.
(if I had a hammer ... I'd hammer on the topic ...)

Andrew Plotkin

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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Anson Turner (anson@DELETE_THISpobox.com) wrote:
> :}:}>Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)

> :}
> :}Well, we do taste better.
> :
> :Better than what? If you mean better than meat-eaters, I'd consider
> :that a disadvantage.
>
> How puritanical.

Practical, I should think. Tasting bad to predators is a well-known
defense strategy.

I prefer mimicry. A bit of orange face paint, some black eyeliner, and
presto -- I look just like the foul-tasting monarch butterfly!

No bird has successfully eaten me, so it must be working.

fra...@sinopsis.com

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May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
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paene lacrimavi postquam erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) scripsit:

>I prefer mimicry. A bit of orange face paint, some black eyeliner, and


>presto -- I look just like the foul-tasting monarch butterfly!

More like Simon le Bon I should think. Either way, you're probably
safe from most predators.

Fraser.
(groupies excepted, of course)

Knight37

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May 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/12/99
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Matthew T. Russotto <russ...@wanda.vf.pond.com> wrote

> }:}>Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)
> }
> }Well, we do taste better.
>
> Better than what? If you mean better than meat-eaters, I'd consider

> that a disadvantage. If you mean better than vegetables, I'd have to
> plead ignorance.

So, you haven't tried vegetables before? ;P

I know, I know. You stick with vegetarians. I can't blame you. :)

knight37

Iain Merrick

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May 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/12/99
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Andrew Plotkin wrote:
[...]

> I prefer mimicry. A bit of orange face paint, some black eyeliner, and
> presto -- I look just like the foul-tasting monarch butterfly!
>
> No bird has successfully eaten me, so it must be working.

That could be good or bad. Er, depending what you mean by 'bird'.

Larry Smith

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May 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/12/99
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Knight37 wrote:

> J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message

> > I still don't see myself being fed properly, because I'm allergic


> > to the staple vegetables of the vegetarian diets -- the ones that
> > provide protein, for example. Maybe I could be issued a special
> > coupon to get a tiny allotment of barbaric food animal meat every
> > so often.
>

> Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)

Lends a whole new meaning to the phrase "What's
eating you?"

William Adderholdt

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May 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/12/99
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In article <92645320...@news.remarQ.com>, <fra...@sinopsis.com>
wrote:

>I've just never, ever seen a hammer in a GUI debugger, and I really
>want to know what the hell it does. I can't sleep at night. Although
>at least I know it's a hammer; the "copy" icon mystified me for about
>ten years -- I knew what it did, I just didn't know what the picture
>was. I'm pretty sure it's a clipboard now.

(Hmm. I guess this question is for me. I'd hate to think someone was
losing sleep waiting for my answer!)

I can't remember exactly what it did, and I don't have access to my
Solaris account right now to check (except via telnet--not too useful). I
think it had something to do with "break"points. UNIX programmers seem to
really like awful puns, you know.

All I can remember for certain is that when you hit it, a window opened
that you did something else in. It was one of those programs that assumed
you liked to have a dozen windows open at once. Unfortunately, in the
computer lab we only had 14" screens, and the programmers must have had
21", so one would spend half one's time just juggling the windows to find
out what was going on. But I think I'd better save the rest of the rant
for a more appropriate newsgroup...

(I had also better get out of the habit of reading comp.os.linux.advocacy
right before I read this group.)

William Adderholdt

--
How do I type "for i in *.dvi do xdvi i done" in a GUI?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of interfaces.)

Doeadeer3

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May 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/13/99
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>Subject: Re: ATTENTION: Programmers...
>From: russ...@wanda.vf.pond.com (Matthew T. Russotto)
>Date: 5/11/99 5:18 AM Pacific Standard Time

>In article <7h8dtn$ebr$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>,
>Adam J. Thornton <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:
>}In article <wEOZ2.1066$A7....@news.flash.net>,

>}Knight37 <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> wrote:
>}>J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message
>}>> I still don't see myself being fed properly, because I'm allergic
>}>> to the staple vegetables of the vegetarian diets -- the ones that
>}>> provide protein, for example. Maybe I could be issued a special
>}>> coupon to get a tiny allotment of barbaric food animal meat every
>}>> so often.
>}>Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)
>}

>}On that note, I'd like to point out:
>}
>}"Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats."
>

>Also they make a nice garnish.

Cream cheese, anyone?

"Call any vegetable and it will respond to you..."

Thus dating myself completely.

Doe :-)

(Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa's original group)


-----------------------------
doea...@aol.com
The Doepage - http://members.aol.com/doepage/index.htm
IF Art Gallery - http://members.aol.com/iffyart/gallery.htm
"I can live for two months on a good compliment." Mark Twain

Jon Petersen

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May 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/14/99
to
Doeadeer3 wrote:
>
> Thus dating myself completely.

I dated myself for a while, but I started getting hairy palms.

Jon

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
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"Knight37" <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> wrote:

> Back to the idea ... I agree, good graphics.

I wouldn't know. His attachment method didn't work on this end.

> I think the basic idea though, is flawed. I do not think this will
> tend to save programmers of IF any time, really. The tool will
> either be too simple to do anything useful, or so difficult to
> master, you might as well just learn the language and get a text
> editor.

I say this about HTML editors, but people disagree, and I know
someone who uses them regularly.

> And I don't even think it will save much time on coding
> out a rough sketch of the map. I think a good set of macros in your
> text editor is better for this.

This assumes you have a macro-capable text editor. Sure, there are
dozens of free ones available for download, but it's amazing how many
people have never heard of such a thing.

> One thing I will never agree with is that the GUI is a more efficient
> form of interface than a text-only command-oriented interface. I know
> I used to get a LOT more done faster when I used 4DOS.

I don't doubt it.

> GUIs do give
> the impression of having an easier learning curve, which is
> debatable,

The *beginning* of their learning curve is easier. You can learn 75%
of the system in twenty minutes. Of course, you then spend the next
ten years learning the next 20%, and you probably NEVER know more
than 95% of the system no matter how many decades you spend with it.
With a command-line interface you spend weeks getting up to the 50%
mark, but after two years you're probably around 95% or more already.


> and they do seem to have a nicer appearance, if that's at
> all important in business apps or programmer apps. I can see a real
> advantage to it in graphics apps (CAD, art progs), and there is a
> definite advantage for the internet (more interesting), and games.

Sure, but in all of these cases it makes no difference whether the OS
is a GUI or not. The app can be graphical with or without the OS.
And don't feed me the line about the OS providing the graphics so the
app doesn't have to and thus saving space. Windows apps are ALWAYS
larger than DOS apps that do exactly the same thing.

> I don't really think this type of program will encourage new authors
> to write good IF. I think we'll end up with a lot of really crappy,
> shallow games that most of the IF community will ignore. The only way
> for a potential IF author to become one is to sit down and learn the
> language, and then keep working on the game diligently until done.
> There is no "silver bullet" or "magic wand" that will write the code
> for you faster than you can say "xyzzy".

Sure there is, but it's AI-complete.

> No software is going to replace the need for a programmer, though.
> For one thing, it would take a programmer to write it, and lets face


> it. Why would we write ourselves out of a job? :)

What if the programmer *is* a piece of software?


-- jonadab

Username in email address is dyslexic; correct to jonadab

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
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"Knight37" <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> wrote:

> Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)

I know that's not funny, but I'm laughing like crazy anyhow.

Seriously, complete vegetarianism is one extreme and the typical
American diet is right nearly the opposite extreme, and the answer is
somewhere in between.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
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anson@DELETE_THISpobox.com (Anson Turner) wrote:

> :My car is not big enough to kill any animals worth eating. It can


> :mash a mean potato, though, assuming you don't mind a bit of grit...

Oh, so you're a vegetarian too?

> I am perfectly capable of keeping attributions straight, but in this case
> there hardly seemed any point. My car reference is partly derived from
> your website <http://www.pond.com/~russotto/>, where you indicate your
> deep-seated contempt for automotive safety. I'm sorry if I'm going too
> fast for you, no pun intended.

Just to take this as far as possible off-topic, is there anyone else
out there who thinks it should be illegal to drive a motor vehicle
any distance shorter than six blocks?

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
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Larry Smith <l...@zk3.dec.com> wrote:

> Sigh. Everyone's an economics expert.

What it basically amounts to is that there's plenty of food, it's
just in the wrong places. Enough food is thrown away in the U.S. to
feed all the starving people in Asia, I'm quite sure. Far, far more
food is thrown away here than is eaten. Far more. And on average we
eat far too much, too.

Why we don't just ship it over to them is left as an exercise to the
reader.

Matthew T. Russotto

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
to
In article <3754f4c9...@news.bright.net>,

Jonadab the Unsightly One <bad...@bright.net> wrote:

}Just to take this as far as possible off-topic, is there anyone else
}out there who thinks it should be illegal to drive a motor vehicle
}any distance shorter than six blocks?

Would that be six New York City blocks, six Philadelphia blocks, six
Chicago blocks, what? Are you going to move that truckload of dirt one
block with your hand truck? Why don't you go and start proposing laws
to require licensing of programmers or something else of up your
fascist alley, rather than trying to re-start a flame war here?

White Knight

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
to

Jonadab the Unsightly One <bad...@bright.net> wrote

Re: GUI vs. Text


> > and they do seem to have a nicer appearance, if that's at
> > all important in business apps or programmer apps. I can see a real
> > advantage to it in graphics apps (CAD, art progs), and there is a
> > definite advantage for the internet (more interesting), and games.
>
> Sure, but in all of these cases it makes no difference whether the OS
> is a GUI or not. The app can be graphical with or without the OS.
> And don't feed me the line about the OS providing the graphics so the
> app doesn't have to and thus saving space. Windows apps are ALWAYS
> larger than DOS apps that do exactly the same thing.

Size isn't the main issue; ease of coding is. The programmers don't have
to rewrite the GUI every time they write a new graphical application.
And the experience level required to program the application itself is
seperated from the experience level required to code a GUI. Look how
many more IF games are out now that there are good tools that make
"novice" programmers capable of turning out IF. If everyone who wrote IF
had to start from scratch with parsers, no library, etc. there would be
a lot less IF writers and a lot less IF.

Plus the users of GUI's get the benefit of a (somewhat) consistant
look-n-feelie. :)

> > There is no "silver bullet" or "magic wand" that will write the code
> > for you faster than you can say "xyzzy".
>
> Sure there is, but it's AI-complete.

Heh. I'm wondering if this is even *theoretically* possible. :)

> > No software is going to replace the need for a programmer, though.
> > For one thing, it would take a programmer to write it, and lets face
> > it. Why would we write ourselves out of a job? :)
>
> What if the programmer *is* a piece of software?

I was talking about Physical Reality 1.0 release 990501 (or thereabouts).
Not an upcomming plot for Terminator 3. :)

knight37


David Glasser

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
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Jonadab the Unsightly One <bad...@bright.net> wrote:

> Larry Smith <l...@zk3.dec.com> wrote:
>
> > Sigh. Everyone's an economics expert.
>
> What it basically amounts to is that there's plenty of food, it's
> just in the wrong places. Enough food is thrown away in the U.S. to
> feed all the starving people in Asia, I'm quite sure. Far, far more
> food is thrown away here than is eaten. Far more. And on average we
> eat far too much, too.

Uh, yeah. That's exactly what he said a few lines later. It's so
helpful to reply to a three-week-old message and add NO NEW CONTENT
WHATSOEVER.

--
David Glasser: gla...@iname.com | http://www.uscom.com/~glasser/
DGlasser@ifMUD:orange.res.cmu.edu 4001 | raif FAQ http://come.to/raiffaq
'No, GLK is spelled "G L K". What is this Java you speak of?'
--Joe.Mason on that portable thing on rec.arts.int-fiction

(Though I did see that your post in that month-old thread about
specifying initial location answered it correctly, unlike me. That's
fine.)

Adam J. Thornton

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Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
to
In article <3754f2dc...@news.bright.net>,

Jonadab the Unsightly One <bad...@bright.net> wrote:
>"Knight37" <knig...@flash.SPAMBLOCKA.net> wrote:
>> Nah. Just eat a vegetarian. :)
>Seriously, complete vegetarianism is one extreme and the typical
>American diet is right nearly the opposite extreme, and the answer is
>somewhere in between.

The typical American diet is hardly the other extreme.

Most of my friends eat pretty normal diets, and they look at me funny when
I assert that a) chicken is a vegetable, and b) vegetables are not food,
vegetables are what food eats.

Henry VIII was one of the last public figures to eat a diet that was
banging up against that extreme. And look what happened to him.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

Joe Mason

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Jun 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/3/99
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White Knight <knig...@flash.NOSPAM.net> wrote:
>> Sure, but in all of these cases it makes no difference whether the OS
>> is a GUI or not. The app can be graphical with or without the OS.
>> And don't feed me the line about the OS providing the graphics so the
>> app doesn't have to and thus saving space. Windows apps are ALWAYS
>> larger than DOS apps that do exactly the same thing.
>
>Size isn't the main issue; ease of coding is. The programmers don't have
>to rewrite the GUI every time they write a new graphical application.

That still doesn't mean the OS has to be a GUI - all you need is a common
toolkit. There were windowing toolkits available for DOS (I cut my teeth
on Borland Turbo Vision) and there are multi-OS toolkits of varying
capability (Glk, Qt).

Joe
--
"Think hard and long about what your favorite book is. Once identified, read
it a paragraph at a time. Then after having read the paragraph, read each
sentence. See the way the sentences interrelate. Then, read the words..."
-- Mike Berlyn, on learning to write

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

> White Knight <knig...@flash.NOSPAM.net> wrote:
> >Size isn't the main issue; ease of coding is. The programmers don't have
> >to rewrite the GUI every time they write a new graphical application.
>
> That still doesn't mean the OS has to be a GUI - all you need is a common
> toolkit.

Precisely.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:

> The typical American diet is hardly the other extreme.

Well, typical varies, but I'm guessing 50% of the population of this
city in which I sit eats fast food at least every day. (And don't
tell me fast food restaurants have salads unless you know the
percentage of orders that consist primarily of salad.) Further, if
you go to the grocery and watch the checkout lines you will see a lot
more boxes of junk food than you will bags of produce. A lot more.

> Most of my friends eat pretty normal diets, and they look at me funny when
> I assert that a) chicken is a vegetable, and b) vegetables are not food,
> vegetables are what food eats.

Well, there's extreme and then there's the extreme of extremes... I
knew a guy once who claimed Twinkies qualified as a vegitable. I
don't remember what reasoning he gave for this.

Al Staff

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
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<<<<Well, there's extreme and then there's the extreme of extremes... I knew a
guy once who claimed Twinkies qualified as a vegitable. I don't remember what
reasoning he gave for this.>>>>


Banana cream filling maybe?
Al Staffieri Jr.

AlS...@aol.com
http://members.aol.com/AlStaff/index.html

Knight37

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Jun 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/6/99
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Joe Mason <jcm...@uwaterloo.ca> wrote

> White Knight <knig...@flash.NOSPAM.net> wrote:
> >> Sure, but in all of these cases it makes no difference whether the OS
> >> is a GUI or not. The app can be graphical with or without the OS.
> >> And don't feed me the line about the OS providing the graphics so the
> >> app doesn't have to and thus saving space. Windows apps are ALWAYS
> >> larger than DOS apps that do exactly the same thing.
> >

> >Size isn't the main issue; ease of coding is. The programmers don't have
> >to rewrite the GUI every time they write a new graphical application.
>
> That still doesn't mean the OS has to be a GUI - all you need is a common

> toolkit. There were windowing toolkits available for DOS (I cut my teeth
> on Borland Turbo Vision) and there are multi-OS toolkits of varying
> capability (Glk, Qt).

True, there didn't have to be a GUI to have a consistent toolkit, but what
did DOS offer in the way of API? Almost nothing. So then you've got to go
to a third party, but there's a lot of competing vendors, so who to pick?

Well, we picked. We picked GUI over text. We picked Windows. Some people
didn't pick that. They lost. Not in the sense that they can't do it if they
want to. They lost in the sense that whatever they picked isn't a standard.
The winners got Windows. Not that Windows is that great, mind you, but
Windows is what people got. I was holding out for OS/2 myself. :)

Of course, this is from a Intel-based PC standpoint, not a universal
computing standpoint.

The fact that now nearly any PC you buy is a GUI, and most of those are
Windows 98, there is a strong incentive for programmers to code for that
environment. After all, if your goal is to make money selling software,
picking a platform that has the most customers is your best option.

knight37


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