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From Kim van der Linde <>
Subject Re: [all] Math needs a "user" & a "dev" email list.
Date Sun, 15 Aug 2004 02:02:05 GMT
Hi Mark,

I agree with you. And I have played advocate of the
devil here, as I noticed from the beginning on that
this is a hard-core developers environment. But in
daily life, I work in an environment were people are
the real users of the products that are developed
here. They are not programmers by nature, they are not
involved in area's of science that includes mandatory
programming skills like astronomy. For the people
around me, programming is a TOOL, a tool to do comples
mathematical stuff that they otherwise could not do.
When it becomes to complex, they come to me. When I
put people like them on a track of an e-mail group
like this, they quit within days. And that is not
because they are incapable to understand it.

Just to highlight this, and example that I encountered
myself. Untill now, I have done a lot of programming
of statistics, and the like, and I do statistics all
the time. But untill now, I never encountered the idea
of 'moments'. Maybe wierd, but still true. I neither
had it at highschool, nor at the university at any
time. Maybe it is a wierd thing related to the Dutch
school system. But I think it is exemplatory for how a
lot of open source projects fail to recognize that the
main user group are not the hard-core developers they
are themselves. (And I am much more a hard-core
programmer than a lot of collegues that might benefit
from a package like commons-math(s)). 



--- "Mark R. Diggory" <>

> Again, an excellent example of my point, this is not
> very civil from a "User Support" standpoint and 
> attitude such as this will only drive users away. 
> Unfortunately, most of us developers are very stoic 
> and abrupt, something that ultimately undermines any
> interaction with users who are not fellow developers

> at heart.
> -Mark
> Michael McGrady wrote:
> > You have the knowledge to configure your email
> > client to get what you like.  Why should everyone 
> > cater to your predilictions?
> >
> > Michael

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