[maemo-users] VS: Re: N900 Delayed

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Mon Oct 26 17:11:23 EET 2009
On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 1:00 AM, Timo Pelkonen <peltsip at gmail.com> wrote:
> Aihe: Re: N900 Delayed
> Lähettäjä: Nicolau Werneck <nwerneck at gmail.com>
> Päivämäärä: 25.10.2009 22:23
> On Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 08:49:58AM -0600, Mark wrote:
>> The overwhelming majority of the Linux desktop apps I've tried are
>> far from finished, (aside from games and other fluff). Long before
>> an app is finished, the developers split their efforts and you end
>> up with a dozen competing apps, none of which will ever be
>> finished. They're all too busy arguing about design
>> details/philosophy to actually complete critical functionality. That
>> goes for Linux as an OS as well.
> Can you list some specific examples of Linux programs that compete
> with each other when they should merge into less projects?

Mapping/navigation programs, email/calendar/PIM suites, media players,
office suites/apps, and the list goes on and on and on. Any time there
are several apps that are trying to do the same thing.

> Here are some programs I use. mozilla, emacs, mutt, inkscape,
> pdflatex, awesome (window manager). They do have competitors, like
> konqueror, vim, pine and xfig, but I think it's fair to say all these
> classic programs deserve their places. And I know these are not the
> "avarage user's applications"... So what kind of applications are you
> refering to?  Email and RSS readers? Spreadsheet, text editor, twitter
> client, media player?... xmms should merge with amarok?
> I did start my own small and crappy twitter client the other day, and
> I've been using it in my N800. Would you suggest me to drop my project
> and instead devote myself to enhance another existing "competitor"? Am
> I just thinking about what is best for me instead of what is best for
> the community?

The point is that you're not doing what's best for you, never mind the
community. You're expending your energy creating something from
scratch that already exists in some form elsewhere, but instead of
taking advantage of what already exists, you choose to strike off on
your own. (See http://www.fsckin.com/2008/03/31/twitter-clients-for-linux/
or http://maemo.org/community/maemo-users/new_twitter_client/ or
http://maemo.org/downloads/product/OS2008/mauku/ ). You could use
existing apps, port something to maemo or make an existing app better.
Then everybody would benefit, and it would be less work for you.

>  ++nicolau
> ----
> The point is to find balance between opposites.

This is a myth perpetuated by people who think the world is black and
white and that compromise is in and of itself bad. When you say
"opposite", the actual fact is that you mean "different". By
definition, no Twitter (for example) app can be the "opposite" of
another, because they are trying to do the same thing. They may be
different in appearance or feature set, but the fundamental goal is
the same. The truth is that an app that is flexible and offers many
more options is far better than a slew of competing apps, none of
which have the exact mix of features that anybody wants. The result is
that people usually have to install multiple apps for the same thing,
because no one app does everything they need. That wastes time, space,
effort and energy.

> No competition is very bad and wrong kind of competition is very bad. But competition is
> really needed to change things to better. Lame iPhone - argument: web surfing is what it is. > If you dont like it there is nothing to do (because no competition cant exist because of app
> store rules). N900 has webkit AND mozilla...

Stifling freedom has nothing to do with competition. Apple isn't
stifling competition (there's plenty of that within the app store) but
they are attempting to stifle innovation itself. They want everything
to fit their own narrow view of how things should be (which is what
causes the counterproductive "competition" in the OSS and Linux
worlds), but the fundamental motive is profit. The major error that
people are making is in insisting that competition and cooperation are
mutually exclusive terms, which is far from the truth. In actuality,
cooperation *is* competition to make things better.

> There is no one perfect example user who represents 5M mobile phone users, there are
> only groups that prefer different things at random.
> Ossipena

Exactly. Which is why flexibility is key and why deliberately
inflexible competing apps that don't fully meet anyone's needs are

 A modular approach is best. For those who don't like fluff, the basic
app does the basic stuff. Plugins do everything else. Let people skin
and change the UI if they like that stuff and don't mind the bloat.
The truth is that good design really can allow everybody to get what
they want.

Somebody recently was accusing Firefox of being bloated. They were
completely ignoring the fact that firefox allows you to get down to
the nitty gritty and control nearly everything it does. Nobody is
holding a gun to your head and forcing you to install dozens of
plugins, and even a lot of the stuff it does out of the box can be
disabled if you want (about:config, anyone???). The bottom line is
that of all the browsers out there, it is by far the most flexible. If
it doesn't work exactly the way you want, it's because you're lazy,
not because it's not capable. At least Mozilla doesn't treat you like
a moron and try to protect you from yourself.

Which is why Apple always has been (since the death of the Apple II
clones and the birth of the original Macintosh, anyway) and always
will be a pile of crap. Windows has its problems, but there are
solutions for every one of them, and if you really want to do
something different, you can. Out of the box you have many different
ways to do the same thing. Unlike Macs, which force you to do things
in a certain way no matter how inconvenient or counter-intuitive, and
do their best to keep you from digging into the guts to adapt them to
your needs.

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