User friendly Free Software Desktops (was: Very Worried at MS .net)

Alistair Davidson lord_inh at
Wed Jul 18 21:33:50 UTC 2001

Havoc Pennington wrote:
> MJ Ray <markj at> writes:
> > Havoc Pennington <hp at> writes:
> >
> > > If you want to develop your own, you don't need a mailing list.
> >
> > I meant a list about usability issues, not to develop a particular
> > desktop.  There doesn't seem to be a general one and people are neatly
> > factioning along project lines.  Is that healthy?
> Our experience with usability mailing lists is really negative - even
> when they are focused around a concrete, traditional-UI desktop.  They
> are just full of people who have a million opinions but no empirical
> evidence or even expertise to back it up. A usability list without the
> focus of an actual codebase frightens me a lot.

You have a good point here. But OTOH, it would be improper for the FSFE
to commit to a single desktop unless (of course) that desktop was a part
of the GNU project in some way.

Part of the problem is human psychology. We group with other humans, and
think in terms of "them" and "us". If we committed to a single desktop
for testing purposes, we would be ignored by those who develop for other
desktops. It's a conundrum for sure. Does anyone have a solution?

Rick's World:

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