[openbeos-cdt] Re: CDT regrouping: why and how?

  • From: Eddy Groen <eddyspeeder@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos-cdt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 10:47:50 +0100

Dear all,

I was very pleased with the input from -Meanwhile- and Johan, and here is a
big "thank you" to both. -Meanwhile- has pointed out exactly what our
starting point should be (the BeOS is user-friendly, but not as pleasant to
look at; however I think a few changes in Haiku in respect to the BeOS have
not contributed to the user-friendliness, e.g. the Deskbar). Additionally,
many "to do" activities have been listed by Johan, and honestly I think the
lists are pretty complete.

Question: is there any way where we can log this "to do" list centrally? A
dedicated corner at BugZilla perhaps?

Ryan, I also thank you for your thoughts. Indeed, I would really like you to
be the co-ordinator, but I am curious how others feel about this (from the
Haiku project at large). Based on what I have read in your emails so far,
you have the necessary oversight, authority and prior CDT-related experience
required. A lot of thinking needs to go into exactly how the CDT is going to
take shape in order to succeed. I acknowledge that you are very busy, and I
find the browser a highly important project. (Equally so, I find WonderBrush
and Stippi's Haiku projects important, so we simply have a shortage of
people at the top end, haha.)

About the viability of CDT: I don't think we should use terms like
"viability" but use "necessity" instead. See my previous email about this.
Taking the UI discussions on the main list as an example, you can see that
people often are at extreme ends (take Johan and me for example), and that
emails often are inadequate means to really get your design point across. "A
picture/sketch says more than a thousand words." This is why I have
emphasized the need to investigate proper means of long-distance
communication such as Skype and Waves. Because yes, I agree, CDT decision
making over a mailing list is, very much, NOT viable.

The developers rightfully focus on just building up the system to an
appropriate level (see the BeGeistert video). However, when they *do* feel
like doing design work, they read a ticket, and they have to design the
interface themselves. ***But that should not be a developer's job!***
Developers may design, don't get me wrong, but they are better off doing
programming unless they really want to do design. Real
"designer/programmers" (those excelling at both) are scarce, and Stephan is
indeed certainly one of them. As for academics (Johan/Ryan-discussion):
though I've been trained in this field, that does not make me perfect or
all-knowing. Johan's persistency and ability to spot oddities that we have
gotten used to over the years are precious.

My view for the CDT is: it takes design requests and it makes many
initiatives to redesign things autonomously, it comes up with clear sketches
of how something should look and work, and this is submitted to a developer
for implementation. I would like to leave logo/icon/site/other design out of
this focus. So yes, I stand by you to focus the CDT more.

Ultimately, "politics" come into play here. The CDT cannot afford to be
arrogant and impose design changes upon the developers. So the features of
the Human Interface Guide (HIG) that have not yet been warmly welcomed by
the developers should be discussed with them. They need to be "on board"
with the design rules that limit their options, otherwise these will get
ignored. And taking it back to -Meanwhile-'s comment: we also must start
from a position where the CDT clearly advocates that the BeOS *is* amazing
at the usability level, *but* that it could be made more beautiful.

My final remark here: Be and the BeOS were widely known for their
innovativeness. Haiku has lagged behind, but is truly playing catch-up. The
CDT should eventually be able to lift Haiku to the innovative level yet

Question: what should be our first few steps to really make sure the CDT
does take off?


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