On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 16:32:11 +0200, peter sikking <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Raphaël wrote:
> > I would like to temper this a bit (not agent provocateur as gg,
> > but maybe devil's advocate): a team that is too rigid about its
> > vision and never adapts it over time runs a real risk of
> > becoming irrelevant after a while.  On the other hand, having
> > no vision at all or ignoring it and running like headless
> > chicken is usually worse.
> 
> I agree that a product vision, like a national policy,
> should be reviewed every, say, 5 years. Do realise that
> when you chance the the vision, that you restart, from zero,
> a process that takes about 5 years. And thanks for saying
> that ignoring the vision is worse.

We also have to be humble and remember that writing down the current
vision only took us a couple of hours, not 5 years (basically one hour
of discussion at LGM plus some e-mail exchanges while we were
polishing the minutes).  Again, I am playing the devil's advocate
here, just trying to counter-balance your argument: I agree with the
vision and I think that we should all follow it; however, I also want
to be realistic and not see it as a sacred thing that is cast in
stone.

> > But one should always balance the interest of the few who are
> > targeted by our product vision with the interest of the
> > majority of the users who are not necessarily part of that
> > vision.
> 
> Few? there are millions of users within our vision out there.
> And if we work to make GIMP represent this vision coherently
> in the UI, then GIMP will become a viable, natural choice for
> the people we want to use it.

Sorry, but I have to disagree here.  If you just look at the part of
the product vision that says "GIMP is ...", then it could apply to a
large number of GIMP users.  But if you look at the context of the
vision (which is not explicitely written in that section, but is part
of the "Targeted user base" in the meeting minutes and the "user
scenarios" + "expert evaluation" on gui.gimp.org), then it is clear
that the vision is targeted at experienced, professional users.  This
is at best a small percentage of the current GIMP users.  As I wrote
elsewhere, our current vision is rather elitist (the vision itself or
how it is usually referred to).  Again, there is nothing wrong with
that because this is usually the only way to have real progress.  But
we have to acknowledge that the vision (or the way we use it) is
targeted mainly at a minority of users.  This minority is almost
certainly the most interesting subset of our users, but it is a
minority nonetheless.

> And I thought that we all understand that there is a
> choice of several free software programs out there for
> users who want to do simple red-eye removal from their
> holiday jpegs.

Unfortunately, until that choice really exists this is a moot point.
Basically, there is currently no good free software alternative to
Photoshop Elements or even to the simple program (proprietary,
Windows-only) that was delivered with my camera and allows one to
quickly browse images, correct red eyes, exposure or color casts,
crop/resize images and view/edit metadata.  F-Spot comes very close to
doing all that, but still has some weak spots that require you to use
GIMP, Krita, mtPaint or Paint.NET for adjustments.  Many of the quick
actions provided in Photoshop Elements (which comes bundled with some
cameras) are not available in any free program yet.

Again, I am not saying that we should do all that and try to solve all
problems in GIMP.  I prefer to stick to the current vision.  I am just
continuing my devil's advocate role and stating that you should not
claim that there is a choice when the choice does not really exist.

> > In other words, a decision that provides a small
> > improvement for the target users but implies a significant
> > regression for all other users should be considered very
> > carefully.
> 
> Actually in this case it the other way around. There is
> a significant improvement for target users, with clarification
> of image degradation of everyone, and little or no regression
> for the lossy-jpeg users.

We seem to disagree on that, but maybe it is better if I address this
point in a reply to your previous message.

> > Again, to temper things a bit: this was only a subset of the
> > developers present at LGM last year (GIMPCon 2006, see the
> > minutes at http://developer.gimp.org/gimpcon/2006/ and read
> > the section "GIMP Vision").
> 
> This is a slippery slope. If anybody can excuse themselves from
> the vision when they personally do not like the logical outcome
> of applying it to a hairy UI design question, and bang in their
> "yeah, but what about me" feature into svn, then we are back at
> the headless chickens state.

Unfortunately, you skipped the part of my message in which I wrote:
"It is always possible for someone to propose someting that goes
against the current consensus and hopefully convince others that this
is the right thing to do."  The last part (convincing others) is
important.  Making controversial changes to the code without
discussing them is stupid and counter-productive.  Convincing others
that these changes are beneficial and useful for GIMP is progress.  If
others are not convinced that these changes are good, then they should
not be commited or they should be reverted.

I am far from advocating anarchy, as you seem to think.  But on the
other hand, we should not be too rigid and have a blind faith in
sacred rules.  If someone comes up with good reasons to do or not do
something, then more power to them!

-Raphael
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