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Darwinian Design

I am certainly a firm believer in evolution, in malleable software designs that are steadily reworked to conform to the user in response to an ever deepening understanding of what it is we are trying to do with our tools and how the tools can best help us. On the down side, the evolutionary process in software engineering can result in a patchwork of parts and pieces that may work but that punishes the user. After two or three integer version releases, the entire user interface should probably be redesigned from scratch to cover the same functionality with a fraction of the controls.

In the meantime, I had to paw through the thicket of creeping features to figure out how to make a simple 3-point rule from margin to margin with my wonderful(?) new Windows word processor. I was sure it was in there, somewhere, but it took awhile to track it down amidst the zits and pimples on the user interface.


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