Why oh why does this have to go on?

In F/OSS projects, we have seen the results of projects upsetting the users and developers in XFree86 and more recently in GNOME. The result is that the project becomes irrelevant.

While the new behavior in GiMP is certainly more correct and more appropriate (I agree with the motion, but not the action) one has to take into account the human side of the issue. Let's look on this from an angle from which many of us can certainly identify.

The name "Jesus" is correctly pronounced [hey-soos']. Yet, when speaking of the religious figure with the name spelled "J-e-s-u-s" it is pronounced as [jee'-zuhs]. It is most certainly 'incorrect' by technical standards to pronounce the latter in any way other than [hey-soos'] and yet it will upset people tremendously if/when you do.

Now let's look at what we're experiencing here with GiMP. Kind of the same thing right? We're challenging the status quo of GUI behavior based on millions of man-years of user experience where "Save" saves a file in the same name and format it was opened and "Save as..." gives the user a chance to change the name and/or format. This has been a defacto standard behavior in GUIs for decades. This move was bound to upset people and it has. The whole point of the GUI is to be consistent and predictable.

Now I'll insert my own pet peeve here. Lotus Notes. The client found in 6.5 which is STILL in use in some large companies, has decided that the F5 key means "lock the client requiring a password to open it." Secondly, when does an APPLICATION need to be locked? It's the screen which needs to be locked, not the app! Firstly, F5 has always been "Refresh" as far as I'm concerned and most users agree with this expectation. And after three years of using Lotus Notes, I am STILL not quite used to it and have to consciously think each time I want to do a refresh and this is now thinking which I normally wouldn't need to do... thinking which interrupts other flows and thinking which interrupts the way I work even outside of Lotus Notes. And when I use other programs and OSes and press F5, I am reminded of how much Lotus Notes upsets me.

And this is not even an extreme example from my own personal experience... just a more recent and common one which which other Lotus Notes users will agree.

And I would also like to point out that a GUI is a HUMAN interface. It's how humans interact with software in this case. Since when is a GUI to be used as a means of correcting human thought and behavior?

I have already demonstrated how software behavior can upset people and have indicated how upset users can affect projects. So what can or should we expect from developers? Nothing. As they have rightly pointed out, this is their project. They decide where it goes and why. Users don't [usually] pay for or contribute to the project monetarily. (Though that makes a good argument when they do and that the developers who accept contributions or payment are obligated to listen and respond to the users.) And developers don't [usually] get paid for their work. So what should we expect from all of this controversy and discussion?

I think it's pretty clear what users and developers want and they aren't the same. And there is the very human issue of pride now at stake as well. "It's *my project* and I don't have to change it for anyone!" "Why do I need to apologize for being correct or doing the right thing?!" But I would like to say to developers the following:

1. You will NEVER be able to teach the Christian people of the U.S. to say [hey-soos'] instead of [jee'-zuhs]. Never. 2. You will NEVER be able to change the existing GUI users expectations over "Save/Save as..." and to do so causes an abrasive user experience which will never go away causing a seething hate which persists and even grows with every click not only within the GiMP but within every program which uses the accepted standard behavior of "Save/Save as..."

The goal, purpose or intent may be to be more correct or even to help save the user and his projects from his own human mistakes. I certainly identify with those ideas and often which I could address those issues myself. But as a systems administrator and support engineer, I have learned you simply cannot expect to change a person's whole world or mind through a single project or endeavor and trying to do so will result in nothing good.

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