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sendmail.net: It's the User, Stupid

Jan 20, 2000, 22:33 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Kuniavsky)

"When people talk about Open Source products, you hear about their speed, their efficiency, and their features. What you don't hear is how innovative their interfaces are. Why? Because they're not. At best, products created by the Open Source movement offer workable imitations of popular commercial interfaces; originality is rare, and you'll almost never see the kind of innovation that's routinely found in the underlying code. This presents an interesting dichotomy: why is the best software writing organization on earth unable to produce innovative interfaces, when small commercial software companies do so with regularity (if not always with commercial success)?"

"The answer is relatively simple: The Open Source movement has no feedback loop to end-users, and no imperative to create one."

"The majority of Open Source software is still written for programmer-users: the systems are made with flexibility - not usability - in mind. Enough hooks and parameters are included that the user can create features that don't exist in the default configuration. This is a great idea and a powerful paradigm for a target audience with the skills, the time, and the incentive to make the necessary changes."

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