Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 17th Feb 2007 18:59 UTC, submitted by elsewhere
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "Some bad blood between Linus Torvalds and GNOME developers is flaring up again. Previously, Torvalds has said that Linux users should switch to KDE instead of GNOME because of the GNOME team's 'users are idiots' mentality. Now he has 'put his money where his mouth is' by submitting patches to GNOME in order to have it behave as he likes. This week, on the Linux Foundation's (formerly OSDL) Desktop Architects mailing list, the two sides are going mano a mano." Can I interest you in a pair of these and these?
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Linus != Usabilty Expert
by gmlongo on Sat 17th Feb 2007 20:19 UTC
Member since:

Linus is a brilliant coder, but a usability expert he is not. Far from it...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Linus != Usabilty Expert
by dylansmrjones on Sat 17th Feb 2007 20:22 in reply to "Linus != Usabilty Expert"
dylansmrjones Member since:

But he is a Power User and knows what he is missing.

And you don't have to be a Usability Expert in order to figure out whether or not there could/should be a few extra options.

The Gnome Developers are no more Usability Experts and many Usability Experts know less about IRL use of software and thinks more of themselves than they should.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Linus != Usabilty Expert
by eelco on Sat 17th Feb 2007 21:02 in reply to "RE: Linus != Usabilty Expert"
eelco Member since:

Look at the Beryl Settings Manager to see what happens if all options the power users can think of get a place in the configuration screen.

I don't know what it is exactly that Thorvalds has submitted, but it seems he wanted a setting that is quite rare. In that case, i wouldn't mind if the patches don't get accepted. But if they are, then i hope the Gnome-devs will stand firm, and not add this to a mainstream configuration settings window. Use gTweakUI.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Linus != Usabilty Expert
by gmlongo on Sun 18th Feb 2007 17:52 in reply to "RE: Linus != Usabilty Expert"
gmlongo Member since:

User interfaces are not designed solely for power users. Options added for these types of users will increase code complexity and can confuse the typical user. This is why they need to be examined and only included if it helps make the system better while NOT obfuscating it for the average user.

Reply Parent Score: 2

v RE: Linus != Usabilty Expert
by Snifflez on Sun 18th Feb 2007 06:32 in reply to "Linus != Usabilty Expert"
RE[2]: Linus != Usabilty Expert
by Moochman on Sun 18th Feb 2007 12:49 in reply to "RE: Linus != Usabilty Expert"
Moochman Member since:

I'm majoring in computer science with an emphasis on human-computer interaction right now, and I can say with perhaps more authority than you that you have just made an idiotically misinformed comment.

Good UI design comes from listening to end users' reactions, not from shutting them up. And certainly not from simply creating an interface from your own conceptions of what's best, without bothering do do field testing or gather user feedback.

This is actually one of the biggest challenges in UI design today--that there are too many "superstar-coder" egoists claiming they know best and not listening to what the actual end users have to say. Now, I know that Linus is one of these superstar coders, but read the comments above. He is clearly speaking for a lot of people when he complains about Gnome's limitations. Whereas the Gnome devs who decided to throw out things like menu editing undoubtedly came at the problem from the elitist "we know best" perspective.

For the record, the commenter you're replying to is also idiotically misguided by the idea that "usability experts" magically have all the answers to solving interface problems, and that "normal people" have nothing to say on the matter.

I'll let you get back to your war of egos now...

Edited 2007-02-18 13:02

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Linus != Usabilty Expert
by gmlongo on Sun 18th Feb 2007 18:03 in reply to "RE: Linus != Usabilty Expert"
gmlongo Member since:

First of all, you have no idea what my background is, so you are the one who is "simply running your mouth". So by your logic, in order to know who is (or isn't) a doctor, I need to be one myself? Sure, makes a lot of sense. BTW, I did as you suggested and looked in the mirror and asked "What do I really know about usability?", and it responded "more than Snifflez".

Your comment is just ignorant and for some reason you feel the need to attack me because you do not agree with me. I never said that I am a usability expert, but I am not foolish enough to think that there is no such thing. I come from many years of user interface coding/design and I understand the need for usability guidelines and research. Additional features need to be justified as valuable to the system as a whole, not to some small subset of "power users".

Reply Parent Score: 1