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Arelius 375 days ago | link | parent

I don't know of any empirical evidence, but the story normally goes: There is a new Java exploit, and recommendations to remove/disable Java hit the wild. Then while people try to find out how to disable "Java" Find "Disable Javascript" and assume it's related. Perhaps this would be solved by renaming it "Disable Ecmascript" however.

I really have no idea how common this is, but have seen it once, from a user that's technically savy enough to be diging in options and worried about security, but not savy enough to know the difference between Java and Javascript.

netc 375 days ago | link

Well, an extra phrase might be added in the menu where 'Disable Javascript' appears - '(Note: Javascript is not same as Java)'. If users don't know the difference between Diesel and Gasoline, better option is to educate them in context (e.g. handle of fuel pump) rather than closing down all Diesel pumps.


jrochkind1 375 days ago | link

If people don't know the difference between diesel and gasoline, is a note that says "Note: Diesel is not the same as Gasoline" going to help? Doubt it.

The assertion is that 'configuration creep' is overwhelming for the unsophisticated user in the first place, adding even more notes and explanations to all the configuration options is not going to help.


pessimizer 375 days ago | link

>If people don't know the difference between diesel and gasoline, is a note that says "Note: Diesel is not the same as Gasoline" going to help? Doubt it.

Really? I would think that sign would help everyone who knew how to read, bothered to read, and wanted their car to run. A sign with a simple message like that was enough to fix one national timeclock system that I worked on. "Do not do X before 12:00 Noon unless Y." in English, Spanish, and Polish.

For the people who still messed it up that we found by using heuristics on all of the punch data, we sent reports to their managers that said that they had probably done something wrong. After 3 or 4 cycles of this, the failure rate went from 15-20% to 1-2%.

Unsophisticated users remain unsophisticated users if you systematically remove configuration until the application only does one thing one way, badly.


jrochkind1 374 days ago | link

If they don't know the difference between diesel and gasoline, how do they know if the one they want is "diesel" or "gasoline"?

But, yes, clearly, the goal is removing configuration until the app does one thing well, not badly.


pessimizer 374 days ago | link

Only if you want 9000 apps, because then it becomes a question of which of those super narrowly focused apps will work to do what you want to do. An email client that only emails your mother is a good emailing your mother client, but a bad email client. If they take away configuration for people with stepmothers or two mothers, because it's only a 5% use case, it's even a bad emailing your mother client.

If you know your car runs on gasoline, and you don't know the difference between gasoline and diesel, then you see a sign that says "diesel is not gasoline," you know that diesel is not what you're looking for - even though you still don't know the difference.


jessaustin 374 days ago | link

I doubt anyone makes the diesel-gasoline mistake more than once. Browsing to a broken or insecure site (never mind that the brokenness or insecurity is due to javascript being off and on respectively), however, is done all the time.


nnnnni 375 days ago | link

It's a shame that they didn't push "ecmascript" as the name ~15 years ago back when it was new. Now we're stuck with problems like this...


JadeNB 374 days ago | link

It wasn't an accident—they wanted to appear similar to Java (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript#Birth_at_Netscape):

> The final choice of name caused confusion, giving the impression that the language was a spin-off of the Java programming language, and the choice has been characterized by many as a marketing ploy by Netscape to give JavaScript the cachet of what was then the hot new web programming language.


simonbrown 375 days ago | link

Or make the option to disable Java accessible from there.


tempestn 375 days ago | link

You want to add an option to disable a particular browser plugin in the core browser options? That doesn't seem like a good idea.


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