sendmail.net: It’s the User, Stupid

“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

“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.”