[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Jeremy Hankins nowan@nowan.org
Thu Oct 2 05:58:17 PDT 2003

Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> writes:
> <quote who="Aaron Lehmann">

>> One can sum up the attitude like so: "The browser should work out
>> of the box for the dumbest of users. Anything that the elitist
>> community doesn't like should be labeled a feature. Preference
>> items are a bad thing because they make the program more
>> complicated to use and slow down the preferences dialog."
> Boofhead.
>   http://ometer.com/free-software-ui.html
>   http://ometer.com/features.html

Rather than get into a semantics war over what a good UI is when you
evidently think there's no real controversy and it's just a matter of
getting our act together, here's an idea:

Good UI sucks!

There are two things I want out of a UI: control & speed.  Learning
curve isn't on the list -- it's minor, and at worst temporary.  Speed
means (among other things) minimizing the mouse and maximizing
keybindings, and control means plenty of features -- hopefully
available in a scriptable & extensible way.

obgconf: I avoid using gnome (or kde) apps whenever possible, and
gconf is one of the reasons.  I hate GUI configuration interfaces (if
I can't do it easily with vi it's too complicated), and from a
strictly non-gui perspective gconf sucks when compared to, for
example, emacs.  At least with emacs you have a reasonable choice
between gui & non-gui config.

I'm sure you've heard all this before, so consider it a rant.  It's
damn frustrating to be a second class citizen just because I'm willing
to put some effort into setting up my interface.

Mostly, I can just let the gnome & kde folks do their own thing and
forget about them.  I use a combination of sawfish (with some
home-grown modules incorporating ideas from ratpoison/ion, and a
minibuffer/ex -style interface), screen, and emacs (with viper &
gnus).  But when it comes to web browsing I find myself using firebird
(I used galeon at one point) with all the unpleasantness that entails.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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