[Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME

Linus Torvalds torvalds at osdl.org
Mon Dec 12 19:35:58 PST 2005



On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> 
> That's definitely not a point of view of the GNOME Project - we're focused
> on making Free Software appropriate for users who are smart (we don't talk
> about 'dumb users'), but just don't care about computing technology. We're
> just like every other Free Software project - fixing stuff requires the work
> and attention of people who care about the problem at hand.

No. I've talked to people, and often your "fixes" are actually removing 
capabilities that you had, because they were "too confusing to the user".

That's _not_ like any other open source project I know about. Gnome seems 
to be developed by interface nazis, where consistently the excuse for not 
doign something is not "it's too complicated to do", but "it would confuse 
users".

The current example of "intentionally not listed in the printing dialog, 
the usability team of GNOME was against listing these options." is clearly 
not the exception, but the rule.

Jeff, if the explanation had been "exposing PPD features is too hard, we 
need developer manpower", I'd have understood. THAT is what open source 
projects tend to say. Not "powerful interfaces might confuse users and not 
look nice".

If this was a one-off, I'd buy it. But I've heard it too damn many times. 
And only ever from Gnome. 

The reason I don't use Gnome: every single other window manager I know of 
is very powerfully extensible, where you can switch actions to different 
mouse buttons. Guess which one is not, because it might confuse the poor 
users? Here's a hint: it's not the small and fast one.

And when I tell people that, they tend to nod, and have some story of 
their own why they had a feature they used to use, but it was removed 
because it might have been confusing.

Same with the file dialog. Apparently it's too "confusing" to let users 
just type the filename. So gnome forces you to do the icon selection 
thing, never mind that it's a million times slower.

			Linus



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