“New Features aren’t Innovation” and ekiga/gaim/evo

Great post by Dare Obasanjo (MS employee) titled ‘New Features Are Not Innovation’ that everyone in software should read.

Along those lines, on the one hand, I’m thrilled to see that ekiga is working on improving their UI, but on the other hand, what I really want to do is lock ekiga, gaim, and evo in a room at GUADEC and not let them out until I have one data store for people and one UI to get at them. It isn’t rocket science, it just requires people reaching out beyond their communities and giving Linux users something that no other platform really has yet, which I think would represent actual simplification and innovation, in ways the various proprietary OS silos just can’t do. It seems sort of sad that orph might get closer, faster, to that with gimmie than the actual clients have. :/

[Edit later: I realize I said ‘data store’, but that was unclear- what I meant is that to the user it should appear as if there is one data store- i.e., the totally false and historical breakages between communication apps should be broken down. The data can be stored in 10,000 different places, or on one shared set of punch cards, for all I care, as long as when I get an IM from Jeff I can instantly and sanely decide to respond via IM, email, or VOIP, and when I decide ‘I want to talk to Jeff’, I open a Jeff object, and then pick an appropriate method, instead of then having to pick through several databases and tools to figure out the best method.]

7 thoughts on ““New Features aren’t Innovation” and ekiga/gaim/evo”

  1. the current free software desktops are so busy chasing, and overtaking, the taillights that they are missing the real opportunities (you can argue the merits of my particular idea, but there’s loads more, and better, ideas out there I’m sure). AsLuis points out on a slightly different angle – we’ve (subconciously) re-created the silos of the proprietary desktop, where email, im, voip, blogs, etc don’t relate to each other – which is crazy, since our code, our file formats, our bug databases, our

  2. [IMG alt] AbiWord – Distruptive or pushing the edge?Luis here is your chance to be lead by example :-) Now that you are a student and eligable for the Google Summer of Code experimence, why not sign up for Abiword SoC project numbr 5. To quote: “5. Come up with a UI suitable for the OLPC project. The OLPC

  3. But, it can also happen that other people in a different context will remind you of the importance of those issues and of the significance of those design decisions. That happened to me a few days ago when reading a recent post from Luis Villa. Luis makes a strong point about the value of application interworking in the context of communication apps in the GNOME desktop, valuing the complete user experience over extra features in application silos.

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