Re: Err..To Desktop Or Not To Desktop?

-----Original Message-----
From: Maciej Stachowiak <>
To: Bowie Poag <>
Cc: <>
Date: Monday, July 27, 1998 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: Err..To Desktop Or Not To Desktop?

> writes:
>> On Mon, 27 Jul 1998, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> (..much useless flame deleted..)
>It wasn't useless flamage, it was constructive criticism about how to
>go about writing a Style Guide for Gnome. Note epsecially the comment
>you deleted on the difference between a design document and a
>standards document and you will see that it is not even worth
>considering putting something like "the desktop will have a trashcan"
>(approximate quote from you) in a Style Guide.
>> Quite the opposite, my friend.
>> See..In the original draft of this letter, I had a paragraph at the end
>> which stated something to the effect of..
>> "Please, READ what I've said here, in detail. Dont skim. I choose my
>> words VERY carefully. So, before you run around like a chicken with its
>> head cut off, screaming bloody murder that i'm trying to eliminate the
>> democratic process necessary to making a good style guide, have another
>> look at what I've just wrote."
>> You make me wish I hadn't removed it.
>I guess you should have left it it. You didn't choose your words
>carefully enough to convey any sense of democratic process. (I don't
>think the process should be democratic actually, it should be
>meritoctratic like all free software hacking).
>> I ctrl-K'ed that entire paragraph at the last minute, assuming the people
>> who were going to read it had also read what I've been saying all along.
>> I assumed some half-informed dork WOULDN'T walk up all full of piss and
>> vinegar, having merely skimmed through what I just wrote, and accuse me
>> being a clueless dictator without an ounce of regard for popular
>> Looks like I was assumed wrong, in both respects.
>> Try going back, and reading other posts I've made to the mailing list.
>> Then, you will know my intentions. After you have done that, please sit
>> down and examine this post again, in detail. If you still have questions
>> about what I've written, or if you are confused about any part of it, ask
>> me to clarify my point, or my stand on an issue. Do NOT run around like a
>> chicken with its head cut off claiming i'm an exclusionary psychopath
>> bent on doing all of this work myself.
>All your other posts convey the intention of bringing forth a style
>guide full formed and then people can get to comment on it. I have
>disagreed with that concept from the beginning. I have yet to see you
>agree to keep people involved at every step.
>> I'm not typing all of this for your personal amusement; I'm typing it to
>> get an important point across. Anything more would be a waste of time,
>> you AND me.
>> If you HAD read the post carefully, and had been following the course of
>> events which have lead up to it, you would realize that what you've
>> accused me of could not be further from the truth. My job is to write a
>> Style Guide for GNOME. Not to shove my personal design manifesto down
>> yours, or anyone elses throat.
>I don't think you _can_ do such a thing. That's why I advised you not
>to try, or appear to be trying. When you make comments along the lines
>that you will ask Marc Ewing how for your creative control extends,
>that really sounds like you think that with his blessing, you can do
>anything you want.
>> Take some time out, fix yourself a cup of coffee, and look at it again.
>Guess what, I don't have time for a flamewar. I especialy don't have
>time for a flamewar with you, I've read some of yours before and you
>always repeat the same things over and over and accuse anyone who
>disagrees with you of not having read your post or any of the
>thread. This is my last post on the subject. If this list continues to
>be as annoying as it has been, I will unsub.
> - Maciej Stachowiak
>         To unsubscribe: mail with
>                       "unsubscribe" as the Subject.

Couple things:

1)  For somebody who is all for meritocracy and the like, you haven't
contributed much of merit except a request that things of merit not be
suggested, because there is no merit in the suggestion rather in the
convincing.  Yes, your request is as confusing as that sentence.

2)  For somebody who would be as dictatorial as you suggest, I see more
cogent posts from him than from you.

3)  If this list is annoying you, then leave.  There's only one person here
telling another to withhold his opinions, and that's you.  You're telling
Bowie what he can and cannot suggest in a style guide.

Now, that being said, I do think it is important that the *beta* style guide
be released to us before the *final* style guide.  However, it is *just* as
important that some semblance of a guide be finished before we move to tear
it apart.  You can't judge a movie edit until it's done being edited.
"Where's X, Y, Z?"  "Oh, not done yet."  Let Bowie finish a version of the
guide and then toss it out.

I'm in the middle of a similar thing.  I'm working on a UI proposal of my
own, and let me tell you it's gone through DOZENS of revisions and if I had
to deal with people shouting at me that I was missing features when *I
WASN'T EVEN DONE WITH A BETA*, I'd throw my hands up and quit.

Let me--and Bowie--add as many features or descriptions as we feel is
necessary for a *complete* body of work, and *then* let us both release our
suggestions to the hounds.

A design is greater than the sum of its parts.  It's not like you can just
thrash together a hundred features and expect a wonderful design.  Muck with
the order, and everything gets screwed.

Keep in mind how little can screw up a design--look at the icewm photo I
just linked to, then look at the Windows Start Menu.  The former is clean,
slick, and altogether useful.  The latter is a disaster zone.

They're the same design, with only one small specification made wrong--sort
by company, not by category.

If you push a design before it's ready, if you demand access to something
that's incomplete, things like that are going to slip through, because all
individual features will be looked at individually, instead of in the
context of the whole.  Individually, sorting by company makes sense--they
made the product, they deserve the credit.  It's in the global sense that
they become disastrous.

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