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Someone (a statistician, I think) once pointed out that learning curve graphs don't make sense compared to the phrase "steep learning curve." If you take the X axis as time, what does the Y axis represent?If you say Y represents "effort involved learning" then a task that requires a lot of up-front effort to get up to speed and then becomes easier would start with an initial Y value high on the graph and it would eventually drop towards zero as you become more proficient. Very easy tasks would have a low Y value and would quickly return to zero. If you say that Y represents proficiency at a task, then a very simple task would start and zero and quickly shoot up to a high Y value. Very difficult tasks would have a slow rise over time.Still, these are entertaining, but impossible to interpret.
That means emacs sucks right?
@BillyWayne it means Emacs has the truth of the universe wrapped up in it.
"If you take the X axis as time, what does the Y axis represent?"The x-axis does not represent time, it represents proficiency. The y-axis represents skill needed to reach the level of proficiency. So a steep learning curve need a lot of skill before you're very proficient, and a shallow learning curve means you steadily gain proficiency with skill.
@Anonymous (#2)My thoughts exactly. A learning curve represents the barrier to entry to reach a given skill level. In most cases, it gently slopes upward signifying that a low level of skill is required to achieve a basic understanding but reaching expert status requires cumulative skill or knowledge of the subject matter.
This is from xkcd.com by the way... in case you want to give him credit for it. It's a very funny web comic.
Although XKCD is pretty much the best thing ever, and this is rather in the same style, I don't believe it's actually an XKCD cartoon. I've read them all and don't remember this one, and some searching on the site failed to turn it up.-Egg
I believe this is the first reference you'll find. It's definitely NOT XKCD.http://blogs.msdn.com/steverowe/archive/2004/11/17/code-editor-learning-curves.aspx
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