Re: [Gimp-developer] gimp gradients

On 2013/03/12, at 0:45, peter sikking <peter mmiworks net> wrote:

well, as long as I get shown the middle finger where it comes
to implementing the control frame of the tool, I think the
situation is completely out of whack here where it comes to
interaction design and usability.

remember, it is open source: only successful contribution counts.

Hi Peter, 
please don't get me wrong on this one since I truly admire your work on GIMP and the fact that you are 
educating a generation of students for interaction design for open source. The written words can not 
communicate properly the sincerity and there is always a bit of cynism lurking, but I want to assure you that 
there is no cynism but only sincerity.

I would like to remind you that open source is not about "only successful contribution counts". We have seen 
a case or two where initially unsuccessful contribution made all the difference in the long run, when the 
time was right. That is fine in the open source. i.e. the fact that ideas evolve and flow and can wait for 
better times and purposes. We have the luxury of not having the strict economic constraints or market 
competition that commercial projects have, and I think that this is something to embrace.

But rather, the "open source" is about open access to any development and implementation information for a 
"final" product. With that in mind, professionally, I am very much interested in your approach to designing 
interactions. Your work (and that of your students) has been inspiring, but unfortunately has been a bit of a 
black hole, too. It would be great if you could open your team's "development and implementation 
information". At the moment, the input information for your process is open (gui brainstorm, GIMP itself, 
forums, this mailing list, etc.), and the solution they your team provides is open, too. But the main part, 
i.e. "development and implementation" is closed, as far as I can tell. What/how/why of the process that leads 
to solutions your team provides is not openly articulated. Excuse me for saying it, but it resembles the 
conventional closed design proces a little (which is fine, too). I understand that for some reasons unknown 
to me (student's work evaluation perhaps?) maybe you have to keep it closed?

Either way, that opaqueness of your team's design decision process puts your team undeservedly in a position 
where you have to announce/defend the solutions in front of the community everytime you "deliver" the 
solution. And no matter how smart and informed your solution is, there will always be some middle fingers 
raised. For various understandable reasons (some might not get it, some might hate it, some are cans, some 
have different ideas... etc.)...

From my experience, early and open access to design development and implementation helps immensely when it 
comes to articulating the solutions to community. We are all enthusiastic, curious and antsy about the new 
stuff, and we like to peek over the shoulders of developers and designers and give our 2cents any time. Even 
when not asked! That is an amazing asset for a designer, wouldn't you agree? And, who knows, informed by the 
insights into your process, maybe the specs would be written and even followed by someone else, openly and 
collaboratively. ;)

Do you think that you could perhaps open your design process a bit?

(I follow the GUI brainstorm, your blog and your contributions in GIMP. If I am missing a key part of the 
whole image here, please let me know... and if that's the case I apologize in advance)

Peter and everyone else,
thank you, cheers, and keep up the great work 


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