"My first 48 hours enduring Ubuntu"

Matthew S-H mathbymath at aol.com
Thu Jun 16 03:29:05 BST 2005


On Jun 15, 2005, at 10:06 PM, Chanchao wrote:
> Hello Matthew,
>
> Thursday, June 16, 2005, 6:55:00 AM, you wrote:
> MSH> which is my point, the application interface guidelines are  
> the computing
> MSH> equivalent of housing associations that tell you what color  
> you can paint
> MSH> your house, how often you have to water your lawn, and that  
> you can't
> MSH> have signs on your yard or whatever...
Umm....  That wasn't me...  I was just quoting someone there.
> Not quite, IMHO..  Because your house is YOUR house. Others don't have
> to use it.   Similarly, suppose you write software JUST for yourself
> then I'm sure nobody objects to anything you do to it.

> However when you write software with the explicit intention that
> others will use it, then there's some sense in having applications
> look and work the same wherever possible.  Makes for a lower learning
> curve on the part of the users who you hope will use your software.
Agreed.  A good analogy for this is that it is almost totally your  
business what you do with your house's internal design.  The zoning  
regulations only apply to external design.  (except in terms of  
whether an area is designated as residential, commercial, industrial,  
etc.).

> And.. while the rules on what you can do with your house are strict
> and enforced, nobody forces you to do anything, EVEN when the
> software you design is intended for others to use.  That's when things
> like WinAmp/XMMS get made, which are, well, a bit 'special'. :)
This hits the nail on the forehead with respect to software.  When it  
comes to the house analogy, this fails a bit because of good ol'  
eminent domain.  That doesn't apply, though, if you have a property  
that hasn't been sold since before the eminent domain laws were passed.

> You would only stick to the rules if you for yourself would want to
> make something that's consistent with the way other applications work.
In most cases, this is a good idea.  The only exceptions I can see  
are for apps that are designed to go over others (such as skinnable  
apps like WinAmp).  There may be others, but they are few and far  
between.  And as you said, you can always design the interface the  
hard way.

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