[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Chip Salzenberg chip@pobox.com
Sat Jan 3 10:19:16 PST 2004

According to Jeff Waugh:
> We really honestly believed that software that was more flexible and
> had more options was therefore more usable and "more free".

An easy mistake to make.  I've spent some time recently with a user-
experience expert (sometimes called a "GUI designer" due to the
difficulty of explaining what a user-experience expert does), and I
start to understand how little I've understood about user interfaces
in general.  And yes, she recommended "Inmates"; its observation that
techie-created UIs tend to provide knobs for all underlying features
seems relevant to Gnome 1.

> What kind of things does your brain say "oh, ow, mum, I really need
> an OPTION here"?

Well, I did say I was "researching but undecided" (or words to that
effect) because:

> nine times out of ten I ask the above question and the person says,
> "well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or WindowMaker".

Busted: fvwm.  I last used Gnome regularly in 1.x days, and I'm really
not the kind of person to enjoy a UI where certain keystrokes are
simply not available for my chosen use.  I want F12 to bring up a
menu, dammit, no matter what application is currently running.  F12-t
spawns a new aterm, always.  Gnome 1 didn't let me do that, nor does
KDE, as far as I can tell.  I'd ask about Gnome 2 but for DYOFH.

> Not really a good platform for serious debate about the merits of
> our approach to usability.

It's a fair cop, but society's to blame.  Abstract complaints bug you
because you've heard too much of them?  I sympathize.  We get a lot of
whining in Perl land as well.
Chip Salzenberg               - a.k.a. -               <chip@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
    but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early."  // MST3K

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