On Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 01:21:51AM +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> One subset that I've identified is the one I mentioned --
the sysadmin who
> runs RHEL or Fedora server systems and has Fedora on his or her desktop. The
> entire LISA conference was _full_ of these people. As I mentioned in the
> earlier thread, they don't all use Gnome, but they do use Fedora, and very
> well _could_ use Gnome if we tailored the experience to their needs.
In what ways are their needs different to those of a naive desktop user?
The desktop exists to let you start applications, manage windows and
receive notifications. Do sysadmins expect different prioritisation of
notifications? Do they manage windows differently? Do we not make it
easy enough to launch the applications they need?
I mentioned two specific things based on feedback I've gotten: better
multiple monitor support (probably good in general), and better handling of
multiple terminal windows. Some other particular things about the current
Gnome design also get pretty strong feedback among the sysadmins I talk to,
but I don't know enough to say if it's specific or universal (dislike for
the "shield" and wanting to turn it off, for a representative example).
There may be some greater degree of change-aversion, and possibly an
attachment to some particular Unix UI conventions (mouse behavior, say), but
overall I don't think this group likes nice new things any less. If there is
a different expectation of managing windows and notifications, it's a
general desire for a clean, simple design where the system gets out of the
way -- I think that's why the shield is annoying in a way that seems
irrationally out of proportion, because it's very in-your-face.
(And to be clear, I'm definitely not down on Gnome 3. It's _very_ able to be
a clean, fast, out-of-the-way desktop environment, and it's what I run on my
You're right that we don't need to concentrate on one group
exclusion of others, but we're arguing about use cases without thinking
about why we're assuming that these are different people. Developers
often run the same OS at work and at home. Do sysadmins? If so, do
sysadmins not want to watch movies? If not, what is it about Fedora that
makes them feel it's suitable for work but not for pleasure?
A lot of sysadmins I know run Linux at home. Sure, they like to watch
movies, but I think in general they're more aware of licensing and patent
concerns than the general public, and therefore more forgiving of what we
can and can't do in these areas.
"We want to pay attention to the needs of more niche
consumers" is very
different to "We should define our target audience as niche consumers".
The former is welcoming. The latter is alienating.
Oh, I absolutely agree.
Mo's discussion regarding figuring out exactly what it is that
dislike about fundamental OS behaviour and attempting to satisfy that is
vital, but the optimal outcome is for us to satisfy more technical users
without compromising our usability amongst non-technical users. The PRD
currently suggests that one has to come at the expense of the other.
Let's spend some time figuring out whether that ssumption is true.
Okay, that sounds good to me too. But I'd also like to put it the other way
around: Let's not compromise our appeal to technical users and contributors
in an effort to appeal to a non-specific "general user" who isn't really
defined except by the implication that anyone who doesn't like some design
decision clearly doesn't qualify as the target.
Matthew Miller ☁☁☁ Fedora Cloud Architect ☁☁☁ <mattdm(a)fedoraproject.org>