Ok, this is really not the area to discuss the pros and cons of generic 
user friendliness.  If you really want to get into it, could you do it 
offline?

For what it's worth, I think the .ruby filename extension idea is a good 
one.  As far as I know, Windows doesn't have problems with long 
filenames anymore, so why not?

And, although I don't think it's appropriate for this list, I still want 
to make a couple of comments about unix user-friendliness:

Tyler Zesiger wrote:
> Someone once told me to "RTFM" when I couldn't figure out how to work a 
> *nix text editor. I felt insulted, that he insinuated that *I* was the 
> one with the problem, not the text editor. In fact, text editors are 
> dang near the oldest software technology we have. I've used dozens, 
> maybe even hundreds of them, and not once have I ever had to "RTFM" 
> before starting to use it, because they've all adopted the same 
> intuitive UI conventions that have worked well for a decade - Except for 
> *nix editors. They're 20 years out-of-date.

Unix editors are not "out of date", they're just different.  Saying that 
Unix editors are out of date is like saying that Chinese is out of date. 
  So many countries now use a roman alphabet, that China should "get 
with the times" and use a roman character set, and complaining that it's 
hard to read Chinese.

I agree, the first time you use vi or emacs you'll definitely need a 
manual close by or you'll be completely lost.  On the other hand, how 
many career programmers do you know that use Notepad as their primary 
editor?

The ideal for usability is something that has a gradual learning curve, 
and has extremely advanced features that are slowly exposed.  Very 
things meet that ideal, however.

Notepad has an extremely shallow learning curve, but it plateaus very 
quickly.  Emacs and vi have very steep learning curves, but it could be 
argued that they never plateau.

I agree that both vi and emacs would be better editors if you could 
start them in 'beginner' mode, where they were constantly helping you 
out, and, as you progressed, they became less and less helpful, and 
exposed more and more hidden features.  That would be great for 
beginners, and as the beginners became more and more advanced, they'd 
unlock more of the more powerful features of the editor.

But vi and Emacs are not commercial products.  They're made by advanced 
developers for advanced developers, and so far, nobody has found it to 
be a priority to make them easy to use at first try.  And why should 
they?  There are plenty of other editors that are really easy to use, 
visual ones like Kedit or terminal ones like pico.

It used to be that Linux was only for the extremely daring, and the very 
knowledgable.  These days using Knoppix is probably almost as easy as 
using Windows.  But the focus of all these usability improvements has 
been the graphical environment.  Both Gnome and KDE do a lot to make a 
new user's experience as friendly and easy as possible.

So far, nobody has really found it necessary to make the commandline 
user friendly.  I guess the theory is that if the GUI is made friendly 
enough, people don't have to even know the commandline exists (and I 
guess OS X is proof that concept can work).

> If a black screen with a blinking cursor is not cryptic, I don't know 
> what is. Windows has a "Start" menu. Why can't the command line say 
> "type 'man' for help" the first few times it boots up? I can't tell you 
> the grief I suffered in the IRC chans when I first asked for help. All 
> people would say is simply "man". What is "man"? I didn't know.

Oh, it can!  It would be really easy to modify the shell startup files 
to print this sort of message out, or to set up a bunch of useful 
aliases.  By default, 'zsh' tries to correct you when you mistype 
something.  Isn't that friendly?

The thing is, people who care about usability have focused on the 
graphical environment.  The nice thing about open source, however, is 
that you're free to fix anything you feel is open.

If you think that the default shell startup files should print out a 
page of introductory text explaining how to use the shell, create those 
files, and either find a distribution that wants to use them, or start 
your own 'CommandlineFriendly' distribution.  If it really bothers you, 
but you're not willing to put any time into fixing it, then why are you 
complaining?

However, knowing that a commandline is difficult, why would you start 
using it unprepared?  There are lots of books out there that will help 
you learn Unix, so why not use them?

To me, complaining about the user-unfriendliness of the commandline is 
like complaining about the user-unfriendliness of a jet cockpit.  It 
probably could be made much more intuitive, on the other hand, the vast 
majority of people who find themselves in jet cockpits are experienced 
pilots.  Rather than needing a simple, friendly interface, they need 
something that gives them full control.

Anyhow, this is either trolling or just way offtopic, so I say we stop now.

Ben