Linked by Allen Boyles on Mon 7th Nov 2011 09:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces In the commercial software world, user interfaces are generally designed by one group. Like Microsoft for Windows or Apple for Mac OS. Those desktop environments were designed by one company who did things like user testing and statistical analysis to try and make the desktop they thought would work best. Linux is different. Large groups definitely DO perform user testing and statistical analysis, but one group can also say "Here's what we want" and, if they have the ability to code it, their idea comes into being. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Linux lets people create what they want. If you don't like what's out there, fork it! Or start from scratch! You're in control!
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RE[2]: This is not an either/or
by Neolander on Tue 8th Nov 2011 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE: This is not an either/or"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

The choice between "customizable" and "not customizable" is not a binary one, though. Even Gnome 3 and iOS have a settings panel, and even e17 and fvwm put limits on the amount of tweaking that they allow.

IMO, the solution is that when developers want to introduce options in their software, like for any other feature, they must answer the question : "Will a significant portion of my user base use this ?". Then they should perform telemetry on installed software to see if users actually use the feature after all.

It is sometimes straightforward to answer the question. Everything which is highly dependent on taste, like theming and notification sounds, should be customizable. At other times, it's more difficult to find an answer. But I think it's part of the software design homework.

Edited 2011-11-08 07:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It is sometimes straightforward to answer the question. Everything which is highly dependent on taste, like theming and notification sounds, should be customizable.


Even that is not always straightforward. For example, Is it really necessary to add theme support for every single app on the system, instead of leaving themes at the OS level where they belong, so that all apps have a consistent look and feel?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Oh, I was talking about OS-level functionality*, sorry for not pointing it out ! On their side, applications should certainly do their best in order to avoid duplicating it.


* I include GUI toolkits and DEs in my definition of a (complete) desktop OS

Edited 2011-11-09 06:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1