Which styles to keep?

Guillaume Laurent glaurent at telegraph-road.org
Thu Aug 16 15:14:59 BST 2007

On Aug 16, 2007, at 3:49 PM, Boudewijn Rempt wrote:

> On Thursday 16 August 2007, Guillaume Laurent wrote:
>> Well, too bad for him, but I think we can do without people who can't
>> think out of their own geek-pink bubble.
> If we're talking about being able to do without people, maybe we  
> can do
> without people who think they can do without a class of people they  
> feel free
> to dismiss with a pejorative epithet?

I was thinking of people who insist on their own pet visual style  
even though it looks obsolete.

> Because we've got plenty of hands on board to actually finish the  
> thing per
> spec and on time, of course. We can easily afford to junk contributors
> because they don't agree with you.

Seriously, if someone jumps ship just because KDE takes a business/ 
market-oriented direction (which pretty much means that it starts  
tackling needs of non-geek users), is that "junking" him ? In my mind  
it's more like he's just being immature.

> And sure, an attractive default style is important. Keramik lost us an
> enormous amount of potential users right at the time when lots of  
> people were
> moving to Linux. When Keramik was default, none of my co-workers  
> who switched
> became KDE users. They all picked Gnome, on looks.

That's exactly what I mean. I'd bet looks also played a large part in  
Ubuntu's initial choice of Gnome over KDE (that and the number of  
options in the control panel).

> Whether Oxygen will do any better is something I really doubt. It's  
> too much
> look-at-the-cool-widgets-not-your-work with at the same time an  
> acute lack of
> any contrast so it takes real effort to see the state of the  
> widgets properly.

I can't say anything about Oxygen. At least the icons look nice  
(rather OSX-ish).

> But what do I know. I code nowadays, so I haven't got any aesthetic  
> sense,
> ipso facto. Oh wait, that's true for my ex-co-workers, too. They  
> were coders
> and project leads. Their opinion doesn't count. We wouldn't have  
> wanted them
> as users anyway.

You may have aesthetic sense (although from a statistical point of  
view, given the sheer number of enlightenment-gothic-matrix-jessica- 
alba-theme screenshots over those which are, well, not eye-piercing,  
assuming a coder has aesthetic sense isn't a safe bet), you won't  
have any sense of usability though, because your way of using a  
machine is just so different from a normal user, and your  
understanding of it makes it impossible for you to put yourself in  
his shoes. There's a reason why (good) usability is done by different  
people than programmers, because not only is it a completely  
different set of skills, it's also something programmer minds are  
generally too warped to do properly.


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