RE: Disliking gnome 3

>I think it is better to say "We are not doing X because we don't like it" or>"We are not doing X because is is too much work" or "We are not doing X>because would screw up a lot of other things"

So you'd rather the developers sound selfish and lazy?

Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2011 17:34:46 +0200
Subject: Re: Disliking gnome 3
From: w deborger gmail com
To: scampa giovanni gmail com
CC: gnome-shell-list gnome org

Dear Giovanni,

Thank you for your very polite and well formulated answer.

Your reply makes clear that the patronizing attitude is (as expected) totally coincidental.
Yet I also share Ben's feelings.

I think it is a communications problem. To many people, the changes are an inconvenience. And while most people will learn to live with them, you should handle everyone with care until they are hooked. I think you should be very careful never to make statements that imply something about the user.
When you say "We don't do X it because we want to encourage behavior Y" or  "We don't do X because no one needs it" or "We don't do X because it takes up screen size" you make a statement that may be untrue or irrelevant for many users. When they read this, you lose their support.  I think it is better to say "We are not doing X because we don't like it" or "We are not doing X because is is too much work" or "We are not doing X because would screw up a lot of other things". Why? Because those statements are about you. To others they may be unpleasant, but never patronizing.


PS: could you provide a reference to the user studies you refer to?

On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 15:55, Giovanni Campagna <scampa giovanni gmail com> wrote:
Il giorno gio, 01/09/2011 alle 21.42 +0300, Pasha R ha scritto:
> On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Adam Tauno Williams
> <awilliam whitemice org> wrote:
> > On Thu, 2011-09-01 at 18:16 +0300, Pasha R wrote:
> >> My problem is that shell is simply inconvenient to use and insulting
> >> attitude of developers
> >
> > I don't feel insulted at all.
> Good for you. I find an attitude commonly expressed on this and some
> other lists "we know better what you should want" insulting.

I'm very sorry, and I think I can speak for the whole team when I say
that nobody meant to insult you (the rest of this mail, otoh, is my
personal view). Our attitude is not "we know better", instead it tries
to look at problems of the average computer user (real problems,
reported by years of usability study), and to solve in a different and
innovative way.
By applying fundamental shifts in the workflow (that we acknowledge
require some initial migration cost), we focus on solving the basic
underlying problems, rather than adapt ourselves to the solutions our
users developed by themselves, absent a coherent usability design.

I concede that our solutions are not meant for everybody, as there may
be people with different conflicting requirements, but we're still
convinced they apply for the vast majority of our target user base. On
the other hand, trying to cater for too many use patterns and workflow
would increase the complexity of the overall system, not just in terms
of code (which is not irrelevant) but also in terms of usability.
Options have a huge cost, because users will either flee, scared by the
the risk of breaking everything, or they will start asking and craving
the documentation, just to find out it was something completely useless
to them, because it broke the basic design pattern. Or even worse, the
option could be exposing what is really an implementation detail (such
as the panel applet configuration in 2.*).

Nevertheless, as we still want to enlarge our user base and grow our
market share (with the ultimate goal of supplanting proprietary software
around the world), we are providing you with a powerful instrument that
basically allows you to build your own shell: extensions. It's true, the
system was not complete in 3.0, and it required manual interaction as
well as not having a complete repository. On the other hand, in 3.2
installing extensions will be as simple as going to, finding what you need and pressing a button.
We already have extensions that restore much of the GNOME 2
functionality (a dock, an application menu, a workspace switcher, a
window based alt-tab, just to name a few), and we expect the number to
increase release after release. And of course, since you quote Linus, if
you don't find something that suits, you know what to do.

Hoping this clarified our vision and hoping that there won't be any
further misunderstanding,

Giovanni Campagna

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