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Authored by: nickp on Nov 18, '05 09:12:10PM
After many years of sysadmin'ing, I ended up forsaking almost all such customizations, for the simple reason that I couldn't help out any of my users if I was too habituated to something nonstandard. Nor did I feel like running classes on 'suggested hacks for your initfiles'.

Jef Raskin, in his excellent The Humane Interface, goes into this whole area in more detail, but the short version is "if the system requires customization, then it is poorly designed."

In a similar vein, he argues against giving users (even expert users) multiple ways of getting the same thing done -- the cognitive overhead of figuring out which one to use is surprisingly large.

None of this is to argue that customizability, per se is evil, but that using it to paper over fundamental design flaws is. Some days un*x seems to me to be one huge design flaw ...

Raskin's book is available from Amazon.

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