[Patch] #29984 Change file permission using octal numbers

Chris Lee clee at kde.org
Fri May 16 15:13:04 BST 2003

Well, what I think it boils down to is, changing file permissions is 
not a beginning-user-level feature. And if adding octal editing makes 
it easier to use for advanced users, I'm all for it.

Keep in mind, easy to use doesn't necessarily mean easy to learn. And 
just because it's easy to learn how to do something doesn't always mean 
that it'll be easy to use.

As this is already a feature which most of the end-user types won't 
touch anyway, I see no reason to limit its potential power, and 
shooting down an octal input mode for modifying file permissions 
because it's too difficult to learn is like changing your shirt because 
you dropped a hammer on your toe.


On Friday, May 16, 2003, at 07:01 AM, Scott Wheeler wrote:

> On Friday 16 May 2003 12:43, Dominik Seichter wrote:
>> That is a very good point. Most user will never change the 
>> permissions, so
>> they will never use the permissions dialog and never get confused by 
>> it!
>> Those few people that will use the dialog, will either
>> - have already understood how unix permission do work and will find 
>> the
>>   addition useful, because they can change the permission faster by 
>> just
>>   entering the number.
>> - or, if they do not have undestand how permissions work in Unix, 
>> they will
>>   perhaps be interested in learning it, because they have a need for 
>> it.
>>   In this case the new line edit will greatly help them learning.
>>   Otherwise they still can ignore the new widget and do the 
>> permissions
>> change like they did in the past.
> Well, but GUIs don't work that way.  "The users can just ignore all of 
> the
> (extra) confusing stuff on the screen" hasn't ever worked as a means 
> of GUI
> design.
>>> *) Most of those that do don't know octal permission notation
>> I do not see a problem if most of the users who will never change file
>> permissions do not know octal permissions. This users don't know the
>> difference of user/group/other permissions either and won't care at 
>> all
>> about changing any permissions.
>>> *) Most of them don't care to learn octal notation
>> They don't need to, because they do not change permissions at all, 
>> like you
>> stated above.
> Basically I read this as "it's already so confusing that most people 
> won't use
> it, so it really doesn't hurt to make it even more confusing".
>>> *) The current dialog is already confusing
>> It is confusing, but I do not think it gets more confusing because of 
>> the
>> line edit.
> Again, adding widgets -- especially ones that most users won't 
> understand
> *will* make it more confusing.  I think the question is rather "Is the 
> extra
> confusion worth the added benefit?"
> Anyway -- I won't push this further -- this is just my opinion and 
> I'll let
> the majority decide...
> Cheers,
> -Scott
> -- 
> It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but 
> you can
> fool enough of them to rule a large country.
> --Will Durant

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