[Its.an.education.project] An OLPC Development Model

Alan Kay alan.nemo at yahoo.com
Fri May 9 21:57:27 EDT 2008

We are now several dimensions off topic ...



----- Original Message ----
From: Carl-Daniel Hailfinger <c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net>
To: Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>
Cc: Education <its.an.education.project at tema.lo-res.org>; OLPC Devel <devel at laptop.org>
Sent: Friday, May 9, 2008 4:59:04 PM
Subject: Re: [Its.an.education.project] An OLPC Development Model

On 10.05.2008 00:13, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> On 09.05.2008, at 20:31, david at lang.hm wrote:
>> Bert,
>>  if you try and say that the entire world is wrong in how it writes  
>> software,
> Actually, that's exactly what I think, and "entire world" includes  
> yours truly ;)
> But this isn't the place to talk about that (if you're curious, visit  
> VPRI [*]).
> No, it's not foremost about how the software is written, but about how  
> it is presented to the user. Unfortunately, interface design is much  
> harder than just writing software.

The VPRI stuff is scary because it proposes the equivalent of using
assembler code to speed up C programs. Performing model checking against
one piece of code, then replacing that piece of code with another one
for speed reasons in production is really a horrible plan. It also makes
it obvious that the mathematically correct code is expected to be
unusably slow.

> [...]
> For example, the fastest way for me to retrieve a file is typing it in  
> the system-wide search box on my machine, or into google. It doesn't  
> matter where in the file system hierarchy or on which server it is  
> stored. That is pretty much what the Journal would do, too. Also, the  
> Journal will allow tagging, which is equivalent (but more powerful) to  
> a directory hierarchy. Etc.

Actually, tags are just the equivalence of file names and they are more
efficient to use than simple searches. If you know exactly what you want
and where to find it, searching for it is one of the worst choices
possible besides random walking and active avoidance. With
Mozilla/Firefox/Seamonkey, typing in the first few letters of the URL
takes you faster to an often-used site (due to autocompletion) than
using any search engine. In real life, searching is a last resort if
direct access is impossible. If you keep your bike at a fixed location
you can remember among other bikes in a bike shed, you walk straight to
your bike and don't search for it.

> [*] see http://vpri.org/html/work/ifnct.htm

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