driving, analogies, "basic" knowledge levels and an idea (Re: [Patch] A clipboard daemon)

This idea just came to me when I was replying off-list, and I
don't know whether it's a good one or not. This is possibly
the wrong list. Usability, perhaps?

On Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 03:13:29PM +0200 or thereabouts, Hongli Lai wrote:
> On Saturday 06 September 2003 14:18, Mario Vukelic wrote:

[analogies with cars]

> That's just wrong. General car users know the basics about cars. If general 
> computer users don't know the basics about computers then it's their problem.
> > I don't think so. They don't care.
> And I don't care about driving cars. But that doesn't mean it isn't a good 
> idea to take driving lessons in order to know how to drive.
> A lot of kids don't care about going to school. Does that mean they don't 
> have to go to school? Basics are things anybody *has* to know, 
> regardless of whether they care or not.

This analogy with cars has reminded me of another analogy with 
cars and driving.
I recently bumped into a friend who's a teacher. She is intelligent.
She is organised. She is, though, not particularly interested in 
computers except as a way to get work done. I would imagine she's 
one of the sorts of people GNOME would see as a target user in 
that respect. 

She mentioned that she had taken something called the European 
Computer Driving Licence. She said it had been really interesting
and that it had helped her feel she understood things more.

If we are looking for "what level of information we expect new
GNOME users to have" (or computer users in general) would having 
a look at the contents of the courses which teach it be worth 
a thought? 

Typing the initials ECDL into Google gets loads of relevant
hits, but I can't find the 'official' page on it. The Italian
one high up in the results is interesting: it offers a Linux
version (with OOo, Mozilla and Evo) as well as a Windows one.

My guess would be that if it's something that has to be taught,
then we can't expect people to know it. We can hope, perhaps :) 


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