Alistair Davidson lord_inh at
Tue Jul 24 18:49:54 UTC 2001

Wim De Smet wrote:
> John Peter Tapsell said:
> > Just to troll....
> >
> > Why do we /want/ newbies to be able to use gnome?
> > The current generation of clueless (l)users are going to be dead a 20-30
> years
> > anyway, and it is our future generations that need to be catered for.
> >
> > I started off on an old spectrum 48k (ah those were the days)  where it
> was all
> > CLI, where you could program your own games, and had to program your own
> > assembler to write assembly :)
> >
> > My concern is that we are dumbing it down, and making it _harder_ for
> users in
> > the long run.
> > I used DOS, then windows, etc, and had to fix all the problems myself etc
> > But it made me learn how it worked, it forced me to think, and to
> understand.
> > Having to work with the computer, not expecting the computer to work on my
> > terms.
> >
> > I already feel sorry this generation comming up, starting off on windows
> 98,
> > with no source code to play with etc.  How are they ever going to learn?
> >
> > on the spectrum, a lot of games were written in basic, and were easy to
> follow
> > and alter.
> >
> > And now, with all this trouble of dumbing down the interface, you want to
> do
> > that _more_ to gnome?? I say no!   I say, make the users think dammit!
> Make
> > the users read man pages, understand the OS a little.
> > If they want something nice and simple, use KDE, or go use a mac.
> >
> > I want a gnome that is useful for _me_.  A professional coder, and linux
> user.
> > Newbies add no real value, where as make it good for a new coder, and he
> might
> > just help out with it.
> >
> > If gnome was mainly for profit, then I'd see why you'd want the newbie
> users,
> > but it's not, so stop trying to dumb down my interface!
> >
> > </troll>
> I agree (almost) completely. We don't want to dumb it down to the point
> where one doesn't see what the os is doing (i.e. Windows).

I couldn't disagree more. The user interface should be as independent
from the OS structure as possible. The aim of a UI is to be usable. It
should help users of any skill level perform the tasks they need to

That doesn't mean "dumbing down". What it means is structuring menu
items and so on in a manner that corresponds to what is intuitive, not
to what OS structure is the most efficient. Anythign else misses the
whole point of modularity.

In much the same way as the kernel should be optimised to be as fast and
stable as possible, the UI should be optimised to be as usable as
possible. All the same functions should still be there, but it does no
harm to move the more complex ones to an "advanced" tab and to arrange
things logically (like having one unified font selection menu rather
than three seperate ones).

Rick's World:

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