Re: [Evolution-hackers] PIM application suite

i know i've kind of started a flamewar here and that
wasn't my intention.

i'm a developer, a computer scientist, as a matter of
fact. i'm deeply interested in usability.  it had been
a long time before i got a mac, and the only real push
i had was os x (because the linux->os x transition was
pretty painless since i can keep all my unix goodies).
 what i learned along the path is how sad a state of
afairs the usability of computer software is, and just
how much time and money apple puts into usability that
so many other companies/groups/developers disregard.

just as i don't care what an actor has to say about
anything but acting, i should not care about what a
developer has to say about anything other than
developing.  i'm not saying your opinion doesn't
matter, but what i am saying is you're not qualified
to argue usability when you are not the type of user
gnome is trying to target. gnome is targeting the
lowest common denominator -- the "i just want it to
work" group. the ones who think of a computer as like
a car. it's a black box that gets them from point a to
point b.

what you fail to realize is by targeting this group,
everyone benefits. even the people with tons of prior
knowledge about computers. even the developers benefit
when you target this group, because the end usability
improvements trickle down to how much work you can get
done per day, or at the very least, it reduces the
amount of per-domain knowledge you need to accomplish
a set of goals.

just because microsoft commits usability atrocities
(like outlook) does not mean they should propogate to
the OSS world.  we have a chance to do things right,
why not get it done the first time? i've seen outlook
used in the corporate world. 99% of people don't know
how to use it beyond very simple email functions, and
even then outlook displays about 15 more options at
any given time that the user will simply never use. 
that's the beauty of apple's design is that all these
PIM applications integrate so well, and yet are
separate from each other. this allows each application
to focus on it's given function.  evolution is not a
email program. it's a calendar/email/contacts program.
this is too much functionality to put into one piece
of software for the average gnome user.  that is all i
am saying.  that is why it should be split up by
default into individual focused apps.

--- Jeffrey Stedfast <fejj ximian com> wrote:
> On Sun, 2004-04-18 at 05:03, Tristan O'Tierney
> wrote:
> > > the mailer will always depend on the addressbook
> and
> > > calendar, so
> > > whether you load them into the window or not is
> > > irrelevant.
> > > 
> > > in fact, I don't see why you wouldn't just load
> them
> > > into the main shell
> > > window anyway, they're loaded!
> > > 
> > > no sense making the user run 3 apps having each
> > > component loaded into
> > > each of them. it just wastes more resources.
> > > 
> > 
> > the GUI wastes far more resources than a command
> line,
> > yet the GUI is far more usable.  resources are
> > irrelevant here, especially when 128 megs of ram
> or
> > more these days for a simple PIM suite.  they
> should
> > be split up because they are different functions.
> not
> > because they aren't related. you simply aren't
> > understanding this. mail != contacts != calendar.
> yes
> > they are all INTERDEPENDENT. they are even
> related.
> > but they are not the same function, it's just that
> > simple.  if you try and cram too much
> functionality
> > into one interface it's incohesive to the average
> > user.
> doesn't seem to bother the average user, if it
> did... there wouldn't be
> Outlook or GroupWise or Lotus Notes or... a zillion
> other groupware
> suites.
> in fact, you seem to be the only one (or, at best,
> one of a handful)
> bothered by this.
> >  it's a linear function. the more options a user
> > has to choose, the more chance of failure to find
> the
> > option they want and the increased time to find
> said
> > option.
> how hard is it, really, to say "I want to make an
> appointment. I need to
> switch to calendar because obviously mail doesn't do
> that"
> you're saying the average user can't handle that,
> yet you want to split
> the applications which forces these users to have to
> know which
> application does what? it's the same bloody
> decision.
> >  it makes interfaces scary and bloated.
> ah, bloated. the most overused and least understood
> word used when
> describing software.
> >   i'm
> > not sure why you can't understand this.
> I'm not sure why *you* can't understand this.
> >   the key to a
> > good application is focus.
> there is focus. where is there not focus? how is
> there not focus?
> >   there's something to be
> > said about an app that does ONE thing well, and
> > strives only to do that one thing.
> ah, the good ol' "do one thing, and do it well"
> argument. the most
> widely used and yet least understood statement used
> by non software
> developers when trying to argue something.
> for a loose definition of "ONE", everything does ONE
> thing well and
> strives to only do one thing.
> if we split out the mailer, for example, would it
> really only be doing
> "ONE" thing? depends on how you define "ONE",
> obviously. It replies to
> mail, it composes mail, it forwards mail, it filters
> mail, it fetches
> mail, it sends mail, it displays mail, as well as
> numerous other things.
> That's not one thing... so I guess by your
> definition each of these
> functions should be a separate application too? :-)
> >   this doesn't mean
> > this independent app can't fully integrate with
> other
> > related applications (like a calendar or contacts
> > program integrating with a mail app).
> if you completely split them, then yes, it would
> mean that.
> > 
> > > evolution --component=contacts
> > then this should be the default
> no, I disagree.
> > , and there should be
> > several evolution-pim scripts installed by default
> as
> > evolution-contacts, evolution-calendar, and
> > evolution-mail.
> no, if a distributor wanted this, then they could
> make separate menu
> entries - one to launch each of the components. that
> would be the proper
> way to do it, not writing shell scripts. average
> users don't use the
> command-line.
> Jeff

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