[HIG] Re: [Usability] Re: Decision: instant apply window buttons

The idea of GUIs is to be transparent--to make it self-evident how to
use the computer, and easy and painless to explore.  If we do this job
well, many kinds of differences between our interface and Windows will
be no problem.  People who are used to Windows will see how to use
GNU's GUI because it is clear.

Certain kinds of incompatibility would specifically be a problem.  If
two things look the same, users will expect them to work the same and
will be quite surprised if they don't.  So we should avoid that kind
of difference: anything that behaves differently from Windows should
also look different.

Given that, though, we should try to do the best job we can, and not
let Windows hold us back.  Some people love to criticize the Free
Software community for "not being creative, just imitating."  To some
extent, we are imitating, and for good reason--the proprietary
software world has a big head start that we are trying to close.  But
we also have an 18-year tradition of making things better when we
replace them.

    But anyway, I didn't say try to be a Windows emulator, I said make
    Windows users feel comfortable when we can, and make improvements when
    we really have substantive improvements.

I won't argue with that.  If there is nothing to gain by making
some detail different from Windows, we may as well make it similar.

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