Ian Clarke responds to criticisms about Freenet
December 31, 2000 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Ian Clarke responds to criticisms about Freenet (gracias: Slashdot)
posted by ookamaka (8 comments total)
One of the most interesting parts of this response lies at the end:

(circa 1994) "Keep in mind that the Internet is still under development and bound to get better. But as long as it remains a pure network system, with no central service or company to keep tabs on the network, the Internet will probably never be as slick and efficient as AOL. Which is why Internet style communication may not be quite such an apocalyptic peril after all."

Now, obviously, this is no guarantee that Freenet will have the same fate (yes, I'm implying it's good fate) as the web so far, this is still kind of reassuring.
posted by ookamaka at 11:07 AM on December 31, 2000

"slick and efficient as AOL"?!?!?
posted by aaron at 2:20 PM on December 31, 2000

that's a quote from someone's quote inside the article, not Ian Clarke's words. Try reading.
posted by littlesolty at 2:48 PM on December 31, 2000

Try comprehending. That anyone at all would consider AOL 'slick' or 'efficient' is the point. I didn't claim Ian Clarke said it.
posted by aaron at 3:06 PM on December 31, 2000

Try context. The AOL quote was part of a "nice parody" that was part of a "reply to a recent Slashdot article."

In any case, AOL circa '94 *was* slick compared with things like WinCIM or text-based BBSes.
posted by gluechunk at 3:34 PM on December 31, 2000

The closest we had to AOL back then were BBSes incorporating RIPscrip, a vector-based layout language for BBSes. You had to use a special terminal program, but it was still pretty neat. Like Macromedia Flash, but uglier than sin.

It does more now than it used to. Back in the day, people used it mostly for cheesy door graphics.

posted by waxpancake at 6:04 PM on December 31, 2000

AOL *is* slick and efficient at what it does. It happens that what it does appeals to millions of people, just not the few here. If you reduce the set of functionality you need to support, you can support it very well indeed.
posted by dhartung at 1:17 AM on January 1, 2001

I, for one, am surprised that it appeals to those millions. I installed it recently (my 13 year old nephew uses it and wanted me to see some photo thingy you can only see if you use the AOL client). The number of windows it opens, sometimes in rapid succession with no action on the user's part, is overwhelming and the interface is, to put it mildly, wildly inconsistent - you're never sure if something is supposed to be a "button" or is just a nice little decorative graphic... I suppose you could make the same argument for the Web itself, since the same information is available but the sites you'll find it on bear no resemblance to each other, but all you hear about AOL is how simple the interface is and how quickly "real people" get the hang of it... And let's not even talk about the high pressure tactics of the Customer Service people when you call to disable your "700 hours free the first month!" account; before I tired of leading her on, I'd been promised the next six months free just by continually saying, "Well, I don't know... I'm not sure I can use it..." How many subscribers do they have who are just not strong enough to stand up to Customer Service and actually quit?!
posted by m.polo at 9:18 AM on January 1, 2001

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