Prompted by a mailing list thread…

Writing a good application is not just about including the features people want, and it’s not about writing documentation so that people know how to use those features. It is about including features such that they don’t need documentation.

For Gaim this is usually pretty easy. For the amount of code Gaim has (about 216,000 lines according to sloccount), the interface is pretty basic. For MythTV… well, their configuration interface could use a little work. The backend configuration GUI looks very similar to the frontend GUI. To a new user, the difference between the two programs is not clear. Especially since the frontend GUI also contains configuration menus.

Suggested change:
The backend configuration GUI should be labeled as such. And it should not be a full screen GUI application. It could be a windowed GUI application, or a curses-based console application, or maybe just a simple, well commented config file that users must edit by hand. This would give the user a clearer understanding of what they’re actually doing when they configure their tuner card, TV listings, etc.

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1 Response to Prompted by a mailing list thread…

  1. I usually try to read your LJ entries. But I usually get confused after the first line or two, and then I start skimming… then I just give up.

    But I still think you’re awesome!

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