Bazaar Explorer prototype showing suggested Bazaar menu for IDEs

Ben Finney ben+bazaar at
Sat Jun 6 10:22:44 BST 2009

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at> writes:

> Ben Finney writes:
>  > Russel Winder <russel.winder at> writes:
>  > > If an application is going to get used by a large number of
>  > > people as a core tool, it has to be usable -- I mean usable here
>  > > in the human--computer interaction (HCI) sense, i.e. when
>  > > usability studies are completed, the application gets a good
>  > > result.
>  > 
>  > No argument on that.
> I have to disagree on that; just look at the prevalence of Word and
> Excel. These applications are *not* usable, not for any of the
> functions they provide over and above Notepad.

I think the context of *when* something gains mind-share is important.
At the time when MS Word and MS Excel became popular, I would argue that
they did provide significant HCI improvements over the competition,
which had become stagnant and ossified.

That MS Word and MS Excel have, in their turn, grown even more stagnant
and ossified in terms of UI, does not matter for this point. Russel's
criterion only has to apply to a technology trying to *gain* mind-share;
having gained it, that advantage doesn't need to be maintained for the
technology to retain its mind-share.

> git also got widespread takeup before it got GUI, becoming even more
> popular than the enormously popular pastime of bashing git's UI. In
> both cases, I think the critical thing is network effects: the forms I
> fill out for travel and purchasing are Word and Excel docs, and if you
> want to hang out with Linus and Keith, you gotta use git.

This is true.

Though there are still, IIUC, a number of lieutenants who still
communicate via patches or an $OTHERVCS-to-Git gateway. Or is my
information out of date there?

> In other words, I'm not suggesting any change in the immediate
> strategy. But it's better to have a mediocre GUI that allows access to
> all of the most powerful features of bzr, than a slick one that
> attracts casual users but forces power users to the command line on a
> regular basis. And once the basic features of the GUI are in place, I
> think tasks like documenting and improving looms, adding a quilt-like
> feature, etc., are more important tasks for the core developers to
> concentrate on.

I dearly hope this is true; I find Bazaar's workflow models to be more
“correct” (and certainly more flexible) than those of any other VCS
tools I've tried, and trust that with a strong core the form will follow
function and prove its worth.

 \       “Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?” “Well, I think |
  `\   so (hiccup), but Kevin Costner with an English accent?” —_Pinky |
_o__)                                                   and The Brain_ |
Ben Finney

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