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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [proposal] a new kind of 'dist'
Date Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:06:37 GMT
J.D. Daniels wrote:
> Well I am just a user... But you hit the nail right on the head there. I had
> cocoon up and running within minutes the first time I found it, but was
> extremely frustrated for months afterward, because I could load the samples
> page... and SEE what it could do, but not be able to implement for myself.
> Plus not knowing what I needed for minimal dist made the whole thing the
> biggest thorn I had in my side. Cocoon is a unique kind of project. I do not
> think the binaries are easier for users.
> I have been porting my last three years of PHP development to cocoon. This
> has been a most difficult process, especially considering my Java skill
> level is in between doughhead and WTF?? (making it confusing and difficult
> to debug trouble) The binaries that are available are remarkably confusing.
> Since I have started Lurking on this list, and faithfully watching the new
> build system settle down, the learning curve has decreased dramatically. If
> new new guys want to try it, every peice of beginner information points them
> to a servlet container, so it is pretty much garaunteed they will have a jdk
> to build with.
>  This is a very, very good idea. Lose the binaries and document the build
> process a little better.


thanks. This is very useful information for us.

*usability* means 'the ability to be used' and usability is normally 
hard to achieve because knowledged people work in a different *cognitive 
context* than users and it's very hard to 'cognitively decontextualize' 
yourself to understand why others don't see what it's obvious for you.

This is normally done thru increased feedback cycles that is: we do 
something, we create problems, we fix them.

But while a bug is a bug, a 'hard to use' distribution is not 
necessarely considered a bug because it's not obvious if this 'hardness' 
is intrinsic in the product or it's not.

So, people, if you have *any* (positive or negative) information on the 
past build systems or distributions, please, share it with us.

*you* means both users and developers.

Now it's a good time to speak or even *rant* if you want.

The more you can find costructive critics to what we are doing, the more 
you are helping us to help you and help ourselves doing so.


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