Michael Pyne michael.pyne at kdemail.net
Thu Nov 10 21:54:09 GMT 2005

On Wednesday 09 November 2005 11:00, Gábor Lehel wrote:
> While I haven't participated in any "previous discussions", user
> levels, in my opinion, wouldn't work because:
> - Most users have no idea what level they belong to, having no point
> of comparison -- for a very mundane example, it's like being given the
> number '500', and asked to guess where it lies on a scale of numbers
> whose boundaries you are not told.
> - They also have no idea what the difference will be if they choose
> one or the other -- and so the only way they can be sure they chose
> the right one, is to try both. Not convenient. (And if they are brave
> (or reckless) and just choose one and stick with it, they will be left
> with a nagging feeling that maybe it was not the right one.)

And to add to all that, consider this statement:

"Fully *half* of all people have *below* average intelligence!"

You may be giggling but many people find this disconcerting (no one likes to 
think they have less than 100 IQ, or make below median income, or ... etc.)  
So people sometimes would pick a level even beyond their level of expertise 
(can we say script kiddie? ;) and would find the program too bloated and 

What I've run into in my current school environment is the opposite.  Some 
students there are gifted but study an insane number of hours because they 
are convinced that they are not up to par with the rest of the class.  Just 
this week on of these worry-warts took first place on a test.  So people like 
this would choose a level below their area of expertise and would potentially 
miss something that they would like to use.

This doesn't even go into your good point about different users being good at 
different things.  For example, I'm a rather top-echelon "computer guy" if I 
do say so myself but you don't see me single stepping through code and 
diagnosing weird gcc issues remotely (because I can't!), I leave that for the 
real wizards like Thiago and Maksim.

 - Michael Pyne
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