If you can't read you wont know what this says
I was reminded of that amusing quote is saw many years ago in bookshop, written on a bookmark, because of an article in the Gaurdian speculating that Computer Literacy is (or soon will be) as important as ordinary literacy is now.
While I find the article interesting I am not unsympathetic by people who neither have the time nor inclination to learn the generalities of computers - we cannot all be experts at everything - I cannot help but think that anyone who uses a computer needs 'a driving license'. By that I mean a basic education, not just learning by rote how to use a certain Office suite but at the very least enough that they can adapt to new tools. Basic but true computer literacy would hopefully some programming, so that users could at least manage to formulate a proper equation in a spreadsheet or string together more than one shell command or program at a time.
Computers are supposed to be about saving us from boring tedious work and they currently they fail quite spectacularly in that regard. Users need some basic ability to admit, identify, recognise that a task is tedious and repetative and that some form of automation is required and hopefully a convenient way to achieve that automation.
Just as connecting multiple Unix commands together using pipe
ls -l | moreis relatively easy now that I have learned how, I hope that we can develop something higher level that is as simple for users to put together as Toy Bricks.
While users will still need to learn programming methodology and the skills of breaking a task down into reasonably small steps, there is definately a whole lot more that could and should be done to make it easier
The command line interface has pipe but the graphical user interface is sorely lacking an equivalent. Throwbacks to the command lines such as Macro and Scripting languages barely begin to provide something adequately intuative for users familiar with a Point and Click interface. High level object systems (such as CORBA) dont seem to provided much more than shared libraries did except for a comfortable insulation and fake feeling of openness for Proprietary software.
I wait in hope that for Open Source and Free Software to do better, and for some of the many projects out there to fulfill their promise.
hrrm, that was a little longer than i thought, mabye I should remove it from my diary, add some more thoughts and repost it as an article? ... I dunno!