Which styles to keep?

Torsten Rahn torsten.rahn at credativ.de
Thu Aug 16 12:00:30 BST 2007

> there is little point to having the ability to pick styles if people can't
> take advantage of it and there most definitely people who enjoy simpler

We are NOT questioning the ability to pick "simpler" styles in general. My 
concern is that KDE is targeted at a market (at least it claims to be). By 
far most of the users among this market are everyday users. Not programmers. 
Not lovers of old operating systems.

If we have a large amount of outdated styles and a small amount of styles that 
match the average taste of most people in the target group then there is 
certainly something wrong there.

It's like a vegetarian restaurant offering a menu that contains mostly meat 
meals (really just because the cook loves them) and only one or two 
vegetarian meals. Still the restaurant claims to be a restaurant that is 
mostly targeted at vegetarians - because it's only the single vegetarian meal 
which they are running ads for.  I'm sure most vegetarians would feel either 
irritated or embarrassed if I called that restaurant a very good vegetarian 
restaurant that doesn't leave open desires for vegetarians (Of course the 
vegetarian meal might indeed be very good but that doesn't make it 
a "vegetarian restaurant" yet). 
And just like Aaron I say "What's the problem? They sell food. And as long as 
you are able to chew the meat meals, swallow them and as long as they don't 
smell really bad (yes, it's dead pork!) I'm pretty sure vegetarians will 
simply love the additional choice of meat meals and they should get offered 
on the menu!

After all the vegetarians get offered a wide range of "choice". They should 
praise the cook for the wide range of "choice" among meat meals they get 
offered (of which none is a realistic option for most of them).
Seriously, I (as a non-vegetarian) have no problems calling a vegetarian 
restaurant a vegetarian restaurant if it also offers a few meat meals for the 
few non-vegetarian people that (for whatever reason) got lost in that 
restaurant. Still the ratio needs to fit. 

Like that restaurant (which needs to decide vegetarian restaurant or 
a "normal" restaurant) we need to make a tough choice: Do we want to be a 
professional restaurant mostly targeted at every day users (that might also 
be a good fit for programmers and people who love old operating systems) . Or 
do we want to be a hacker desktop (that might also appeal to some every day 
users). If it's the latter then Matthias Ettrich's Usenet posting 10 years 
ago was slightly misleading and I'm probably wrong here. 

> >  I can promise I'll switch the style before making any public screenshots
> that's probably the important bit: what we show the public.

Yes, like the "vegetarian" restaurant that openly advertizes "just" it's 
single vegetarian meal while hiding the remaining meals that are really 
targeted at the cook. 

Seriously, I have watched several people installing KDE on their desktop and 
paid close attention to the reactions when I pointed out that people get 
offered a choice among styles (not really being aware myself that these 
styles are aging ...). 
And judging from the reaction of most people who aren't linux enthusiasts 
browsing through the styles, the default choice that gets offered is pretty 
overwhelming in terms of quantity and rather underwhelming in terms of 
quality. And this _does_ affect their opinion whether KDE is "for them" yet.


 Torsten Rahn

 Tel.: 0 21 61 - 46 43 - 192

credativ GmbH, HRB Mönchengladbach 12080
Hohenzollernstr. 133, 41061 Mönchengladbach
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