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Most users think developers are evil and arrogant when a
feature they want is not included in their favorite
applications. On this thread alone I have seen more
condescending slurs pitched at GNOME developers than
sentiments of appreciation.
The reality is that most users only see things from one
perspective -- theirs. Most users believe they understand
their problem domain better than anyone in world, including
developers. So their argument goes that developers are
retarded for not providing option "A" and feature "B."
The reality is that most users probably spend a total of
5 minutes, I'm being generous, thinking through the problem
domain, if at all they do that. Their argument goes, "option
"A" is in windows so why can't GNOME have it." "Feature "X"
has been in OS X for years, why can't GNOME copy it." "I
work with application "Y" this way in KDE, why can't GNOME
let me do it that same way."
Let me break it down. Those complaints are not solutions to
the problem domain. No, they are not! They are defined as
categorical whining. And if I see a bug report like that,
I'd be the first to close it and call the reporter's father
a hamster for wasting my bloody time.
Developers follow and grok logic more than they appreciate
sentiments. "But OS X does it that way..." So? Who told you
the developer drank the OS X koolaid? Who told you the
developer has ever used OS X? And who told you the developer
agrees with the OS X way of doing things?
The truth is developers spend a lot more time -- days,
weeks, even months -- thinking about the problem domain and
analyzing every possible use case than most users have the
forbearance to withstand. In fact, the only time when a user
has the right to open their mouth is when testing the
Developers know no software is perfect. A concept
which is alien to most users. Users need to understand
every time feature "A" gets added into application "B", it
means more testing, more paths to bugs, a longer maintenance
cycle and possibly more complexity. Again these are all
oblivious to most users.
Apple and Microsoft have access to UI designers,
professional testers, support call centers, software
consultants etc. Heck, they even have resources to outsource
Free software developers must develop, test, design, support,
maintain websites, design logos, squash bugs, maintain
bugzilla and keep quiet when ungrateful beasts call them
unspeakable names. And most of them don't even get paid for
Let me summarize. 99% of the time, most users have not
explored their problem space as deeply as developers have.
So think twice before you open your lousy mouth to call
developers retards for not including option "X" which you
can't leave without. There are probably very cogent reasons
for not including it. How many of you go to the doctor ill
telling her you know your body better than she does? That's
what some of you seem to be alluding to.
Congratulations once again to the GNOME community, I look
forward to using 2.12 with all its flaws.
There's no perfect software, just perfect compromises.