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For example a desktop app may ask for 'user_id:' where as the web app would ask for 'Your email address:'.
I'm sorry but I don't quite agree with the above. In the desktop apps that I have written if I wanted their email address I would ask for it.

As to documentation in place. I can see your view point in one respect as we typically allow for instructions above each form (as an example) that explain the processes or requirements of the following immediate action. However, that does not really help to reinforce the process as a whole nor does it really ensure the user is aware of what is happening (which is in reference to your last point).

All that it does is ensure that *at that point* in the application the user *is somehow aware* of the requirements of that *particular form*. Of course whether its the right form for what they want to do is down to the application and the user ;).

I guess ultimately it boils down to how much confidence you have in your user base and how complex the application is (which is in itself a moving target with shifting user requirements).

Thnx - SP

In reply to Re: Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences by simon.proctor
in thread OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences by simon.proctor

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    [erix]: Look what I found! :P
    [Corion]: Hmm - actually, I don't need them, even though they'd be nice. I just want the (say) 10 latest images, and that's easily done with a limit 10 offset 0 clause, as I don't need all top 10 images for all users.
    [Corion]: erix: Sure, but this is for a really-lightweight application and I'm replacing a CSV file / JSON file for user configuration with SQLite (and optionally, Pg) :)
    [erix]: isn't a texty format handier for configs?
    [Corion]: So far, I've avoided having even a user database by storing the user information in a (signed) cookie that the browser keeps for me, but as I want to be able to lock users, I need a second storage option :)
    [Corion]: erix: It's needed for keeping the list of users and the list of tags associated with an image, and for keeping the images with users. I want an easy way to know if an image can be deleted, which means that it can't be referenced by any tag anymore. ...
    [Corion]: SQL feels like a natural choice here :)

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