Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Bugs and Superstars

Robin Williams came to me in a dream last night to tell me that he disagreed with the approach taken in my patch for Tomboy bug 404739. He said he didn't like unpredictable UIs that can change on you without warning. I think he was advocating disabling the "Import Sticky Notes" option instead of completely removing it (this only happens when a user has no sticky notes).

I'm still not sure how I feel about it. But if you've never ever used the Sticky Notes applet, and you're using Tomboy, what are the chances that you'll ever try Sticky Notes? In which case having the "Import Sticky Notes" option at all is a confusing waste of space. And if you do decide to try Sticky Notes, the next time you start Tomboy, the Import option will be there. Mr. Williams compared it to those irritating Microsoft Office menus that by default only show common or recently used options, but with all due respect to The Mork, I don't think the situations are the same at all.

Silly Distros, the Sticky Notes applet is for old bearded hackers who can install it on their own

I'd like to be able to remove the plugin entirely, but distros are still shipping the Sticky Notes applet even though it's no longer a default part of GNOME. I don't like when distros ship both Sticky Notes and Tomboy; it's like the old days when everyone shipped 5 IMers and 4 web browsers. As a hypothetical new Ubuntu user just discovering applets, how do I choose between two identical-looking notes applets?

The description for "Tomboy Notes" is "Simple and easy to use note-taking". For "Sticky Notes" it is "Create, view, and manage sticky notes on the desktop". Yes, they're both good apps. Yes, they represent two very different ways of managing notes. But to 80% of users they are the exact same thing. So distros, pick one for your default install, and offer the other in your package repsitory. Why is this so hard?

In Other News, Visio Sucks

That is all.

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