Tuesday, 28 November, 2000

Open Source Developers Don't Understand Users

In his editorial "New Boss, not the Same as the Old Boss" at LinuxProgramming.com, Lou Grinzo points out that most programmers of open/free software simply don't understand the mainstream computer user.  This lack of understanding, he says, is "the biggest single roadblock to Linux's Total World Domination."  It's a very good article, and well worth the read.

It's interesting that some of those who posted comments about the article treat the issue as either/or:  the software is either powerful, or easy to use.  There is no room in their thinking for powerful software that is easy to use.  It's an interesting blind spot.  Probably it's just laziness.  One poster says "The programmers who can start the program[s] are not always (or even often) the programmers who can polish them."  And that's the whole problem, in my opinion.  Anybody can start a program.  It takes dedication and discipline (traits sadly lacking in too many people who call themselves programmers) to polish and finish a software project.