[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Greg Folkert greg@gregfolkert.net
Thu Oct 9 13:34:47 PDT 2003

On Thu, 2003-10-09 at 10:12, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
> > In fact, the main reason I started in was because Jeff seemed to be
> > applying his (IMHO misguided) theories on design as if they were
> > universals rather than narrowly applicable to the gnome development
> > process.
> Hold on, they're not 'my theories'. ;-) What I've been referring to is
> GNOME's approach to usability, of which our target audience is a major
> defining factor. We're not focusing on 100% satisfaction for the 1% (or
> less) of users who are highly technically proficient and/or interested.
> I do believe our approach to usability has some universal merit, given the
> context of our target audience (ie. not the vocal minority of technical
> users who have the majority voice in the greater Free Software community).
> I refer to Havoc's essays a lot, because they describe our approach very
> accurately - what do you feel is misguided about these?

As a friend of mine (Scott Anderson) commented to me on a jabber

<scott> damn, I need to subscribe to l-e... there are some people on
there that are seriously confused about HCI

<greg> Nooooo Kidding..

<scott> "I read a paper by Havoc on HCI, you should too! All will be

<scott> er, dude... I read it. Havoc is right about some things, and
wrong about others. Manifestos are usually a bad thing. Havoc's paper is
being treated as a manifesto by some people

<greg> He is not the end-all be-all he is being made up to be...

<scott> the point I would like to make on the list: complexity is
manageable. It should not be discarded simply to eschew complexity.
Gnome is inherently complex. WRT preferences: novice, intermediate, and
expert toggles go a loooong way. WRT code bugs from complexity: unit
tests solve 95% of this. Use them. There is no such thing as a "sane
default" when it comes to user interfaces... people aren't the same.

<scott> in HCI the overriding principle should be "people aren't the
same", in fact. some differences can be solved by making things simpler.
others cannot, and should be solved with configuration options.

 * scott should write a "Havoc Considered Harmful" essay

<greg> well, that would go along way Scott. 

And there in lies the problem.

greg, greg@gregfolkert.net
REMEMBER ED CURRY! http://www.iwethey.org/ed_curry

Your fingers sublimate into volcanic gases with the slightest cooling
touch from the antennae of a passing lyre.
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