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“Just” (2015) (bradfrost.com)
22 points by ingve on Mar 28, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments



As someone not birthed in the unix land, I find this a lot there. "vim/emacs is easy, 'just' learn forty pages of shortcuts and magical incantations and also completely rethink the metaphors you use to interact with text"

"Commandline is way better, 'just' memorize every important command needed to do basic things and all the switches you may ever want"

I think people in general just forget the learning cliff inherent in many things. It's like we don't want to remember or acknowledge that we once struggled with something.


"Just", "Obviously", "Basically", "Essentially".

Just remove these words from most prose. I essentially do this to my prose and when I'm editing others'. It basically doesn't change the meaning, and obviously improves the style and tone.

If it were obvious, you wouldn't be saying it. If you can dismiss it with "just", you're probably being too defensive.

Respect your reader. Always. These words do not convey resepct. Remove them. Your readers will love you for it, and that should be your goal.


"Striking a balance" and "not making too many assumptions" requires making assumptions about where is "balance" and what is "too many" — and we are back at assuming exact same things as before.

What the article amounts to is "use language I like better in your documentation". Albeit understandable, that is wierd position to me, though, perhaps there is some science on writing techniques and language use in order to make your material less discouraging and "easier emotionally" for people (similar to the famous example of positive vs. negative feedback in learning).


I guess I can understand interpreting 'just' in that way... but why would a person choose that interpretation? How about "This is the only thing you need to do, there is not additional steps after these"?


Just relax and don't read into things so much. :/


Author's remarks are somewhat valid in that certain language formulates certain feelings and general emotional state in people (which is a part of how and why fiction works). Having "easy" and "just" shattered when confronted with reality and not its description by the professionals "on the inside", generates strongrer negative response that it would otherwise.

However, article's argumentation and suggestions on improving the situation make me think that author does not fully realize this or fails to state the problem clearly. Issue lies with the words used and not their meaning or omitting explanations for things that are assumed to be understood by target audience.


Just don’t worry about it. Seriously most of programming is easy once you know the correct way to do it. Learning is the hard part. Don’t read into it, celebrate that there’s an easy solution to your problem.




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