[drupal-devel] what do you call a rose?

Steve Dondley sdondley at gmail.com
Mon Oct 3 18:56:12 UTC 2005

We're going round and round with the same pointless discussion they
always have on Slashdot about whether users are stupid or lazy or
whether open-source developers are just plain unresponsive to the

"User are stupid!"
"Developers are arrogant!"

Both statements are worthless and nonsensical.  To me, it's all pretty
simple.  Do I want to give somone a product that is:

1) Powerful, but you have to invest 30 hours to learn how to use it
and often get frustrated and confused by it?


2) One that is equally powerful but you only have to invest 5 hours or
so to learn how to use?

(Please don't get caught up in the details of how many hours it takes,
these are just hypothetical questions.  I'm not suggesting it takes 30
hours to learn Drupal).

Option 2 is obviously where we want to head.  Despite what we've been
told, power and flexibility do not *always* have to come at the
expense of ease of use.  You *can* make things easy for user and have
it be powerful at the same time.  But it takes a lot of thought and
effort to get there.  And it also takes a lot of honest listening to
users who are genuinely confused by the software.  And it also takes a
huge amount of effort on the part of developers to try to put
themselves in the shoes of users instead of calling them "stupid" for
not wanting to waste hours of their life learning a product when
simpler solutions probably exist.

On 10/3/05, Gerhard Killesreiter <killesreiter at physik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Oct 2005, Kobus Myburgh wrote:
> > Your point is taken, however, who is going to do the education? You? Me?
> > Other members of the team? Sure, we can make a best effort, but will we
> > reach them all, due to the dynamic nature of Drupal's user base?
> The people are supposed to educate themselves by means of the docs we got
> to provide. If they are too lazy to read it is their problem if they stay
> dumb and cannot use excellent software.
> Cheers,
>         Gerhard

Dondley Communications

Communicate or Die: American Labor Unions and the Internet

More information about the drupal-devel mailing list