CyberTech Rambler

February 15, 2010

This would not had happened with Microsoft, or RedHat, or SuSE

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 5:57 pm

Ubuntu dropped the proposal to replace OpenOffice.org from its netbook edition, and did it in super-fast speed, i.e., less than two weeks!

Never before we see a commercial vendor discussed a decision on whether an application should be dropped or not, and to reverse the decision because of community rejection of the proposal. What we normally see is they make the decision, and where there is a outcry, hide being the shield named ‘our customers demand it’, implying “We know better, we did all the research and  you complaining lots are the minority’, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Interestingly I cannot see this happen with any of the major vendor in Linux, e.g. RedHat or SuSE as well as Microsoft. Their machinaries do not seem to be able to react to community outcry. If ever reversed, we have to wait years for it to happen.

Ubuntu handled the community outcry well. I call this user involvement. OpenOffice.org tried user participation with a call for UI Designs Proposal. It is a success. However, it generated a storm in a tea cup on why the OpenOffice.org people choose one thing over another. For example, why is menu and toolbars still on the top rather than on the side where there is more space? To me, those type of decisions are that for the design team. In the end, they finally explained their decision, and for me, their reason in this case was solid: People expect them to be on the top, so we decided to keep it there. Good enough for me.

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