Subject: Re: Take this analogy and fix it (car repair? _not_)
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 00:20:16 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Ian" == Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com> writes:

   From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>

   Most of what auto repair people do is to figure out which
   subassembly the funny noise is coming from, then replace the whole
   thing.  No?

    Ian> Well, no.  It's getting rather far afield from the analogy,
    Ian> and I'm not sure just what my position is on this whole
    Ian> discussion, but certainly my car repair place does much more.
    Ian> After I rolled my car, they were able to do stuff like trim
    Ian> the fan blades to fit in their new, smaller space and do
    Ian> other similar hacks (I know very little about how cars
    Ian> actually work).

Sure.  But that's like wrapping a shell script around your X server;
anybody with "mechanic's feel" can do it without have internal manuals 
or source.

    Ian> So there certainly are auto repair places which take
    Ian> advantage of a great deal of publically available knowledge
    Ian> about how cars work.

True; but the kinds of things you mention are exactly the things that
a layman can do, and do not require access to source or auto-specific
expertise, only that "mechanic's feel."  Let alone knowledge about the 
specific make and model.

More reasons to dislike this analogy; there are just too many places
for it to go wrong or be irrelevant.

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