The truth about my life

Sat, 15 Jan 2005

What I really like about GNOME people is, they care about the user:

    From: Elijah Newren 
Reply-To: Elijah Newren 
      To: Hongli Lai 
      Cc: desktop-devel-list@gnome.org
 Subject: Re: Objections [Was: GNOME System Monitor will use libgnomesu]
    Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 13:31:59 -0700  (22:31 EET)

On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 20:28:01 +0100, Hongli Lai  wrote:
> Elijah Newren wrote:
> > Actually, I was thinking of a home desktop machine when responding.
> 
> Home desktops have special sysadmins?

Of course not.  But it looks like we're talking past each other (am I
just having a bad day at explaining things or what?), so let me
restart from the beginning and attempt to be more clear:

Mike said that a showing a dialog that effectively says 

"You cannot do this because you don't have something you don't
understand, nor do you understand how to fix it because we can't
describe a useful way to fix it that will work on every distribution
we support. Um, thanks."

is better than risking having users think

"The computer on my left running Foobar Distro has this useful
feature, but the computer on my right just has a blank space where
that option is - why? And how do I get it on both?".

As far as I understood what Mike was saying, he was looking at the use
case of a user who wants to undo the differences between distros.  I
think that's a rare use case because (1) most users aren't using more
than one distro, and (2) most users aren't skilled enough to undo
differences between distros and we shouldn't expect them to be.  The
only people that we can expect to have such skills are system
administrators.

Further, I think that the dialog would do a lot of damage in the
normal use case because (1) the user doesn't understand it, (2) they
are likely to think that something is broken in their system, and (3)
they may even avoid using the application altogether since they don't
know what is wrong with their system--thus losing even the standard
behavior.

Since I think the dialog is bad for the majority of users, it follows
that I dislike the idea of showing it "just to help sysadmins".  One
possibility I provided as an alternative way to help the sysadmins was
to document the run-time checking for libgnomesu somewhere in the help
documentation or in the release notes.

I hope that clears up any confusion about what I previously said and meant.  :-)

Cheers,
Elijah

These guys rock.

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I'm Enver ALTIN. I'm from the other side of the river.

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