Zsh Mailing List Archive
Messages sorted by: Reverse Date, Date, Thread, Author

Re: Most minimal configuration challenge

On Wed, Aug 31, 2022 at 9:17 AM Ray Andrews <rayandrews@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 2022-08-31 02:28, Vincent Lefevre wrote:
> >> In short, «zstyle ':foo:bar:*:baz' key v1 v2» translates as "When
> >> library foo asks for the value of key in a situation of the form
> >> bar:*:baz, tell it the answer is «v1 v2»".
> > Perhaps there should be a zsh function that translates a zstyle line
> > to plain English. :-)
> >
> Yup.  Unfortunately we tend to think that experts are the ones who
> should write
> documentation, but they are unqualified.  They write sentences that explain
> what they already know back to themselves.  It's like learning Coptic
> from a book
> written in Coptic.  Only people who have just now learned something can
> explain it in a way that other people who want to learn it can relate to
> because
> only the learner has the mind of a learner.  Experts have the mind of
> experts.
> So the above no doubt makes perfect sense to the expert who wrote it and
> already
> understands it, but is useless to me.  The whole world suffers from
> this, but
> especially the computer world.

This is very true, in fact this bias has a name: "the curse of
knowledge" [1], and it's something every writer should keep in mind.

Unfortunately the only antidote is for zsh newcomers to become more
active in the development of zsh which seems to be quite balkanized
between the old guard (the actual developers of zsh), and the new kids
(oh-my-zsh, Powershell 10K, etc). This bridge should be reduced.

Also, the zsh site using a style of 1990 doesn't particularly help.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_knowledge

Felipe Contreras

Messages sorted by: Reverse Date, Date, Thread, Author