Use of library names (Akonadi, Solid, Nepomuk, Phonon etc.) in user interfaces

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Sat Jun 7 16:18:05 BST 2008

2008/6/7 Albert Astals Cid <aacid at>:
>> Users don't care about words or names, they avoid things that confuse
>> them. Avoid, as in "don't use and do not want to learn".
> Depicting users as idiots that don't want to learn and can't understand
> options is not a good idea. That's what Gnome decided to do and resulted in
> incredibily dumbed down programs that noone i know likes.

You make no distinction between "idiot" and "do not want to learn".
Users are not idiots. Users, however, do not want to learn to use
their computer. Without disputing the mindset nor actions of the Gnome
team, who I agree thought too little of their users, KDE should not
think to much of it's users.

>> > Nepomuk is the big example. No-one understands what it is. Even when you
>> > are actually tagging in dolphin, you have no clue, you are using nepomuk.
>> > Which is bad. If you want it to be a bigger success, users should be
>> > confronted with it.
>> No one wants to understand what it is. Users want to tag in their file
>> manager. They don't want to tag in Dolphin (they don't want to know
>> that Dolphin is the name of the file manager). They certainly don't
>> want to know what a Nepomuk is.
> Again this is not about users but about KDE, we WANT people to know they are
> using KDE programs, so let's say "KMail" and not "Mailing application"
> and "Okular" and not "Document viewer"

Kmail is a fine name because it invokes the thought of Email. Okular
may be a stretch, as Latin-speaking peoples can make the association
between the name and the idea of viewing something. Maybe my command
of Latin languages is lacking, but the name Nepomuk means nothing to
me, rather, it ends with 'muk' which sounds dirty.

>> >> - Users who are not KDE-tech enthusiasts seeing these would be
>> >> somewhat mystified.  To give an idea of what
>> >> I mean, imagine how odd it would seem if Apple's next Safari release
>> >> had an "Enable Squirrelfish" option in its
>> >> settings to turn JavaScript on/off.
>> >
>> > I don't get this point at all. If you want to know, google for it.
>> Are you kidding? Users don't google. Users avoid anything that they do
>> not understand.
> You seem to really hate users.

No, I really like the 20+ users who I've replaced MS Windows with
Kubuntu for, and I understand what their difficulties are.

>> >> - Distributors working to get KDE setups ready for schools,
>> >> businesses, mobile devices etc. will all have to
>> >> waste time patching software to take these names out and put something
>> >> more descriptive and obvious in place.
>> >
>> > Well great. I guess they adapt more stuff to their customers. If they
>> > think it should go upstream, they can find us and we can see if that
>> > fits.
>> We should not ignore the problem that has been already identified,
>> deliberately waiting for users to complain.
> No, KDE has a very wide audience, while each distro has a much smaller one,
> there's no ring to rule them all, sorry.

So you are suggesting that it is up to the distros to rename the menus
and UI. That is a fair argument, and one that I will present in the
Ubuntu and Fedora Bugzillas (the distros that I use). I expect that
probably Ubuntu will rename the items, but Fedora will not. Will users
of distros that have renamed the applications UI not be welcome on KDE
mailing lists, as they will be using unfamiliar terminology? For that
matter, does KDE want to promote the fragmentation of terminology in
use among users?

>> >> - In System Settings there are modules called "Nepomuk" and "Solid".
>> >> Again, I worry that many users are not going
>> >> to have a clue what these are.  For quite a while during the 4.0 cycle
>> >> the sound setup in System Settings was called "Phonon".
>> >
>> > It's all about branding. First we create a hype and then we are going to
>> > deny those words to be used in the interface?
>> KDE enthusiasts have heard the branding. Not end users.
> That's why we have to communicate that branding to end users. Microsoft did a
> good work here and lots of users think "Internet Explorer" is the only way to
> get to the internet.

Microsoft's successful branding is the result of the name describing
what the program does. One explores the internet with IE.

Now tell me that google was successful despite their name. As we both
know, every rule has the exception, however, don't count on being the
exception, ever.

>> >>  What I propose
>> >> is to create some simple guidelines
>> >
>> > Obviously I will vote against it.
>> Obviously you do not understand users.
> Or maybe is it you? Tom has been participating a long time in KDE programs
> widely used by users, sorry, but your name does not feel familiar so in my
> head Tom's experience and opinion has much more value than yours.

That is a fine point. I then present myself as one who installs
Kubuntu for his family, friends, and university-mates and have done
more MS-to-Kubuntu conversions than I have fingers to count them on. I
don't claim to know it all, but as I am in daily- or weekly- contact
with these users, and since I am the go-to guy for most (read: all) of
their computer-related problems, I argue that I have authority to
suggest what users may or may not want, and what they are likely and
unlikely to do.

>> >> I am not sure what you could use for Akonadi as its scope is very
>> >> broad.  "Akonadi Calendaring/Mail/Organisation/Backup/Tea Making" is
>> >> probably
>> >> too long for a menu item ;)
>> >
>> > Yeah, that's why it is called "Akonadi".
>> How about something descriptive? I would post examples but I do not
>> want to appear cynical.
> Why did our ancestors invent the "tie" word when you can say "That item of
> clothing consisting of a strip of cloth tied around the neck"? Just because
> it's easier to say "tie".

I assume that it is called a "tie" because you _tie_ it around your
neck. Quite a descriptive name, in my opinion.

> Something descriptive for Akonadi would have like 100 words, not a good idea.

PIM Configuration (for what the user needs it for, at least)?

Dotan Cohen

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
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