Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Jan 2009 13:46 UTC
Editorial With Windows 7 having made its grand debut, and with KDE4's vision making leaps and bounds forward with every release, we have two major software projects that have decided to implement some fairly drastic interface changes. Such changes are bound to receive some harsh criticisms - but the funny thing is, these criticisms usually come from people you least expect it from.
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RE[3]: Aack!!
by setec_astronomy on Tue 27th Jan 2009 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Aack!!"
setec_astronomy
Member since:
2007-11-17

The corollary is let's not heap praise and make excuses where there is not merit. KDE 4.X has potential and the code is pretty darn clean. But if it has issues then criticism is warranted.

Fully agreed.
Too often advocates (usually not the developers) try and hide behind the shield of "it is free software either take it as is or fix it yourself."

My personal pet theory (attention, you are leaving the rational/scientific area now and are entering the armchair-psychologists lair!) is, that the whole discussion is so emotional, because non-developing users (e.g. the vast majority) feel helpless, one way or the other. Those who feel left behind by the changes pretty much by definition and those on the side lines appreciating the changes (that would be the "appologist brigade") who tend to engage in I-can-scream-even-louder-than-you discussions, probably because they feel this is one way to contribute, e.g. defending the developers.

I know. I tend to do so, too.

The KDE team themselves are not completely to blame, the distros and users share some of the blame. But they are not with clean hands either.


True. I'm probably more sympathethic towards the developers pov because I understand the mechanisms behind it due to first hand experience (never underestimate the motivating effects and the willingness to go an extra mile/code an extra hour because of a rapidly approaching deadline), but I hope that we (e.g. users, developers, distrobutors/packages, etc.) are able to learn from this experience to avoid similar destructive situations in the future.

I know that just because KDE 4.2 works for me does not mean that it will work for everybody, this should go without saying. Positive feedback cycles without filtering and constructive critisism are probably as counter-productive and dangerous in the long term as negative feedback cycles with a selective memory component and without the ability to reach an understanding between developer and user (although the former cycles are a lot more motivating for developers :-) ). I would probably have not responded to the OP had I not heard this "finally, the devs are starting to listen to their users" meme increasingly often in the last weeks.

I considered the negative cycle to be dangerous, because it tends to be memorised as a pattern e.g. disgruntled user complains and bashes a project -> project changes direction -> user concludes change happened beacuse of his reaction. It may be that I'm a bit hypersensitive in this area due to personal experiences, though

Please feel free to correct me whenever I march with the appologist brigade.

Edited 2009-01-27 19:37 UTC

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