[LAD] User eXperience in Linux Audio

Fons Adriaensen fons at linuxaudio.org
Tue Apr 21 20:26:47 UTC 2015

On Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 08:16:05AM +0200, Thijs van severen wrote:
> We need to be aware of the fact that most people on this list are devs and
> therefore do NOT represent the average user

We also need to be aware of the following:

* Developers are not necessarily coding nerds who are completely
isolated from the daily practice of using software. Most of them
on this list are actually users themselves.

* If a developer holds some views that go against those of the
average user he will have some very good reasons for that. There
is *no reason at all* to assume that the average user's ideas
are 'the right ones'. Most people prefer unhealthy food with a
high salt/fat/sugar content. Never mind if they get diabetes
sooner or later. If someone goes against that and produces some
healthy food then I don't think that is 'a very wrong attitude'
as you put it.

* They way typical Windows SW works is not dictated by user
interest. If it were no user would ever have any reason to
abondon Windows and go for Linux. It is determined entirely
by the short-term views of marketeers. There is no reason at
all to assume that the same logic should apply to free open
source software.

* Every time the Linux community adopts some stupid Windows
'standard' for the sole reason that it is 'what users expect',
this goes against its own long term interests. If Linux ever
becomes the perfect Windows clone then it has destroyed its
main reason to exist, which is to be different and better.

Regarding splash screens: yes, some apps take a long time
to start up. In most cases that is because they have either
become bloated themselves, or depend on interaction with
bloated desktop environments. That is by itself good reason
for concern. Using a splash screen to fix that is at best a
bandaid. That doesn't mean that a splash screen is by itself
a bad idea - but it certainly is if its only reason to exist
is to hide the results of crappy design.

Regarding shortcuts for close/quit etc.: they are not always
wanted. When I'm recording live I don't want any single key
or mouse click to accidentally interfere with that. It's bad
enough with e.g. Ardour's GUI - every single pixel of it will
do something when clicked on, and the result is not always
so benign. I've had a musician dropping his shoulder bag on a
cable to a cardbus interface during a live recording. This
ripped out the card and destroyed the mechanical card locking
system. So having an accidental click or key pushed is not at
all such a remote risk.



A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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