Subject: Re: User-facing applications
From: Steve Mallett <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 17:49:21 -0400

> I've noticed that free software has a wide range of quality, from
> amazingly poor to astoundingly good.  That's not exactly a revelation.
> Another thing I've noticed is that the "amazingly poor" end tends to
> be cluster the realm of user interfaces, most especially when they
> come from all-volunteer projects, and I've got a little theory on why
> this is so.

I don't know that the "end tends to be.. user interfaces' per se, but I would 
guess that some times they are poor simply because those who make them tack 
the gui on as an afterthought and/or that the gui is simply the part of the 
product manufacturing cycle that they understand the least or care about the 
least.  People aren't good at everything.

I'd venture that as free software makes its presence known more on the 
desktop that people who aren't interested in the backend coding will take 
that burdon of the gui upon themselves or at least try to help out more.  
There are likely not enough of these gui people interested yet.

One such example I know of and like quite a bit is a site called open source 
web design:   In this case a hacker's website would be the 
gui.  They have taken it upon themselves to help hacker's websites more 
presentable.  Not quite the same thing, but I'm sure you see the similarity 
of the example.  
Steve Mallett | - Just Stable, Open Source Apps | <personal>

"The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because
you can only do a little. Do what you can."
					-Liz Smith