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Re: Graphical boot isn't so graphical

On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 05:50:28PM -0400, Thomas Corriher wrote:
> > It is not a marketing decision - 
> ...
> > When something is a usability plus for nontechnical users and
> > a usability minus for technical users, we're always going to
> > default to the nontechnical setting, because technical users have
> > the skills to "opt out" and change the default.
> When you dumb down interfaces in the hope of giving Linux a broader 
> acceptance with the masses, then you are indeed basing designs on 
> marketing decisions.  There are no technical reasons for it.  

If there are no technical reasons for making something easier to use
in order to appeal to the masses, then let me ask the opposite
question.  What techincal reason is there to make something
unnecessarily hard to use?  Why make the decision to appeal to a niche
audience?  Isn't that a "marketing" decision too?

Think about why people work on GPL software in the first place...so
other people can benefit from it.  My opinion is this: I only have a
finite number of hours in the day to work on stuff.  I want to spend
that time working on stuff that does the most good for the largest
group of people.  When faced with a choice of appealing to 95% of
people or 5% of people, I'll pick the 95% every time.  Not because of
"marketing", but because it solves the bigger problem.  

> It's 
> a real stretch.  I am not implying that there is anything 
> inherently wrong with doing that.  I am implying that we should be 
> honest about the entire situation, because you can't have it both 
> ways.  Compromises in server design were made (like this and the 
> Frankenstein version of KDE) for the purpose of (hopefully) 
> building a better desktop system.  Again, I'll repeat that I do not 
> feel there is anything inherently wrong with that.  Just don't tell 
> us you are everything to everyone, and then put marketing spin on 
> your flaws.  Our most important Linux asset is the community, and 
> that community cannot survive unless we are willing to be painfully 
> honest with ourselves about what we are doing, and why we are doing 
> it.
> I care about RH, and apparently I've got the ear of at least one 
> employee.  So I'll take this opportunity to cite a few observations 
> to you as an outsider, and as a member of the greater community.
> 1 - First I remember RH as the "Server Linux", then the "Desktop 
> Linux", then the "High End Enterprise Linux", and finally RH is now 
> trying to transform itself into all of the above while 
> simultaneously dropping all retail sales.  If an individual acted 
> this way, I would suspect multiple personalities.  You guys ought 
> to figure out exactly what it is that you do best, and then go all 
> out with it.
> 2 - I joined this list because I was invited by an e-mail from RH.  
> In that message, I was informed that RH was undergoing a paradigm 
> shift.  Specifically, the entire operations was going open source.  
> The Linux community would be helping with all package and design 
> decisions.  This gave me new hope for RH.  However, the attitude I 
> am reading here is "our way or the highway".  So exactly what is 
> going on?

The paradigm has shifted but that doesn't mean we're going to
change everything at once.  The project has a set of objectives
(http://rhl.redhat.com/about/objectives.html) that we're striving for.
Those who are not interested in the objectives may not find the
project very appealing, but without guidelines of some sort it would
be impossible to keep the project on track.


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