On 7 Jun 2001, at 3:12, Carol Spears wrote:
> Branko Collin wrote:
> > A user is _never_ an idiot. 

First, let me take back a lot of what I said. It seems it rubs some 
people the wrong way, and to others I cannot explain myself clearly 

I just object to _calling_ users stupid, especially in a forum that 
is publicly accessible, like this one. This has nothing to do with 
wether a person actually _is_ stupid (from the point of view of the 
developer, or even medically -- I knew a girl involved in developing 
software interfaces for the mentally handicaped, which is a whole 
different ball game). I realise sometimes people need to vent air, 
especially with 'stupid' Windows users like me, but maybe you should 
not do that here, because it is impolite. (I was going to say 'bad 
PR', but I feel that that argument would hardly make an impression.)

> > This of course does not mean that you have to cater for those that
> > are too lazy to indulge in some minimal form of self-education.
> > Unfortunately, it is hard to find out if that is the case when
> > receiving a stupid question from a user. 
> I was working on a web site for a good friend, when one day we spatted
> and I was replaced by that Front Page Maker (or whatever it is). It
> took her approximately seven months to figure out how to change the
> background color of her web pages.  

Changing the background color of a web page is a bad idea period if 
you do not know what you are doing. It can render a web page 
invisible. I always advise people to first learn to make a web page 
by hand (i.e. raw HTML and a text editor), and only when they have 
got that down completely start using a graphical editor for possible 
ease of use (although in my experience the difference in efficiency 
is negligable). This is of course completely contrary to the original 
vision of Tim Berners Lee, who did not want people to meddle with the 
HTML, but his vision included browsers that were editors at the same 
time and that created perfect code -- which of course never happened.

> I get frustrated using Windows apps.  They are not set up like I
> expect them to be.  Perhaps, it will be good for the Windows users to
> get used to linux apps?  

Although the GIMP is developed largely on Linux, by mostly Linux (-
only?) using developers, it could be argued it is a Linux app. 
However, I like to see it as a GNU app. And even though that means 
that RMS would like to see it only used on a free OS, that still does 
not mean it should be tied to one single OS. Of course, execution of 
that wish list completely depends on the willingness of porters to 
adapt their GIMP to the quirks of the OS.

I for one would love a Windows GIMP where all dialogs and image 
windows run within one application Window. Although it would even be 
better to be able toggle between that and the default behaviour.

There is something to be said for keeping the behavior of programs in 
line with the standard behaviour of the OS or the desktop it is 
running on. On the other hand, you can make a good argument for 
keeping it in line with the standard behavior of all the other GNU 
apps or GTK apps. I think some middle ground could be found, but it 
would be too much of a bother to delve deep into that matter. In the 
end I think it depends on what feels right to the porter.

> How about putting one of those little day counters in the gimp start
> up?  So that the user has to acknowledge how many days s/he has used
> the software for free. 

I thought Linux users prefer a counter that tells them how long they 
have been running the GIMP. ;-)

> I had to wait for that dumb little paint shop
> pro program to count past 2000 once.  And that "free" thing could not
> hold a candle to Gimp. 

It depends what you use it for. It really can be an excellent tool 
for making web graphics. 

branko collin
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