[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity (UIs, etc.)

Bill Bogstad bogstad@pobox.com
Sun Oct 5 09:46:29 PDT 2003

>> Why would you have so many options and preferences that you have no
>> choice but to provide search facilities for them? (Yes, we're
>> talking about a different world to vim, mutt and friends.) The KDE
>> control center provides this, mostly because it is stuffed to the
>> gills with pointless, masturbatory preferences.
>Yes, of course.  Anything graphical needs to be dumbed down.  Keep
>those (l)users in their place.  As far as I can tell, this is the core
>of your position, yet it's completely without support.  There's a
>problem with the configuration interface?  Well, you shouldn't really
>be using that anyway.  Configuration is only for the mentally ill.

I've watched a number of messages go by so far on this issue of
configuration options and why too many of them is a bad thing vs.
'dumbing down' the software, etc..  Personally, I like the idea of
highly configurable interfaces.  However...

I recently took a course on human factors issues and computer interfaces
and my understanding is that the HCI people have scientifically shown
that gui's are inherently better than command lines in most ways and the
less you ask a user to configure the better.  I had a very negative
reaction to this to the extent that I wish I had the time to read the
original studies and examine their methodology.  Still, the 'best'
research seems to say that I (and it seems some of the people on this
list) are mutants and the interface style that we like is not right for
most people.  It might be possible to write software that would satisfy
both the elitists and the rest of the population, but I think we should
stop giving free/open software developers a hard time if they decide to
target their software (either permanently or initially) towards the
mainstream.  Unless of course, the 'elite' in linux-elitists is intended
to denote snobbery rather then highly capable.

Bill Bogstad

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