[Sugar-devel] Testing changes (was Re: RFC: Kill the delayed menus for good)

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 13:50:25 EST 2009

Nobody has taken up my offer, so it is now dormant until I hear
otherwise. I did not intend my suggestions to replace whatever is
needed in the meantime. As I said, don't take anything personally.

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 10:14, Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
> 2009/11/5 Edward Cherlin <echerlin at gmail.com>:
>> We need at least one more hat (in addition to those described below),
>> which I am willing to put on. Somebody needs to coordinate field
>> testing and feedback, so that we have data to make decisions from, or
>> we can get appropriate data when they are not yet available.
>> It is not enough to have a coordinator, of course. We must have
>> populations of users (various ages, various countries, in some cases
>> various disabilities) approved for testing (at least by themselves, by
>> their teachers, and by any administrators with responsibility for
>> them). We must have people willing and able to install, de-install,
>> and monitor changes. We must have a place to put raw data and results.
>> We may occasionally need a tool built. We seem to have no shortage of
>> ideas, or even patches, but I am willing to hear more on that point.
>> There is more, but that would be sufficient for getting started.
>> If the developers are willing to get their part organized, I will take
>> this question to  iaep and grassroots, and to management, and see
>> whether we can get covered at the user end or anything else that
>> people think of. Oh, yes. Experiment designers and the like from Ed
>> schools.
> Having someone coordinating this area would be of great help, but I'm
> worried about forgetting that perfect is the enemy of good. As
> starters, I think we just need to get some opinions from deployers,
> developers, testers and UI designers and make sure that any technical
> decision (such as pushing code) is made after taking into account that
> feedback.
> Once we have this working, we can start thinking about how to make the
> feedback we get from those groups more relevant and of more quality.
> Regards,
> Tomeu
>> I'm delighted to see these discussions making progress. I have long
>> detested the unfolding hover menus. Keep it up, but please don't take
>> any of it personally.
>> On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 10:44, C. Scott Ananian <cscott at laptop.org> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 2:15 PM, Michael Stone <michael at laptop.org> wrote:
>>>>> ps. I've found the discussion of ideas here much more interesting than
>>>>> the finger-pointing.
>>>> Understandable; thanks for providing this feedback. Are there specific
>>>> ideas that have come up in this thread other than the one that Wade
>>>> supplied that you have found particularly thought-provoking?
>>> In general, revisiting the "why" and attempts to discover different
>>> solutions which achieve the original goals.  Like Martin Dengler, I
>>> find myself convinced all over again when I revisit the original
>>> motivation.  Real world feedback indicates, however, that the current
>>> behavior frustrates some users, despite "best laid plans".  It's
>>> obviously time to return to the "why" and come up with different ways
>>> to accomplish those goals.  (Discussion which is simply "I want X"
>>> without a consideration of how this relates to the design goals is
>>> much less interesting -- I won't say useless, but it begs for someone
>>> to contextualize it and provide the missing rationale before it fits
>>> well into the conversation I would like to be having.)
>>>>> Attempts to shift responsibility (it's my patch,
>>>>> YOU have to prove that it's wrong -vs- it's my design, YOU have to
>>>>> prove that it's wrong) are productive/necessary to some degree, but a
>>>>> family matter you guys should take out back somewhere to hash out.
>>>> Do you have a recommendation on where "out back" would be? Some other
>>>> mailing list? Private conversation?
>>> If it's a truely personal matter, private email (or some physical
>>> location where you can sit down together for a beer).  If it's about
>>> hashing out a philosophy of participation, then mixing it together
>>> with discussion of UI changes is not helping either conversation
>>> progress.  Sometimes you can't do two things at once, but you can do
>>> them separately.
>>>> I understand you to be saying that we should be listening to people with
>>>> the experience necessary to have informed opinions. Is this a fair
>>>> summary of your position?
>>> Not necessarily.  My position is that there's an interesting UI
>>> discussion largely buried in this thread.  There's also a
>>> community/contribution/patch-approval conversation which I don't have
>>> any strong opinion on.  Finally, there's a meta-topic revealing some
>>> splits within the community which I do have some thoughts on.
>>> I am currently working on a(nother) strongly design-oriented
>>> "bottom-up" UI, and it has reminded me that such development *can*
>>> work.  Having a strongly coherent "user story" and regular feedback
>>> from those users *is* really important. That said, unfiltered user
>>> opinions are often short-sighted.  You really do need a "designer"
>>> role: some group of people who can keep the overall goals in mind and
>>> maintain overall direction.  Some problems need evangelism, some
>>> problems need design fixes, some problems are unexpected/unresolved,
>>> some problems are "won't fix" (proposed feature out of scope, not
>>> relevant to target users, impossible with given resources, workaround
>>> pending further user feedback/maturity of proper fix), and some
>>> problems are just bugs.
>>> I don't think that treating all proposed code changes uniformly as
>>> "bugs" is the right solution.  I also don't think that developers
>>> cannot put on designer hats, or vice versa.  But the necessary
>>> organizational discipline seems to be missing in this thread.
>>> Separate your concerns and have separate, focused, conversations: have
>>> everyone put on designer hats and discuss the problem (some users are
>>> frustrated by context menus/some users are not as efficient as they
>>> could be/some users perceive the interface as sluggish because of
>>> intentionally-added delays), goal, and possible solutions.  In another
>>> thread, put on your manager hats and figure out how to nuture
>>> contributions, organize designer roles, maintain coherence (both in
>>> code and design/vision), and maintainability (again, you should be
>>> spending as much time on design "janitor work" as you seem to be
>>> willing to spend on code janitorial duties).  In yet another context,
>>> put on coder hats and look at the purely technical issues (in this
>>> case, how to treat patch sets which essentially orphan other blocks of
>>> code, patches which demonstrate an idea pending designer feedback, and
>>> possibly how to enable more efficient A/B testing with actual users).
>>> Finally, you can hash out whatever personal issues, grudges, or
>>> misgivings in some other context -- I've always considered actual
>>> face-to-face conferences the best way to enable reconciliation and
>>> team building, but you could also consider personal mail which says,
>>> "I feel this response of yours was overly personal..." or "I apologize
>>> if my response seemed sharp, I thought about this more after I hit
>>> send and realized that not everyone knew XYZ which I was assuming was
>>> obvious..." or whatever.
>>> I'm not helping the situation at all by opening yet another topic on
>>> this thread: the meta topic of how I feel this conversation is going.
>>> Clearly I'm not part of the solution, but you (dear readers) may be.
>>>  --scott
>>> --
>>>                         ( http://cscott.net/ )
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>> --
>> Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
>> Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
>> The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
>> http://www.earthtreasury.org/
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
> --
> «Sugar Labs is anyone who participates in improving and using Sugar.
> What Sugar Labs does is determined by the participants.» - David
> Farning

Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.

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