[Talk-GB] Deletions and newbie editors (was: Vandalism in London)

Andy Street andy at street.me.uk
Sun Oct 5 15:16:45 UTC 2014

On Sun, 05 Oct 2014 12:47:29 +0100
David Woolley <forums at david-woolley.me.uk> wrote:

> Newbies will tend to do what is necessary to suppress the error
> message, without thinking what they are doing.  Alternatively, they
> will reject the editor as one of the big problem with creating dumbed
> down interfaces to complex software is that the market will select
> the product that appears to hide the problem over the one that puts
> them to the trouble of doing the right thing.**

I agree; people will generally follow the path of least resistance.

> Newbies don't want to know the reasons, and I suspect most of them
> see the map as the standard rendering, and have trouble with the 
> abstractions that underlie it and which need to be understood for
> such a message to make sense.  Those who do want to know the reasons,
> would probably find an advanced editor much easier to use.

Those reasons will still need to be explained when the editor refuses
to delete some ways but not others so I don't see how you would get
around that problem.

> The standard newbie response to an access violation in Unix/Linux is
> to set the file mode to 777.  The standard newbie way of killing a
> process is kill -9.

The standard newbie response to "You cannot delete this way because it
is part of a relation" would be to delete the relation membership in
the edit panel and try again.

It is hard to make people engage with things they don't understand or
that they feel are irrelevant. If we want people to care about relations
then we need to explain to them why they are important and make the
learning process as painless as possible.


Andy Street

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