Linus Torvalds is encouraging people to switch to KDE citing GNOME’s "mentality" of removing features.
This "users are idiots, and are confused by functionality" mentality of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it. I don’t use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it has long since reached the point where it simply doesn’t do what I need it to do.
He also writes "Gnome seems to be developed by interface nazis" and "Same with the file dialog. Apparently it’s too "confusing" to let users just type the filename. So gnome forces you to do the icon selection thing, never mind that it’s a million times slower."
And the angriest parts:
In other words: your "majority" argument is total and utter BULLSHIT. It can be true for any particular feature, but it’s simply not true in general.
To put it in mathematical terms: "The Intersection of all Majorities is the empty set", or its corollary: "The Union of even the smallest minorities is the universal set".
Perhaps Linus should join the ranks of Jakob Nielsen and get his own user interface law: "The Intersection of all Majorities is the empty set" . It is true that I find KDE easier to use than GNOME even though KDE is cluttered and 80% of the features no body needs to ever use. Yet, I find Firefox infinitely easier to use.
Perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be to say that the program begins hard to use if the user interface gets in the way of the user. If the program provides too many obtrusive options (i.e. Mozilla Suite) then it becomes hard to find the options you are after. Similarly, if there are too little options and configuration then it again becomes hard to find the options that you are after. (In fact it’s probably worse since you’ll never ever find them.) The key is to find the right balance.
Firefox gets the right balance because it does not ask me to configure things I do not care about such as HTTP pipelining, bfcache or how the browser handles non-existant URLs. However, you can still configure things that you do care about: proxies, tabs, privacy, cookies. And for everyone else, there’s about:config and extensions which give you tons of configuration power. Probably about 99% of Firefox users don’t have extensions installed however because the default setup is brilliant.
Bringing this back to the comparison of forum creation forms I posted the other day, I want to try and give the best balance. We’re probably not there yet; passworded forums may be an important feature as well as permissions. The truth is the forum currently supports neither 🙂
However, there are some options I believe that people just won’t care about. Search Indexing or Topic Icons? Do specific forums really need to have these configurations? Would anyone really want some forums to be indexed and some forums with topic icons enabled and others with them disabled? Or different prune settings for each forum? That’s assuming people even know what pruning is.