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- Subject: Re: All your local are belong to us
- From: Coda Highland <chighland@...>
- Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2015 13:13:21 -0700
On Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Jonathan Goble <email@example.com> wrote:
> Rather than get overly complicated, why not just print a one-line warning
> when the interpreter is first started, under the version number and
> copyright info and before the first prompt? Quick, simple, and no parsing
> needed. Something like "Warning: local declarations will not persist beyond
> the line on which they are entered." would be sufficient.
Because that wouldn't actually solve the problem of inexperienced
users overlooking the issue.
Humans are tuned to associate cause and effect. You do something,
something else happens, you pay attention, you learn.
Humans are also tuned to ignore repetitive stimuli. When you see a
message pop up in the same place every time you start the program, the
information in it stops being perceived as salient.
By putting the message on every startup, you're just producing a
warning that's going to get ignored. The message informing the user of
the problem is separated in both time and space from the cause of the
problem (worse, it precedes it, and humans are REALLY bad at seeing
correlations when they're time-reversed).
It also runs the risk of being perceived as patronizing -- experienced
users aren't going to want to be reminded every time they start up the
interpreter; that's just more noise on the terminal.