[Nautilus-list] User levels

(I've already sent a very similar comment to Maciej, and he
recommended I bring it up for discussion here.)

So, in a recent interview with Linuxpower, Maciej recently wrote:
> Maciej: One thing I'd like to see is to push some of the
> technologies we've developed for Nautilus into the project as a
> whole - things like user levels, some of the custom widgets we've
> developed, our themable icon framework, and so on.  Another thing
> I'd like to see is to maintain the discipline the GNOME project has
> had for GNOME 1.4, and set and stick to a schedule.

The "user levels" part of this comment worried me a bit, since as a
site integrator, I think user levels are a total botch.  I have two
big reasons:

	* It presents the first-time user with a choice whose
	  ramifications are mostly unknown and which appears
	  irreversible (or at least, you'd have to figure out how to
	  reverse it).

	* It magnifies the complexity of documentation and support by
	  a factor of three wherever something depends on the user

Obviously, a large installation can (and probably will) force the
choice to a specific value in order to mitigate these problems, but
will still encounter costs related to extra complexity in the
Eazel-provided documentation and less consistency with the outside

A good user interface has to find a way to be usable by novices while
still presenting powerful options to experts (although, in the case of
the tasks performed by most GNOME software, expert users will always
be able to find lots of power via the command line).  "User levels"
seem like a poor excuse for not doing this design.

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