Open letter to Gostev

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Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby rawtaz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:54 am 2 people like this post

Hello,

This is a somewhat off topic, but since I didn't find any other forum to post it in, and replying directly to Gostev wouldn't be much of a discussion (it'd probably end up in his trash), I'm posting it here. Either way, it's about the forum digest, so what better place would there be.

I've been using Veeam Backup & Replication for many years now, and in summary it's been nothing but great. I've recommended the product to other users, both currently in the industry using competitor products, and new users entering the virtualization business. I haven't been on this forum for a few years now since I've simply had other things to do, and my Veeam stuff just works. In short, this is not a post from a disgruntled customer/user.

Getting to the point, I'm also a mostly happy reader of Gostev's "Veeam Community Forum Digests", reading all of them every time they arrive. While they're named Community Forum Digests, one could think they're just about what happens in the forum, but this isn't the case. Gostev usually covers a bit from the forum, but also a bunch of things happening in the industry, usually a nice pick of things to know about. So it's a bit off topic too, to be fair, but usually in a good way.

However; Over the last six to twelve months, possibly more, there's something going on in these digests that I've noticed and reacted on but didn't do much about because heck, you can't make a fuzz of everything in this world. But lately, this has in my opinion escalated to a level where I think it is simply unfair and no longer factual, but rather spreading FUD. And when this happens, I find it sad, because I think well of Gostev and he's in a position that I think should stick more to facts than unreasonable opinions, if I may call them that.

So what's the thing? The thing is that, even though Veeam is very actively working interoperating with Linux and has supported e.g. Linux hosts as repositories for a long time (which I use and am very happy with, by the way), there's more and more negative and now lately plain incorrect stuff being written about Linux and/or the open source community and products in Gostev's digests. I think that's not fair.

In the last digest, Gostev wrote the following in reference to https://stackoverflow.blog/2017/05/23/stack-overflow-helping-one-million-developers-exit-vim/ (which was a great fun read!):

Can you imagine the real magnitude of the issue considering that Stack Overflow is a developer-only community? And we're talking the default text editor in most *nix systems. This issue actually says it all about that mythical "community that will come and fix everything, thanks to the source code available". No, this will never happen for one simple reason – no one in that community cares about the user experience.

I'd be happy if Gostev could publically correct some of that, because:

  • Really, I've been in both the open source community and the opposite for many many years, and I have yet to hear anyone seriously suggesting that the OSS community thinks of itself as some kind of savior in the sense you suggest. If anyone gave you such an idea, it's most likely none of the actually serious contributors to open source, but rather some FUD you heard. Don't put the blame for that on the open source community.
  • The value of source code being available is something I won't comment on, because this is probably one of the things where there's differing opinions. I know I see a big benefit in that compared to when you have no idea what the source code in the software you run is, but that's an endless discussion for some reason.
  • This is the main problem in this digest: "No, this will never happen for one simple reason – no one in that community cares about the user experience." - What on earth are you talking about here? Who are you to suggest that noone in the open source community cares about user experience? This is a very definitive statement, and it is 100% wrong. Beyond that, it's nothing less than a kick in the balls to anyone working very hard, often in their spare time, to contribute to open source projects of various kinds, to make available good alternatives for all of us to use.
Regarding the last point, open source is not just about source code being available. The community around it is about collaborating to reach the best result possible for as many people as possible, be it writing software, replacing closed source and sometimes no longer available software, user interfaces or even just documentation, guides, reviews or what not. The word "source" in "open source" does not necessarily mean "source code", it covers a lot of different types of material.

Saying that noone in that community cares about user experience, that's about as wrong as you can get, and since this is a statement from a person like Gostev and in the position he is in, and in the digest that reaches so many subscribers (I don't have numbers for that, but presume that a lot of people are reading them), it's hard to see a good reason for putting it out there.

I can only assume the reason is ignorance and lack of understanding of the open source community, how it works and operates, or that there's simply business related aspects in the sense that spreading FUD about it will benefit Veeam. Regarding the latter, I do however think more highly of Gostev than to believe this is the case. I believe and hope you Gostev is not the type of person that go around talking down on others like this for no fair reason, especially in this definitive manner.

Hopefully what you wrote was just a bit too exaggerated at the time of writing, and you can confirm that this is not really your opinion about the open source community and all the hard work they do. You know as well as everyone else here that this community has contributed tremendously to software that is used by more or less everyone all over the world. In fact, in this very same digest you mention you had switched to Android for your phone. If the community having contributed to what Android is today hadn't cared about user experience or building a good product, then why would you use it in the first place? Not to mention all of the different libraries and other system components you and/or your company use every day. Or are you only using proprietary closed source products? Hardly possible.

Part of what the open source community build is user experience, and every day I see discussions going on about how to improve the usability and UX of software etc for the user - that is something which is a big big part of building great software, and it's not something only paid UX designers can do.

Finally, VIM. Indeed, a person not knowing how to operate VIM will have a hard time getting out of it IF they actually tried to use it first. If they didn't, they'll just type :quit and press enter and that's it - they're out of it (for reference, at the bottom of this post you can see the helpful entry screen VIM presents you with when you start it). VIM has as you might know a very different approach to how you use it and edit text in it, and this very different way of using it is THE MAIN POINT of it. This is the actual reason people use it, because they find a great great value in it. Personally I have used a lot of editors throughout the years, especially "regular" editors, so I'm well versed in both sides of this discussion.

Since a few years, I use VIM or VIM compatible (in terms of how to operate it) editors instead of regular ones. I'll repeat that; Since a few years, I am INTENTIONALLY using VIM-style editors (and where possible, I configure "regular" editors to use VIM-style editing/navigation), because I have actually taken the time (about a couple of hours) to understand the immense value that getting into this way of editing gives me, and more specifically I have invested the very short amount of time it takes to understand the basics of it. Believe it or not, but it really doesn't take you more than an hour to understand the most relevant parts that will give you way more than an hour in return once you just get to using this editor the right way, and it's pretty logical once you get into it. I dare to bet that most of the people who are bashing VIM in one way or the other, probably including Gostev, have not actually understood what VIM is really about, and why people use it. If they had, they most likely would not contribute to or write things like Gostev wrote in this latest digest.

Regarding "Can you imagine the real magnitude of the issue considering that Stack Overflow is a developer-only community? And we're talking the default text editor in most *nix systems." - there is no actual issue here, at least not with VIM or Linux. I understand a part of this statement is about VIM being the default editor in many operating systems/distributions, but if there's an issue here it's about people trying to use something in a way that it's not intended, rather than the software itself. If a million people would try to fly an airplane like they drive a car, that would indeed be an issue. But the issue isn't with the airplane, the issue is with the people trying to use it in the wrong way. Same thing here - don't suggest that VIM or Linux is the issue at hand, when it's the user trying to use it without understanding how to operate it. Doing so is simply not accurate or fair.

My apologies if this became a lengthy post, but I really think Gostev took things a bit too far this time. Please don't bash a community you apparently are not part of and do not really know how it works. It's a community that is bringing you and most other people out there a lot of value every single day, regardless of it being through some user experience related aspect or just having written code or specifications or improved operability between your devices by having contributed to some protocol they use to communicate. In the future I hope Gostev can stop talking down on Linux, open source and related things, and rather encourage the fact that this is something that is contributing value to us all every single day. Let's just all get along and be friendly and factual instead.

As promised, the VIM entry screen:

Code: Select all
~                                                     VIM - Vi IMproved
~
~                                                      version 7.4.752
~                                                 by Bram Moolenaar et al.
~                                        Vim is open source and freely distributable
~
~                                               Help poor children in Uganda!
~                                      type  :help iccf<Enter>       for information
~
~                                      type  :q<Enter>               to exit
~                                      type  :help<Enter>  or  <F1>  for on-line help
~                                      type  :help version7<Enter>   for version info
rawtaz
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:48 pm

Hi, rawtaz.

Thank you for sharing your opinion, I respect it. I am also sorry if my own opinion made you upset. We all have opinions and it is fine to disagree with each other.

I don't see the need of any corrections to those few sentences because this has been my personal experience during 20+ years in IT. And I strongly believe that with my comment, I am pointing out a valid issue - at least from the perspective of people with the background similar to my. But there's no right or wrong, black or white - because everyone is different. This is my opinion, you may have a different one - and it is fine for us to disagree. Pressing each other to change the opinion is a waste of time, especially when talking about "holy war" type of subjects and between people who have been in IT for decades.

I am also not that evil in this regard as you're picturing me anyway - I do think open source is a great concept, moreover I did personally push to open source the key components of our Agent for Linux - and Veeam did it! But, everything has its pros and cons, and I like to point out both in my digest. And if you've been following my digests for a long time, you know I've been blunt about just about every technology I talk about - not just about Linux and open-source. So, from that perspective, it should be clear that I don't have any special negative bias towards the latter.

Thanks again for taking time to respond!
Anton
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby rawtaz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:29 pm 1 person likes this post

Hi Gostev,

I don't have any problems with others having differing opinions about things, and it should be clear to everyone that I didn't write all that text to portray you in a bad way.

This isn't about differences in opinion, technology or holy wars, this is about not talking down on others in the way you did in your digest and about not doing so without more understanding of the things you bring up.

Do you realize that by standing by what you wrote, you're even saying that your own developers don't give a dime about user experience? Surely that's not the case, unless you have some really lousy developers, which I'm sure you do not.

I guess it's apparent that you will keep fueling that holy war you mentioned with FUD and making invalid statements about entire communities of good people who create some of the things you use on a daily basis. If that's what floats your boat, there's nothing I can do about it. It's just sad that you for whatever reason believe you have to write things like that.

Everyone is free to write stuff in a weekly digest. I just thought I'd chime in when you clearly crossed the line of what's reasonably okay to write in such a definitive way that you did, hoping you'd reconsider.

And if you've been following my digests for a long time, you know I've been blunt about just about every technology I talk about - not just about Linux and open-source. So, from that perspective, it should be clear that I don't have any special negative bias towards the latter.


I have (you write a lot of good things), and being blunt is fine as long as it's within reason. But making those overly exaggerated and obviously wrong statements about communities and the people in them is not right. If it's your opinion then write that instead of making it definitive.

Have a nice day!
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:37 pm 2 people like this post

Thank you! So, can we still be friends then? :D

rawtaz wrote:Do you realize that by standing by what you wrote, you're even saying that your own developers don't give a dime about user experience?

Actually they don't, indeed... which is why this is my and my team's job to ensure. Fact - left on their own, developers will never implement anything they personally don't need. Whether they are Veeam or VIM developers (no pun intended).

I don't think this makes them "lousy" though, at least our developers are actually the best in the world!! They simply have totally different goals to achieve - and that is to release a reliable code that does the job, on time. While every UX feature only delays them from achieving this goal. For example, any heuristics makes the code unreliable, so QC logs a bunch of bugs and this hits the developer back. They hate it. Many other UX features bring no improvement to the system as a whole (the "does the job" part), but requires them to redesign the code that is already working. Having to do this is boring, and makes no sense to them in general. So, why would any developer ever do this on their own?

So, of course they will never implement anything that they personally don't need to make their job simpler (for example, supporting their code). And there's always a lot of negotiations involved for me to put those "unneeded" UX features in. I will admit it gets easier with time, but only because I've been constantly "programming" them into this way of thinking, some for over 10 years now.
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby AlexLeadingEdge » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:33 pm 3 people like this post

I have to agree with Gustav in regards to VIM, from my perspective as a Linux noob with less than 2 years of experience with Linux it is awful, and the first time I played with Linux I wanted to give up because of VIM's seriously crappy interface. If I walk away from Linux for more than a couple of months I struggle with basic commands in VIM, saving and exiting is neither easy nor intuitive, and most of the time I end up closing the Terminal just to make it go away as figuring out how to bring up the command interface isn't obvious. Once I discovered that Gedit and Nano existed I stopped using VIM completely and have never looked back.

What really gets my goat is that Linux Gurus put up VIM as some sort of shining example of Linux. To me it just shows how Linux will never become mainstream desktop material, at least with the current generation of Linux programmers who "don't get it" when it comes to making it accessible to "the rest of us". I would love to see something that rivals Microsoft Windows, I really would, but it just isn't there yet. That isn't to say that Linux programmers are not brilliant programmers, they are, I wish I had their technical knowledge, but programmers (and engineers in general) and the User Experience (UX) guys are usually living on different planets, and even more so with Linux because their are no UX people saying "Hey guys, this isn't very user friendly for people who have never used Linux before" so the programmers keep making stuff that can do cool things, but only if a person has the esoteric knowledge to actually do it.
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby nitramd » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:04 am 4 people like this post

@AlexLeadingEdge, this is the beauty of Linux (or any OS for that matter) pick what you want to use; in your case, it's nano or Gedit. Personally, I use VI/VIM as I've used it for years.
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:24 pm 1 person likes this post

If you want a good user experience outside of Microsoft, don't look at Linux, look at Apple. Oh yeah, the problem is that it only comes with their own hardware...
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby Regnor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:52 pm

AlexLeadingEdge wrote:What really gets my goat is that Linux Gurus put up VIM as some sort of shining example of Linux.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editor_war ;)

@Luca: there are so many different flavours so what lacks Linux what Windows can offer? At least you'll have a choice and don't have to accept everything.
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby sg_sc » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:03 pm 2 people like this post

Well I must agree with rawtaz that the statement that no one in the OSS community cares about the user is false, you can't make that statement since you don't know the whole community. The sentence should probably be adapted to suggest the author feels it like that instead of it being factual. With that adaption in mind it would be fine since it would be how the author feels about something and not facts.

I've read the digests for a long time and I think Gostev does a great job and it's fun and interesting to read. By reading for a long time I've also noticed that Gostev is quite a supporter of Microsoft and Azure in particular and not that much of Linux, which is fine as well.

About VI(M), first time I used it, it was horrible, I then switched to nano. However now I've got used to it, and it's all I use on Linux. It's very powerful and easy once you get the hang of it. So should they change VI(M) because of the first time experience? No they should not in my opinion, either they will learn to use it, or they will use something else.

I make a living on installing, configuring and supporting Microsoft software based solutions at SMB clients. But for my own web servers I use nothing other than Linux. Choose your flavor, mine is CentOS. On my desktop(s) it's Windows all the way. Pick the OS that best suits your style and the task at hand.

I've tried using Apple, but I actually don't like the UI and the fact you can't do everything you want. And if you want to talk about not caring about users, Apple is king imo. Like getting rid of PPTP, i get that OK, but also blocking it while being used as a hotspot, not OK!
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby bc74sj » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:33 pm

He used a Windows phone for years..
Easy to ignore!
I enjoy the Sunday evening posts too but I also see tons of how to guides for mainly new users starting with install Nano.
I'm no developer, but I definitely wouldn't go to stack exchange to learn :wq or :q!
No wonder there is so much crappy software out there!
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby bc74sj » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:26 am

https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comme ... ally_seen/

Made me think of this on 2nd thought.
People search, click.
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby rawtaz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:43 am 1 person likes this post

AlexLeadingEdge wrote:I have to agree with Gustav in regards to VIM, from my perspective as a Linux noob with less than 2 years of experience with Linux it is awful, and the first time I played with Linux I wanted to give up because of VIM's seriously crappy interface. If I walk away from Linux for more than a couple of months I struggle with basic commands in VIM, saving and exiting is neither easy nor intuitive, and most of the time I end up closing the Terminal just to make it go away as figuring out how to bring up the command interface isn't obvious. Once I discovered that Gedit and Nano existed I stopped using VIM completely and have never looked back.

What really gets my goat is that Linux Gurus put up VIM as some sort of shining example of Linux. To me it just shows how Linux will never become mainstream desktop material, at least with the current generation of Linux programmers who "don't get it" when it comes to making it accessible to "the rest of us". I would love to see something that rivals Microsoft Windows, I really would, but it just isn't there yet. That isn't to say that Linux programmers are not brilliant programmers, they are, I wish I had their technical knowledge, but programmers (and engineers in general) and the User Experience (UX) guys are usually living on different planets, and even more so with Linux because their are no UX people saying "Hey guys, this isn't very user friendly for people who have never used Linux before" so the programmers keep making stuff that can do cool things, but only if a person has the esoteric knowledge to actually do it.


Thanks for your input Alex (guessing on the name there). I think though, that you are missing the point I was trying to make, but apparently failed to make.

The problem you are having is not that VIM is "hard" to use. The problem is that you are expecting it to be an editor like Nano or Notepad or whatever similar editor you think is good. I say again; This is not the intention of VIM. The entire point of VIM is that it has a different style of editing than regular editors. It is MEANT to be used differently, and by that it should be OBVIOUS that you cannot use it the "regular" way. If it was made so you edited text just like you do in Notepad, then the keys couldn't work like they do now, and the point of it all would be lost.

If you feel it is a problem that VIM is there by default, then fine, I have nothing to say about that. You're free to easily install other editors if you want, but I can understand that you expect there to be a simple editor there in the first place.

But at the same time; Linux wasn't provided to be a drop-in replacement for e.g. Windows and Notepad. It's designed to be used in a different way than how Windows is designed, and this includes things like VIM too. Noone has said something like "Hey, here's Linux, go ahead and use it, and it will have this amazing simple to use editor". As a user of Linux or in fact any other operating system, you have to understand that it will be different and that you have use it the way it is intended. If the intended way would have been with Notepad instead of VIM, then a lot of value would be lost there, considering what VIM provides (again, it's designed the way it is designed for very good reasons).

So if you blame VIM or Linux for providing you with a bad user experience when you're in VIM, then that's a lot due to your own ignorance. I'm not trying to say that in a bad way, but again; You can't expect a certain experience from a tool that is not designed to provide you with that experience in the first place. If you had to transport some heavy goods by car, and instead of a lorry/truck you got a Ferrari, you'd be pretty darn disappointed in the experience of trying to move the goods with that car. But you cannot blame the car for that. You can only blame yourself for using the wrong tool, or not understanding that the tool you chose was not meant to be used in that way.

If you were to understand what VIM is about, and learn the basics of it enough to see the light, then you'd probably feel very differently about it. But at this point in time, it seems your expectations are not in line with the design and intentions of VIM.

It's the same the other way around; If I were to use Notepad and expected it to be able to do the things VIM can do, I'd be VERY disappointed (because it's nowhere near that - I'd have to type my hands off to do the same amount of work I can do with less typing in VIM - yes, part of it is about ergonomics). But I would only have myself to blame for thinking I could use Notepad the way I use VIM. And I sure couldn't blame Windows for providing an unusable editor, because Notepad wasn't designed to do the things I was expecting it to.

I don't know how this ended up being about VIM so much, I really never intended to be some kind of VIM defender, I don't really care very much about it, I just find it unfortunate when people have these impressions based on wrong presumptions and expectations.

Regarding our SECOND paragraph, there's so much in it that needs commenting, but I'm not sure what to tell you. You seem to be coming from the wrong perspective altogether. For starters, you seem to want Linux to be what Windows is. I can't help but wonder; Why are you even interested in or trying to use Linux, if Windows is what you want? If Linux becomes what Windows is, then what is the point of Linux in the first place? You seem to miss the fact that these are two different things, and that's what they should be. And naturally they might have to be used slightly differently.

I'm not really sure what you're missing in Linux, and even less sure what you mean that the Linux people/developers should "get". Apparently you did find two editors that you think are fine to use, so that part is covered. Then there's the fact that I can install some Linux desktop on my parents' computers and they'd be able to use it just as well as they'd be able to use Windows for macOS - probably because they have less expectations and are more open to learning how it's supposed to be used, whatever it is.

I guess the rest of the problem is that it's too much typing commands in the CLI? Well, guess what, I don't know a single person who even installs a GUI on their servers, as there's no point. We don't need that stuff, so again I'm not sure what problem you're seeing in the first place. There's no need for buttons and a GUI to configure the system, you do that differently in Linux et al. Sure, there's a bunch of commands and you edit configuration files, but that's part of the beauty of it. Nowadays Windows has PowerShell and even some Linux userland integration, but before that, you can't even imagine how much the CLI and the individual tools in Linux were missed on Windows. It's like night and day, but only to those who have been fortunate enough to "get" it ;)

All in all it just seems to me like you're expecting Linux to be designed for something that it isn't. If instead you educated yourself about what it's meant to provide and accept that things are done in a slightly different way, embrazing that, you might start getting some real value out of it instead of just frustration :)

Seriously, Linux and BSD are amongst the most accessible operating systems you can get today. They're completely open source and free for you to use, they're well documented, well maintained, and has tons of free software to go along with it. They run an immense amount of the infrastructure in our industry. How is this not accessible to "the rest of you"? If you think about it, isn't the matter really that you need to let go of the fence and look at it with new eyes, not polluted by expectations from your Windows world? :) I can only speculate.

Thanks for your time and the reply I answered here. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, there's nothing wrong with that!
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:14 am 1 person likes this post

I had debated over contributing to this thread, but I thought it might be interesting to show that Veeam, like most technology companies, is full of diverse opinions across a broad spectrum of technology. I have known Gostev quite a while at this point, it's safe to say that he's one of the main reasons I work for Veeam, but we have very different backgrounds and quite different views on Microsoft vs Open Source, and that's totally OK. :)

As part of that difference of views, I actually think the use of vim as an example of how the open source community doesn't care about the user experience is ironic, as I believe it's exactly the opposite. See, the vi editor has a long history on Unix like systems, existing since the mid-70's. There were many limitations with terminals back in those days, so it was built to use a syntax that allowed for powerful editing, via command line or visual modes, while using commands that were easily entered on any keyboard while keeping your hands close to the home row. It was initially distributed with BSD and eventually most System V based Unix variants as well. As vi was forked to each of the platforms it's development fragmented and slowed, with different Unix variants implementing various features, but none really progressing much. This state existed for 10 years or so, until the early 90s.

In the early 90's vim was released as a re-implemented, open source, extended version of vi. It was stated in this initial release that vim actually stood for "Vi IMitation". It had many enhancement for code editing and, by version 2.0, it's capabilities had exceeded the orginal vi, and it was then changed to say that vim stood for "Vi IMproved". Note that the vast majority of these enhacements were exactly for the user experience, for example a full help system, full tutorial (vimtutor), code syntax highlighting, split windows, and even a GUI (gvim) for most of the common tasks. It's true that a lot of these aren't installed by default on typical server installs, to keep the size down (it's expected that Linux admins will mostly know how to use vim), but you can install them very easily on every major distro.

It's now been over 25 years, and 8 major versions, since that initial vim release, and it continues to be, by far, the most popular editor on Linux, exactly because it has focused on improving the user experience, knowing that it's users are system admins and developers who are expected to put in some effort to learn how to use it. Now, the initial, new user experience, I'd agree that's not a whole lot better than it's ever been, Gostev certainly has a valid point there, so we're not in total disagreement, but some distros that focus on new Linux users or desktop type users have attempted to address this by defaulting to more user friendly editors like nano or gedit.

If you're into the history of how things came to be (I'm a really big believer that you can't fully appreciate Linux if you don't understand where it came from), there's a nice video on the 25 years of vim, and all of the enhancements it's had over those years.

And I'm also pretty much in agreement that Open Source, as a general rule, doesn't care as much about the "new user" experience. Even as much as I love Linux, I've always thought it would be very difficult for it to cross into the desktop/end-user world use because it's much more difficult to develop user friendly products without the profit motive (i.e. I need my tool to be easier than my competitors tool to sell my software). That being said, things like Android, the use of Linux in all types of consumer devices, and the sheer number of Linux appliances used in the enterprise, have shown that it's not impossible to make Linux itself user friendly enough for the general population, all with no need to learn vim! :)
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby emak » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:09 am

Thanks rawtaz for your post! I thought the same when reading the word from gostev but did not intend to do a post although I very much appreciate, that you raised the voice. There is and there will always be differences in what people like and for what reason. And it is so great that one can actually choose what he prefers!

I could come with tons of examples of why this or that sucks. Sometimes companies just change their strategy out of the blue (e.g. new CEO) and what was fancy and shiny just turns to old unsupported crap within a statement. As a user of Microsoft, Apple and Linux systems I have an experience in all kind of systems and of course I have my personal preferences when it comes to
- fast and easy maintenance
- responsive UI which just does the task it is designed for (e.g. VIM)
- being able to adapt the config and actually know what you are doing (and not just clicking around and trying to figure out what clicks made the "thing to work")

A system has to do, what it is designed for. It may listen to users and the community as long as they understand and share the same basic thoughts. If you try to listen to everyone though, the system will become unusable for them who have the knowledge. When I read that Stack Overflow had so many users looking for help on how to exit VIM I just thought: "Cool, there are other people going their way, trying new stuff, expanding their limits! Been there, done that!" I guess it is just a matter on how you interpret the numbers ;)

Once again, thanks rawtaz for raising the word and I would like to close with a quote of Mark Twain: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." :D
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Re: Open letter to Gostev

Veeam Logoby rawtaz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:29 am 1 person likes this post

@Tom (tsightler); Thanks a lot for contributing that history! In my previous reply I had started writing a bit about why VI(M) is actually such an integral part of e.g. Linux and BSD, to try and get it across that there's actually good reasons why its still there since so many many years, but I'm not that up to speed with the details of history so I scrapped it. Luckily you came along, perhaps what you wrote can shed some light on why VIM is still so valued and not entirely replaced. Really nice video too, definitely going to check it out :)

@emak; I like that way of interpreting those numbers! Thanks for your support, and I'm happy to hear in fact that I wasn't the only one reacting. I think most people wouldn't take the time to say anything about it, we're probably far from alone in thinking what we did when reading that digest. Cheers!

@sg_sc; Thats some valuable input there too, and I can totally relate to first not understanding VIM and then later on coming back to it with a sense of "heck, there has to be something to that thing, otherwise so many people wouldn't be using it and praising it, so what is it??", just to discover that I missed out on a few years of editing text the right way :D

So yeah, perhaps I didn't make that clear when I argued earlier; I am one of those/you guys who has entered e.g. VIM and not understood any of it, then let it go and used a "simpler" editor instead. But I also realized there's something to it and later took the time to understand what it was. I'm very grateful I took that hour to dig into it and realizing that learning the basics was really no biggie. Better late than never!
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