Re: Copying and innovation

Reinout said:
> Subject: Copying and innovation (was: Re: Fw: Incessant Horse Flogging.)
> 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.

A consistent UI experience is often the driving factor.  Innovation can
cost if it's at the expense of consistency.  This comes up in
look-and-feel, theming, and interoperability arenas all the time (e.g.
why doesn't mozilla/staroffice/java use GTK+)?

Here's the equation.

1) Users/admins/marketers want (Mozilla, Java, StarOffice, etc.) to be
consistent on all platforms [A=B]

2) Users/admins/etc. expect applications on the same desktop to have a
consistent look and feel [B=C]

this is where we run into trouble; we don't want [A=C], and can't do a
literally perfect job of it anyhow, lest we are accused of infringing

So the approximations and deltas between A=C are where the hard work,
interoperability problems, arguments, etc. (and innovation, of a
constrained sort) live.

The alternative is fun for developers and the minority, and might become
the next Xerox-Star or Apple-Lisa (both complete flops from a marketing
perspective), but it doesn't help with "GNOME , For the Rest of Us" (did
I just make that up?  somebody call marketing ;-)

(OK, lengthy replies please to usability, not to this list)

- Bill

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