[OSM-talk] Thoughts on OSM design, and looking forward and back

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Wed Feb 24 14:21:40 GMT 2010


On Feb 24, 2010, at 6:16 AM, Chris Hill wrote:
> SteveC wrote:
> [snip]
>> Right up front we have the school of thought that everything is perfect the way it is. That uservoice is some kind of inherently crappy system (see the uservoice ideas page at http://osm.uservoice.com/ ). That we shouldn't allow people to use tools which make fixing the map easier (see @chilly on twitter), that people are inherently stupid and there should be a barrier to entry to editing in OSM because it's complicated. This school of thought is essentially still living in 1991 and I'll call this school the Game Haters: everything is wrong, even talking about it is wrong.
> [snip]
> The first time I tried to use UserVoice, it hung.  When I tried later in 
> the day I got an HTML error.  I call that crappy for a live system. I 
> have NOT said that we shouldn't allow people to use tools which make 
> fixing the map easier. The quote was: "Pushing people (newbies) to use 
> KeepRight is a recipe for havoc. You need experience to use KeepRight so 
> you know what to ignore."  You clearly agreed with me Steve, you even 
> created a video to try to give people help in using it. Your video still 
> assumes that people are experienced users, but hey, you tried.

I think your comments on user voice and twitter are and were intensely negative, and you were calling for newbies not to be able to edit. I don't really think I actually misrepresented you there did I, as you say it all again here?

> If you had researched a little before your latest explosion, you would 
> have realised that I'm not against feedback (just against crappy 
> bolt-ons). The suggestion to improve your mock-up, once I'd managed to 
> get it into UserVoice, is currently top of the list.

Look, if you can see that uservoice is a 'crappy bolt on' then you can see our UI and editor are 'crappy cobbled together bolt ons' right?

> You believe that feedback is a good thing, but, it seems, only if the 
> feedback confirms your own ideas. You have railed against the UI, 
> against hard-working volunteer contributors and against anyone who 
> disagrees with you, who's left?

Oh that's easy - the vast majority of people out there who use the site every day.

And I don't think I particularly railed against the volunteers, it's almost exclusively about the crappy UI. And it is crappy. I don't know why everyone has such a hard time admitting that, the sooner we do, the sooner we can fix it.

> I do think that there are many things to improve in OSM, but upsetting 
> people is not going to achieve any of them.  One thing you might like to 
> try to rebuild is your personal Interface with the Community, which 
> looks broken to me, probably crushed under your ego.

Oh get over yourself, if you can't take a sentence like "the UI is crappy" or "Richard is holding up PL2" that's just because you're too tied to the people and not the ideas. Yet again - everyone here is awesome - but that doesn't mean we're all immune from critique and everything we do is perfect. Don't think that because potlatch is crappy and the UI is crappy for the site I don't have any respect for Richard, Mikel or TomC or many others... but come on, it is crappy guys, and the current and previous plans for fixing it were either not happening or very slow. That's the first thing to understand, the second is that the intended audience for any useful update *is not us*.

It feels like I really am going to have to do a UI review and get joe publics off the street to show you how powerful things like uservoice are to people out there and not just a 'crappy bolt on'.

Yours &c.


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