On 6 Jun 2001, at 15:55, Marc Lehmann wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 06, 2001 at 12:48:28PM +0200, Sven Neumann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> wrote: 

>> Overall I don't like the idea of treating the user like an
>> idiot. There are probably a lot idiots out there and some 
>> of them will try Gimp one day but I feel sick and tired of 
>> putting too much development time into a user 
> It's also the idiots who complain about things like "this program is
> bad because i am unable to make it use a blinking theme". while people
> that are delighted by a program rarely come and state that fact.

A user is _never_ an idiot. If you feel that way, you may indeed as 
well only develop for yourself. Once you give a copy to a non-
programming friend or neighbour for the first time, however, you have 
(IMHO) some moral obligation to care for the user friendliness of 
your program.

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. Also, that which is a stupid 
question in one context may be a smart one in another context. A web 
master who knows www.gimp.org inside and out may think that 'where is 
the Windows version?' is neither here nor there, sinds www.gimp.org 
is not the distribution point for the Windows version. A usability 
expert would disagree with you however, for numerous reasons that I 
would be glad to go into in a separate message if anybody would care 
to hear them.

As to how to solve this eternal problem: if I knew, I would not call 
it an eternal problem. The best thing to do IMO is to make sure that 
information is always available to the user as best as possible. And 
that means: keeping the web site up to date, making sure the 
documentation is complete, et cetera.

Aside: as a translator for the GIMP, I am caught between a rock and a 
hard place. On the one hand, I firmly believe that having a 
translation will make it harder for the slightly advanced user: how 
is (s)he to know that what all the GIMP-related sites refer to as 
'gradient' is called 'verloop' in Dutch. OK, they could look that one 
up in the dictionary, but I am sure that there are phrases in the 
GIMP translation that, due to their relative novelty, are not in but 
the most recent dictionaries. The reason I am doing those 
translations at all, is because I also believe that having a 
translation available will help to educate most new users, and those 
users whose demand of English is not what they think is, and other 
user categories I cannot think of right now. In other words, I am 
helping to present the information as good as possible.

Getting back to updating the web site: Sven, I wrote to the 
[EMAIL PROTECTED], to offer them my services in updating the 
current site, but I never got a reply. Could you tell me more 
specifically whom I should talk to? Thanks in advance.

branko collin
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