what is the difference between openMoko and windows mobile based phones

hank williams hank777 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 18 19:15:25 CET 2007

I should clarify and say the issue that I am refering to specifically
relates to UI/design. There are very few people that are good at it, so when
those "good" people are not in absolute control and overly influnenced by
committees, the design suffers. The good news about most open source
products that have been successful is that they are more often API driven.
Linux, the apache stuff, languages, etc, etc. Honestly, I havent yet seen an
open source product whose UI I really like except firefox which is darned
near commercial in the way that it is run.

Graphics programs, Interface shells, video programs... I am not going to
name names because then someone will either get upset or start
misinterpreting. But I have yet to see something that I thought lived up to
the best proprietary interface/UI designs. I cant say I have seen
everything, but I have seen a lot. I think Open Source kills when it comes
to creating high quality maintainable code. But I personally dont think the
community process works as well for design and UI. I know people will
disagree, and I really dont want to get into a back and forth with people
getting upset and trying to prove me wrong. Its just my opinion. And of
course there are always exceptions.

Oh and by the way, I am not saying OpenMoko will have this problem. It
specifically relates to the community process of development. But satisfying
everyone's requests/demands in a UI is a sure sign of trouble and is much
more prevalent in a more democratic process. Depending on how they manage
the process and the form of the leadership it may not be an issue at all.
They just have to be good designers themselves, and be willing to say "no"
when warranted.


p.s. These are just my opinions. I have said it before, but many people have
different perspectives on what it takes to make great products. I am not
sure why anyone would care about my views on this subject.

On 1/18/07, Richard Franks <spontificus at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/18/07, hank williams <hank777 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I believe too many cooks spoil the stew, which is often a
> > problem in open source, in my opinion. Its also often also a problem
> inside
> > corporate development efforts. When there is no clear and absolute
> > leadership, product design suffers. This is of course my opinion, based
> on
> > my 30 years of software development. It is, nevertheless an opinion.
> Your
> > mileage may vary.
> I see this being true for monolithic projects such as a kernel, or an
> office productivity suite.. I would say that it's debatable whether
> the same holds true for the types of micro-application which are going
> to be created using the OpenMoko API (which as a foundation does
> appear to have clear leadership).
> Monolithic product design I believe arose from distribution and OS
> layer limitations - when you simply couldn't download weekly updates
> or patches, the product had to get it right the first time. It didn't
> always happen that way of course, but there was no real alternative as
> the network infrastructure hadn't been built up yet.
> Communication accelerates standardisation, and standardisation paves
> the way for smaller tighter applications. Given the diversity of
> interests shown on this list, I don't think we'll run into the
> too-many-cooks issue any time soon.
> Out of interest, which Open Source projects have fallen victim to the
> too-many-cooks problem?
> Richard
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> community at lists.openmoko.org
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