[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Jeremy Hankins nowan@nowan.org
Wed Oct 15 09:55:45 PDT 2003

Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> writes:
> <quote who="Jeremy Hankins">

>> Note: if you disagree with me, I see four ways you can argue your point:
>> a) Claim that gnome *does* have a small domain.
>> b) Claim that gnome does *not* determine with any specificity what
>> users' experience with gnome software will be.
>> c) Claim that Murphy's Law, et all, don't hold.
>> d) Suggest some other way of managing chaos/complexity, and argue that
>> this is what the gnome project does.
>> Since arguing (a) is very unlikely given the size of the codebase
>> (including all apps that depend on gnome libs), and (b) seems directly
>> contrary to the project's design goals, you're left with (c) and (d).
>> Good luck. ;)
> How about...
>   (e) It is okay that you do not seem to be in our target
>   audience. :-)

I covered that one.  It's a variety of (a), and I argued against it
specifically in the text you omitted.  It's false because of all the
apps that depend on gnome.

Part of your audience (target or not) is folks who aren't particularly
interested in gnome but find themselves using it anyway, simply
because some app they *do* care about depends on it.  Folks in this
position have the choice of trying to put up with gnome or avoid using
it.  The former (option b from above) is hard because gnome isn't
designed to work for these folks (i.e., it can't handle the complexity
of their particular situations).  The latter (option a from above) is
hard because so many apps use gnome (i.e., the domain is too large to
be easily avoided).

Most projects in the free software world can afford to be very
specific to a target audience.  It's only reasonable for them to take
the attitude "Well, if you disagree with these premises you're not our
target audience" -- it certainly makes development much, much simpler.
Gnome can't do that (not without irritating a lot of people, anyway)
simply because the penetration is too great.  You're a victim of your
own success.  You have an audience you didn't choose, and who didn't
choose you either.

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

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