10 Aug

Software configuration management should be easier

Jon Udell:

"I happen to have dug deeply enough into Radio to be able to figure this stuff out, but normal users won’t and shouldn’t be expected to peer into the entrails. It’s the same with, say, Outlook. Since becoming an Outlook user a few months ago, I’m constantly struck by how little of its useful but non-default behavior is available to most users. The problem, again, is one of first articulating, then transferring, the configuration I have achieved."

Oh so very true. My main angst when I need to install a PC from scratch is less about the installation itself, which is rather straightforward when you’re used to it, but rather about the feeling of discomfort and lack of familiarity that comes with software not tuned with my usual settings (think UI and OS tweaks, toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, …) They beg to be stored online for later retrieval. It gets tedious to explain for the nth time to Outlook that, no, my usual working day doesn’t end at 5PM, and no thank you, don’t put alerts on every calendar entry.

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