How a Computer should behave

Apr 6, 2013

I am sure many would call me a Linux zealot, but I have been around the block, so to speak. I have used (on a daily basis), in order: Amstrad CPC, DOS, Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Linux, Windows 2000, MacOS X, Windows 7. I could probably take the rest of this article listing the different flavors of Linux that I have tried, but that is not the point of this article. I know many companies employ “values” as some sort of buzzwords that look good on paper, but don’t really follow them. I would like to list the core values of a well behaving system as well as I can.

A Computer should be…

  1. Ready, when you are good: tablets bad: windows, linux
  2. Updated: All software has security issues. Just update automatically and advise the user to restart. Stop forcing it! good: chromeos bad: linux, osx ugly: windows
  3. Consistent: Do the applications work the same. How does a confirmation box look like? good: osx ugly: windows, linux
  4. Out of the way: Are you sure? Are you sure? Complex interfaces5. Less is more: Sane defaults are far more important than customization options. Don’t ask the user unless it’s an answer you expect the user to know better.