Copying and innovation (was: Re: Fw: Incessant Horse Flogging.)

Hello Sean,

On 14 Nov 2002, Sean Middleditch wrote:

> > Its like the people involved in deciding what makes it onto the
> > desktop are terrified of introducing an idea that isn't already seen
> > in Windows or OS X.

> Revolutionary New Idea X(tm) when things like a general key-binding
> daemon still aren't present, or the file-selector is still butt-ugly,

I think what Bowie means is that we could also ask ourselves the question
"Is a file selector really necessary at all?", i.e. think of different UI

But, I do go along with your line of thought that GNOME shouldn't become
something like HURD. Stuff that needs to be right in the here and now (and
yes, that includes the file selector) should have first priority.

> stuff that Every Other OS has, it doesn't.  When GNOME matures to the
> point where there's no large holes missing in functionality, them maybe
> developers can sit back and think, "OK, here's a good desktop, what can
> we do to blow away the competition?"

The problem with this is that that point is an ever-moving target, and the
movement is dictated again by what other desktops are doing. That is
constantly redefining what are "large holes missing in functionality". So
it is elementary (for lack of a better word) to keep thinking about cool
stuff as well, and work towards it.

> Or things like the Nautilus 'OO UI' - strikingly new, I suppose, but

New! By now the first renditions of OOUIs must be about ten years old. The
time that the good ideas from this paradigm are incorporated in GNOME is
long overdue.

> Second, sometimes an interface that has existed for 10+ years just
> *needs* to be copied.  Computer geeks can generally adjust fairly well
> to a new interface, especially one they help develop, but what about the
> average users... the only ones who will find it more intuitive will be
> the ones with no prior experience.  Take Sally from Accounting who's
> used Windows for 7 years, and put her on a desktop where everything


I contend this cross platform consistency you're talking about cannot be
a _deciding_ argument for copying other UIs. Yes, all other things being
equal, it can be a factor to be taken in consideration, but you have to
place your own vision first.

Everybody at some time has to learn new ways of handling devices. And it
is a human trait to be reluctant of learning new things; but giving in to
this will only reinforce the old, perhaps wrong, way of doing things,
making it more difficult to have real innovation in the future.



Reinout van Schouwen			Artificial Intelligence student
email: reinout cs vu nl			mobile phone: +31-6-44360778
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