Comment 195 for bug 532633

"We all make Ubuntu, but we do not all make all of it. In other words, we
delegate well. We have a kernel team, and they make kernel decisions.
You don't get to make kernel decisions unless you're in that kernel
team. You can file bugs and comment, and engage, but you don't get to
second-guess their decisions. We have a security team. They get to make
decisions about security. You don't get to see a lot of what they see
unless you're on that team. We have processes to help make sure we're
doing a good job of delegation, but being an open community is not the
same as saying everybody has a say in everything."

First of all, thank you to take the time to answer personally. I'm sure lots of people, including me, appreciates that.

Don't take me wrong, I think a meritocracy is a good way of doing things, but, as you say, there have to be processes to make sure the delegated job is properly done -- and there's where the community has a part. In the end, it is us, users, who judge wether something is good or bad. This is the same in any bussiness: consumers, in the end, decide. And if there is a majority of users, or consumers, who thinks something is wrong, then the delegation you where talking about is not working properly.

The new design team has made really good changes to the system, and the new branding is really good. That said, I think they've shown some inexperience. A good design team would have done 1) a good reasoning on the need for this change. A basic rule of usability is to be easy and predictable; when you are going to change something like this, you have to be sure that it is *really* for the better. 2) Usability tests. As I said, it's a big change with a great impact, and you shouldn't just "try" something, you have to experiment with real users and good tests, to gets sure the decision is the best. 3) Get the opinions of the final user. In the end, the change is something to make his life better. If he doesn't like it, it has no sense at all.

If you accept an advise, I think what you are lacking in the design team is an usability expert... or maybe there is? the point is that the design team should take usability more into account.

I've read someone who, regarding this matter, said that he is tired of designers telling him how he should use his computer. And he is right. I think you are wrong in one thing: you say this is not a democracy, but, in the end, it is. Design is a democracy. If users don't like a design, if they are unhappy with it, or it makes their life worse, it has no sense at all. Design is for users, and if they don't like it, it's failing.

And I'd like to comment on other issue as well: openness. You said that only the teams responsible for something have all the information on that matter; I don't see the reason, and it goes strongly about my sense of a community. Openness is good for everyone; it's one of the strengths of free software, and one of the pilars of a community. If reasoning of the decisions taken is closed, and plans for the future are hidden, the community is weakened and it will be much more difficult for us to feel part of the project. Lots of communities, and most of the information in this very community, is opened to access by everyone, and it works well this way. There's no reason to hide anything... and there is a risk we won't feel part of this project anymore. Just users. And it changes everything.

Thanks for your time, and congratulations, as Lucid might be one of the best releases ever for what I've seen to the moment.