[Dextrose] Sugar UI Dictator

Michael Stone michael at laptop.org
Tue Nov 9 12:27:18 EST 2010

On Tue, 9 Nov 2010 at 03:12:41 +0000, Martin Dengler wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 08, 2010 at 07:49:19PM -0500, Bernie Innocenti wrote:
>> 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
> Great idea.
> Sebastian is calling for a HIG update as part of his SLOBs platform -
> perhaps the new HIG Dictator should commit to doing that in some fixed
> period of time?
> Failing one Dictator, erm, seizing power, perhaps we could just agree
> on some group of people who will be the dictators, and not revisit
> that for a while.

Agreeing on small group of people seems easy to arrange. Here's a strawman
proposal for how that might look: 

   1. Per [1], the Oversight Board creates an ad-hoc 3-person UI Committee.

   2. The initial voting members will be mtd, garycmartin, and ____ (a third
      person to be determined).

   3. The initial term will be for six months.

Next, there are details that we need to agree upon. For example, what does the
committee do and at what rate does it do it? Another strawman:

   4. The committee will meet as needed in order to address Queries received by
      any of its voting members.

   5. The committee will meet within 2 weeks of receiving a Query.

   6. Proposed Responses will be accepted by the committee by majority vote.

   7. Minutes, received Queries, proposed Responses, and related discussion will
      be archived and organized by the Committee Secretary on the wiki.

Finally, there some harder questions that I don't have easy answers for: 

   a) Who do we expect to do the work of formulating responses to Queries?

   b) How will we make the committee successful and fun? In particular, how do
      we expect to organize the performance of the work that is necessary to
      prepare for and to follow through on the committee's decisions?

      (i.e., who's actually going to go out to collect experience reports,
      to perform user testing, or to develop prototypes when the Committee
      determines that these actions are necessary in order to properly respond
      to a Query?)

   c) What kinds of disputes and/or grievances do we anticipate and how do we
      expect to resolve them?




[1]: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Governance#Committees

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