Change for the sake of change has fired up Sam again…“The GNOME project is almost 17 years old. When will we see some signs of maturity, some signs of stability? It shows that the people at GNOME just want change. Like the good folks at Microsoft who want to change, change, change, until the software becomes utterly unusable, the GNOME developers want to keep changing things too.” I disagree with Sam as often as I agree. He must be close to right most of the time… This time, he is right. When an application is good enough to collect a solid following, why jerk users around with random changes of user-interface?
Further, I think that if an organization wants to deviate radically from the user-interface that folks love, they should fork the project. Whatsit 1.2.3 is a different application than Whatsit 2.0.0 if a user needs to learn some new tricks just to use it. It was years ago I gave up on Kate and Gedit. They were good enough for many purposes. Now I use Vim, Lyx, LibreOffice and Gnumeric. While Sam wanted a simpler application with a kinder face, I wanted powerful apps that worked for me on a desktop that retained a simple/familiar desktop analogy, XFCE4. These can do just about anything I need done and the user-interface has scarcely changed since Day One except to make what works a little better from time to time. If I want to use a different application, a developer should not hold me to follow his random path and he should not expect/demand that.
There are things that need to be changed about applications: performance, reliability, and security are valuable to users. Needing to change how we do things is not. Stand up for users’ right to be left alone by developers. This is akin to why I left the Wintel treadmill years ago. Then, we were constantly changing things so M$ and Intel could rake in big bucks for next to no effort. Is there really any difference being slaves to developers of FLOSS who see themselves as the source of the one true application? Is there really any difference between an application that does something when you click on an icon and an application that does something when you click on a different icon in a different place? Come on, developers, grow up! 1000 monkeys could tweak applications to design random icons in random places but they don’t presume to know more than the users.
See Sam fume at gEdit shows that GNOME wants to drive users away.