[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Tue Oct 14 05:03:33 PDT 2003

<quote who="Greg Folkert">

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

Oh man... Havoc's essays describe the perspective of the project, not the
other way around. It's learned wisdom, written down. Not a manifesto. I
agree with it, and pimp it, merely because it is a good expression of what
we learned post-1.x.

> <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.

Well, this basically ruins your friend's credibility. Sorry, but we've done
this. Early Nautilus 1.0.x and Sawfish had these kinds of meta settings for
a long time, and it was a hideous disaster. Not in implementation terms - in
cognition terms. We won't be doing this again.

> There is no such thing as a "sane
> default" when it comes to user interfaces... people aren't the same.

This shows a misunderstanding of the 'sane default' goal. Sure, people
aren't the same. That's why you have preferences. It's not a reason for not
having a sane default. :-) Big difference between things that are actually
preferential (which we do care about, despite some crazy rantings disputing
it) and choosing 'the right thing' when it comes to *behaviour*.

> And there in lies the problem.

I think the problem is underanalysis and lack of information on your
friend's part. :-)

- Jeff

linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia         http://lca2004.linux.org.au/
      "We've got a great drummer and a great singer. Those are the key
    positions. When you find a singer and a drummer this good, you don't
                  leave them." - Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list