Re: [Evolution] UI choices

On Mon, 2003-02-10 at 20:31, Andrew Cowie wrote:
Hey Jeff,

On Tue, 2003-02-11 at 11:02, Jeffrey Stedfast wrote: 
there is a huge discussion about this on the GNOME Usability list.

I *agree* with the GNOME usability guidelines. I know they've been

think Havoc Pennington wrote up a document on it, I would refer you to
it but don't recall the url.

[I haven't read Havoc's document; Jeff Waugh mentioned it a couple weeks
ago. I've been looking for it. I have read the Human Inteface
guidelines, but that's not the one you're talking about, is it?]

There is, IMHO, a fundamental difference between presenting a
bewildering array of features for the average user, and making the power
accessible to someone who wants it.

I believe in what Ximian (and RedHat and now Sun and...) specifically
and GNOME generally are after. I just wanted to encourage everyone to
keep in mind that there *are* reasons not to just nuke features out of

Make the defaults the simplest, most usable things you can think of.
Hide the advanced features if you will. Hell, make it so they can only
be controlled by editing text files, rather than UI <shudder>.

at this point, we might as well not implement the feature :-)

also note that this "feature" isn't worth all the fuss that people are
putting into it. if it was something as necessary as multiple accounts,
things would be different.

But the point I made about "the power under the hood" and why it is we
all dislike Windows stands. I don't <gasp, omigod he's actually saying
it on an OpenSource mailing list!> actually dislike Windows. It works
most of the time! I hate Outlook, Word and friends because, so often,
they decide what I want for me, instead of letting me choose.

well, they have a huge array more features than Evolution does and
probably ever will have.

I personally find it annoying that so many open source software gives
the user *too much* "power" (I don't agree with the term power here,
people seem to think more features == power, I do not).

it makes open source software completely unusable. try configuring
sendmail if you don't believe me. do you even know what half the
features do? I don't. I don't want to know either. they probably have no
business being there in the first place. probably cruft left over for
backwards compatability that should just be tossed.

Evolution is open source. *that* itself is power. it gives you the power
to change what you don't like. we simply cannot possibly ever implement
the infinite array of possible features than any joe schmoe could want.
it's not feasable. nor would it be user-friendly...or usable at *all* in

we as the developers need to weed out the stuff that doesn't belong, and
I feel that this feature doesn't belong. it's an option for the sake of
having an option. whenever you have an option for the sake of having an
option, you're doing something wrong.

 I prefer
Un*x, Free and Open software because I can almost always make it do what
I want *the way I want it*.

right, this is power. more features != power.



Enter the world of complex Graphical User Interfaces intended for a
world-wide audience.

There is, of course, a balance to be struck. The default action SHOULD
be to make an intelligent, reasoned, highly-usable choice and just Make
It Work. Applause for that. 

Evolution is one of the best Open programs I have ever used. It is
loaded with features, and does many things very intelligently. And
despite the fact there are plenty of things it doesn't do that I "need"
I'm sticking with it most of all because I *do* feel that the
development team listens. Sure, you're grouchy most of the time, but
once in a while you do listen. :)


It would just be nice if the itch can be scratched. That is, after all,
what moves us forward.

Well, that and a healthy dose of Venture Capital.


evolution maillist  -  evolution lists ximian com
Jeffrey Stedfast
Evolution Hacker - Ximian, Inc.
fejj ximian com  -

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