System Administration as a User Interface: An Extended Metaphor
Wilson H. Bent, Jr.
University of Southern California
Many people have spent many hours searching for the right user interface.
Many people have spent many hours searching for the definition of the
right user interface. Many people have spent many hours decrying the
wrong user interface (whatever that may be). One user interface which
is often overlooked is the System Administrator.
What are the qualities of a good user interface? Some of the features
most often mentioned are:
- Extensible, adaptable to the user's skill level
- Gives useful error messages
- Hides underlying system's gore
- Offers easy access to helpful information
- A terrific look-and-feel
This paper will discuss each of these features with regard to the interface
between the user and the system administrator.
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