On Thu, 01 Feb 2001, you wrote:
> Robin Szemeti [[EMAIL PROTECTED]] quoth:
> *>
> *>i think we get a slanted view on what a 'normal level of intelligence'
> *>is, because in general, we work with exceptional people. I spent the last
> I know at least 2 nobel laureates who wouldn't know jack about CGI or
> about selecting which book might be a better buy. Hell, I installed
> Microsoft BOB for one of them way back when the GUI of windows vs. the
> beauty of TeX was a bit much. Something new is a challenge, even if you
> are a rocket scientist.

hmm .. I think we're getting a bit mixed up between mr hearst and
newspapers and  technical knowledge in a particular area. still ... keep
going. :)

But what you say above proves my point dunnit ... these guys are nobel
laureates and they enjoy a challenge.. out there in the real world a
large percentage of the population finds adding up the money for the bus a
challenge ... the pasics of CGI are rocket science for most people.

> It's not a matter of pandering to the  stupid, it's a matter of presenting 
> the information in a format that is easy to read and understand without
> treating the reader to sanskrit. 

uh huh ... agreed.
> Of course, even the brilliant are often stupid especially when it comes to
> applied v. theory. 
> The great unwashed masses of CGI are probably not the brightest bulbs, but
> I don't think it's so much an esoteric subject to justify such a dearth in
> good documentation for them. 

no .. its not (for want of a better word) rocket science, but to do it
correctly does require a broad range of knowledge about several different
systems and really what Ms Castro attempts to do is give a bit of all of
that to a readership that simply wants to bang something into their
homepage and for it to work.  I agree that the documenttion was not
'good' by professional standards but it was a book for non-programmers. 
a sort of paperback intro to half of what they needed to know. I have
issues with how shes goes about it (like CGI.pm would have made life soo
much easier ) and some of the perl is awful, but I beleive that
readership it was aimed at would have gone all glassy eyed and fallen
over backwards at the word 'subroutine' and run off screaming if you said
'regex' so ... oh I dunno .. yes its crap perl, yes its not a great work
on CGI .. but it probably achieves what it set out to do, give basic
knowledge to someone who only wnats to spend two lunchtimes on a bit of
CGI for their home page.

I dunno .. I guess there is the 'type this in like this' level and there
is the full blown 'buy a copy of Programming Perl' approach I dont see
much middle ground. 

Robin Szemeti

The box said "requires windows 95 or better"
So I installed Linux!

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