[opensuse] Re: Whoop! Finally - 2 rows on kde4 kicker ("plasma-panel")
- From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 17:43:15 +0000 (UTC)
On Sat, 05 Sep 2009 10:18:13 +0200, Sven Burmeister wrote:
Am Samstag, 5. September 2009 04:57:05 schrieb Jim Henderson:
that show that some people on this list, and its always the same group,
do not only ask for explanations and accept that new features might not
have a value for them while they do for others, but that they like to
add some allegations. At that point, "you get it for free so stop
complaining" is my answer to those allegations because to me,
constructive criticism ends where these allegations are put in by those
reporting an issue.
If somebody would simply ask: "How do I get different wallpapers per
virtual desktop", he would get the answer.
Same if somebody asked: "Would it be possible to have the "different
wallpapers per virtual desktop" with less clicks?".
Yet as you can see in the emails I answered to, they cannot resist to
add some allegation.
Sure, when things change and people aren't expecting it, they're likely
to complain. I think it's incumbent for the developers to read the
underlying message and ignore the perceived personal attacks (sometimes
they're there, sure, sometimes they're not, though - it's just someone's
poor attempt at humour - not making any judgments about this particular
instance as I've not read the messages).
But responding "in kind" doesn't really help move things forward. I've
had plenty of situations over the years where someone has said "man, that
was a stupid idea" to something that I did. What I've learned is that by
responding with "well, you're just a stupid user, so what does your
opinion matter" is more likely to get the user to escalate, and then
things degenerate into a very tiresome flame war.
The better approach is to ignore the personal attack and focus on the
issues. That will gain you the users' respect (generally - there always
will be ones who will just continue). In the situations like the ones
you noted, focus on what the issue is - restate it back to the user (but
without hyperbole or making it personal) and attempt to understand what
the core issue is. It takes practice, yes.
I've said before on this list: There's no "law" or "rule" that says a
personal attack has to be answered in kind. It's my feeling that we
should be focusing on the *issues*. Since the "user" is the "customer",
the focus should be on the issues, first and foremost.
The people participating
here on both sides of the discussion have a common goal - to make
things better. Dismissing user complaints tells the users they're not
important. Since one of the KDE project team's goals seems to be to
maintain KDE's position in the openSUSE user community as the
"preferred" desktop, it seems counterintuitive to me to dismiss the
user community's input, instead attacking the people (or being
perceived to be attacking - from a PR standpoint, they're one and the
same) who are trying to help you turn out a better product.
True and this works very well with most KDE users.
Well, without surveying the users, it's difficult to say if "works well"
equates to "couldn't work better", yes? I'm sure there are users who are
out there who think that it could be improved, but they don't know how or
where to voice that opinion. Or they know where, but they see a
discussion like this one and think "I'm not getting involved in that".
I've always said that it's important to realize that a support forum (and
this mailing list would constitute a "support forum" for the purposes of
this concept) is going to be heavily weighted towards the people who have
problems of some sort. It's not a good measure of who is and who isn't
having a problem, or how widespread a problem is, because only those who
find it and have a problem are going to start a discussion. And who
knows how frustrated they really are when they post something - and for
that matter even if the frustration is completely from the software or
some other outside influence?
So while I think it's incumbent on everyone to calm down and discuss
the issues rationally and not make it personal, I think it's probably
even more important that the developers recognize that when someone
raises an issue about something that didn't work the way they expected,
they've at least taken the time to provide the feedback to you. That
says something about the community's dedication to KDE - if they didn't
provide feedback, that would be a bad thing. So let's take the
feedback given as first and foremost being offered to make things
*better* and go from there.
As mentioned above, constructive criticism without any allegations is
dealt with very well and if you read the archives you will notice that
its only the same group of people that cannot resist from adding a
little extra to their questions or feedback.
Sure, but as I said earlier, focus on the issue, ignore the personal
part. Yes, it's not easy to do that at times, and we all slip (you saw
my reply to JB2 earlier this week - in retrospect, my reply to his "STFU"
message was unnecessary - his childish behaviour stood on its own and I
really didn't need to point it out to the list, because it was blatantly
obvious to anyone reading it).
You will also notice that KDE devs often start participating in a
thread, i.e. answering the question, and then drop-out because the same
known pattern of KDE4 bashing starts all over again. I think it is fair
that developers do not put up with the allegations and waste their time
on those that cannot stay with constructive criticism. Same for this
thread btw. have a look at the answer to Will's email.
If an issue has already been addressed, then focus on the issue and say
"we've already discussed this" if it's necessary to say anything.
I saw John's answer to Will's message there, and sure, I'd agree that
John was out of line in his presentation, but the core issue he's trying
to express is that he doesn't understand the benefit of activities in
KDE4. If you ignore the inflammatory parts of that message and look at
the core issue, it seems to come back to "I don't understand what this
feature is for and what the benefit is beyond what was in KDE3". To the
dev team, that should say "we need to make the benefits of this feature
clearer because some users don't understand them". That's perhaps a fair
point. (Not being a KDE user at all, I don't know anything about the
feature myself). He may also be trying to say "this feature seems overly
complicated to me", but that again comes back to "I don't understand the
We could review each and every message and play "woulda/coulda/shoulda",
but the bottom line is that the user is expressing that they don't
Reading over David's follow-up, the concept seems interesting to me, but
it also seems like it probably wouldn't be something I would use because
I don't split my "personal" and "work" environments. It's a pretty
dramatic change in using multiple desktops (which I do use regularly)
because it focuses a particular activity on a particular virtual
desktop. I use virtual desktops differently - it's actually kinda
difficult to describe how I divide the applications up between them.
Since it's difficult to describe my usage, it would be difficult for me
to classify my applications as part of a particular activity.
That may be what's the issue here - the paradigm doesn't fit the users'
usage. That doesn't make it a bad paradigm per se, but it's one users
aren't accustomed to. (At the very least, the users who are raising
issues about it aren't accustomed to it).
Does that make sense?
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- Re: [opensuse] Whoop! Finally - 2 rows on kde4 kicker ("plasma-panel")
- From: Bob S
- [opensuse] Re: Whoop! Finally - 2 rows on kde4 kicker ("plasma-panel")
- From: Jim Henderson
- Re: [opensuse] Re: Whoop! Finally - 2 rows on kde4 kicker ("plasma-panel")
- From: Sven Burmeister
- Re: [opensuse] Whoop! Finally - 2 rows on kde4 kicker ("plasma-panel")
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