[Dextrose] Sugar UI Dictator

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Mon Nov 8 19:49:19 EST 2010

[cc += eben, cms]

On Fri, 2010-10-29 at 10:02 +0100, Martin Dengler wrote:
> IMO a decent justification and a willingness to update the affected
> wiki pages - including the HIG - to a similar or better standard as
> what existed before should almost be enough for me.
> What I'm worried about is the HIG that exists - incomplete as it is -
> is being chipped away and we're left with UI that's justified by
> nothing but a patchwork of ad-hoc decisions made by very different
> people with very different users in mind.

While I strongly believe in the power of loosely-managed
volunteer-driven development, distributed authority doesn't seem to work
equally well when it comes to human interface design.

Good design implies one consistent vision, which is hard to obtain
collaboratively. A case-by-case decision process results in either
inconclusive discussions or UI inconsistency.

It might work better if we agreed to delegate all design decisions to
one clever dictator, in the style of Steve Jobs. In the early days of
Sugar, Eben used to cover this role and many would probably agree that
it worked very well.

It's tempting to say that we already have a Design Team with a
Coordinator, but today people proposing changes are supposed to follow a
vague process which involves defending the proposal against a variety of
alternatives, compromising with some of them in the hope to reach
consensus soon or later.

What I'm asking for is fundamentally different: there can still be a
good public discussion, but in the end only one person would give a
clear ACK or NAK within a finite amount of time and effort. At worse you
could get a "change this part and I will approve".

Who should become the dictator could be decided by the currently active
members of the design team. A truly great UI Dictator wouldn't undergo
the annoying delay of democratic elections ;-)

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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