[links-list] Re: font problem and fix

Josef 'Jupp' Schugt jupp at gmx.de
Sat Nov 9 17:53:44 PST 2002


* On 2002-11-09 23:25
* David Mediavilla <r96x6a79yki40001 at sneakemail.com> wrote:
> <MPT>
> As in a professional project, in a volunteer project there will be
> times when the contributors disagree on a design issue.

ACK

> Where contributors are paid to work on something, they have an
> incentive to carry on even if they disagree with the design. Where
> volunteers are involved, however, it's much more likely that the
> project maintainer will agree to add a user preference for the
> issue in question, in return for the continued efforts of that
> contributor.

"Heil Project Fuhrer!" vs. "We the Free Software People hold these
truths to be self-evident: That all programmers are created equal and
are endowed by their creator with certain rights. That among these
rights are the right to disagree with design, to ask for options and
to discontinue contribution at their own free will."

That discussion leads to nothing because it is mainly political.
Actually the truth lies somewhere in the middle...

> The number, obscurity, and triviality of such preferences ends up
> confusing ordinary users immensely, while everyone is penalized by
> the resulting bloat and reduced thoroughness of testing.

Users neither want to have no choice nor do they want to have to have
configuring 300 options before using a software. What they actually
want (even if they are not aware of it) is those 300 options with
very good default settings. This means that they can use the software
and lateron fine-tune it.

This is what Microsoft does with their software but

- changing the settings usually mean using regedit (if the setting is
  in that binary "Registry" thingy)
- registry keys tend to be undocumented
- several settings one would expect can only be changed if you edit
  the respective binary
- some bugfixes like adjusting the parallel number of internet
  connections to a usable amount is prohibited by that legally
  questionable 'EURA' (end user restriction agreement)'

Besides that: It is purely fictional that thorough testing can be
done by anybody but the actual users. Actually, additional options
can *reduce* the possibility for problems: It removes the need to do
strange things to achieved a certain result. The number of Word
tricks you use corresponds to the number of times Word does crash. If
you use the very basic formatting (Headlines, bold, italics), it
doesn't crash. If you want it to be fancy you see fancy crashes.

Josef 'Jupp' Schugt
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