[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Fri Jan 2 13:41:34 PST 2004

<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">

> According to Jeff Waugh:
> > http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/
> I think I get it now.  Gnome 1 was a second system where the "first
> system" was, more or less, the common GUI standards of the time,
> esp. Windows and CDE and to a lesser extent MacOS.  Its option-heavy
> design was a reaction against the perceived lack of user control in
> those GUIs.

See, if you want your clever little joke to be even more clever, think along
the lines of "second system effect". That will have everyone snickering into
their sleeves with glee. "Ha ha, he used FRANK BROOKS on that weird GNOME
freak! Ha ha!"

But you'd still be wrong.

> Gnome 2 is a reaction against that reaction, and has apparently gone too
> far (again) but in the opposite direction.

We certainly don't think so. *Apparently* there are many people who are
bloody excited that we're giving Free Software usability the kick in the
nuts it needed.

Doesn't mean you have to like it. And it doesn't mean you have to diss it.

> I find it very revealing that the given slide presentation uses this
> quote, apparently with approval:
>   "It's not sufficient to 'use simple words to explain things'.
>    Things must actually *be* simple, which is much harder."
>       -- Martin Pool
> But the world (especially the human mental world) *is* still complex.
> Any system that has designs on being an interface to that entire complex
> world can't be simple and also adequate.

Oh, right, so you can make things simpler by cranking up the cognitive
effort required to operate and understand them? Hint: No, you don't. You're
working from the assumptions of someone who understands and cares about
technology, and you're also making whimsical fairyland arguments instead of
addressing the harsh reality of PEOPLE WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU CARE

TMTOWTDI works with a blank canvas. If you can't understand the difference
between an empty file ready for your coding pleasure, and a user interface
designed for normal people, I'm not sure you're coming at this from the
right perspective. I'm not saying there isn't or can't be more than one way
to perform a given task - I'm saying that's a pretty asinine goal to start
with when you're writing for a general audience.

- Jeff

Come to gnome.conf.au 2004!   http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/
      "I don't want the world, I just want your half." - They Might Be
                               Giants, Ana Ng

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