Re: A question about procedure regarding a desktop environment policy

On Thu, 2004-02-19 at 16:46, Gregory Merchan wrote:

<snip sarcastic filler>
> This is a question about why GNOME continues to support a
> bad policy. The question is not whether the policy is bad.
> Those who know the details know the policy is bad, and the
> rest don't matter until they learn the details. (To learn,
> study both X11 window management and interaction design.
> This is not an invitation to request tutelage.)

The rest who "don't matter" would include a significant percentage of
your users.  As has been explained by others, there are many people,
myself included, who rely on the flexibility of sloppy focus, and will
stop using Gnome completely the day it is removed.  And having it tucked
away in gconf, while Gnome apps begin to have increasingly broken
behavior in sloppy focus mode is an unacceptable option.  As a
consultant who occasionally provides support for Gnome, I appreciate the
benefits of the new, simplified Gnome with fewer options, and this
approach is perfect for, e.g. UserLinux targeting the corporate
desktop.  But I notice a disturbing trend: many people's opinion on
whether a feature is essential or cruft can be predicted by whether
Windows has that feature.  Windows users aren't familiar with sloppy
focus, and find it confusing, and now you suggest it should be
deprecated and gradually removed.  So should Gnome gradually become
Windows OS on Linux?  If so, there is certainly a place for such
software, but I would not be interested in using it.

Of course this criticism is out of place for it seems that your reasons
are based on a study of "X11 window management and interaction design." 
As for X11 windows management, I have used a rather large number of
window managers, all of which support sloppy focus and make it work very
nicely, in exactly the way I expect it to work, even in the context of
X11 window management.  As for interaction design, you may wish to
consider the simple fact that those who like sloppy focus generally
consider it an essential feature.  If your study has led you to the
conclusion that it is not worth supporting than perhaps your approach to
the issue is flawed.

When your users tell you that they use and rely upon a specific feature,
and you reply that only those who have studied the issue are qualified
to determine the course of policy, then the usability battle is already
over and you have lost.

> So, again, the question:
>   What is preventing GNOME form dropping sloppy focus support?

It's been pointed out by others that many people rely on sloppy focus
and will abandon Gnome the day this happens.  Is there something
confusing about that answer?  Or is it just that you don't really care
what your users want and would rather provide something that you
personally think is clean and simple?

> Cheers,
> Greg
> P.S. - Since I wrote that, there have been more off-topic
>        responses. This is not an opinion poll. This is
>        not a topic for the usability list. This is a fairly
>        straightfoward matter of finding out what it takes
>        to be rid of a bad policy.

Ignoring your users is bad policy.

- Michaeljohn Clement

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