unity-design team mailing list archive
Mailing list archive
Re: Saying no to options, Was: No more dodge windows in Unity?
On 09/02/12 00:28, Martin Owens wrote:
But; the total number of options shouldn't fall to zero on principle.
That's an arbitrary rule which is a stand in for some more sensible
considerations. It'd be better to think of those considerations first
and not be burdened by a rule that could very quickly end up becoming
officious leading eventually to arbitrary callousness in many hundreds
of years. Ubuntu's Vogon rule.
It's not a rule. And I didn't say the number of options would tend to zero.
I said that we need to demonstrate balance in our thinking. Arguing
furiously for one option without an ability to say why it is more
important than another option suggests a lack of balance. It also plays
into our natural detail-oriented myopia. It's very easy to become so
obsessed with a particular feature or option that we forget what makes
the whole thing feel fun in the first place.
Remember how we started. We introduced, into a world of 11-CD Linux
installs, a version of Linux that came on ONE CD.
That was called 'absolutely ridiculous' by lots of seasoned industry
veterans. Most of whom now use Ubuntu.
Choices are very hard. So we have a good, balanced framework for how we
make them, but we don't shy from making them. If you've ever been in a
UDS session where we are discussing Firefox vs Chromium, or Thunderbird
vs Evolution, you know how hard those conversations are. But you also
learn to spot the people who are arguing for their babies, versus the
people who are able to see things through the eye of our users.
Remember, you are much more potent in this world than most of them. And
the biggest gift you can give them is the benefit of your insight in the
form of a balanced decision that they then do not have to make.
When we set out to represent free software on one fantastic CD, we had a
small group of people interested in that mission. So we didn't fight
much about it, because the people who felt differently were all
Today, it's more difficult, because there are lots of people who use
Ubuntu every day who *do not share its values*. This is important. It's
great that they choose Ubuntu, and it's fine if they choose something
else tomorrow instead. It's a fallacy that the very smart people all
want every possible option, and that Ubuntu will lose all the smart
people if it doesn't offer every possible option. There are lots of very
smart people who choose MacOS, for example. And there are many, many
smart people who want Ubuntu to be on rails so they can be more
productive than their counterparts on MacOS, with all the power of Linux
at their fingertips, just not in the way.
Those are the smart people I want to work with. And especially, I want
to work with smart, *generous* people, who understand how privileged
they are and want to do something for someone else, not just for themselves.
So when you next see someone show up on a list and demand that they get
what they want or they are going to use <*****> Linux, and how much
we'll miss them because they are really very clever, just recognize that
they are not someone who shares the value of the project, we will be
better off without their anti-social demands, and look around and
appreciate what a wonderful opportunity it is to work with the (fewer)
smart people who are also practical, sensitive, and generous. We only
need a small number of them to change the world, and we're doing just
fine as it is in that regard.