We try to keep Gajim simple and easy to use because we believe it is time GNU/Linux (and other free OSes) users stop being considered as hackers or power users. Keeping that in mind, Gajim has to be as simple as it gets, and that is not the easiest thing in the world. If you have ideas on that, you are welcome to share them with us. We also care about power-users and meet most of their requests via advanced options for which we provide an Advanced Configuration Editor.
That is the idea. How can this idea come true:
When designing UI or generally functionality that affects the user, try to make it simple and robust as much as it gets
Try to think what a rookie would expect that Gajim does on foo functionality when designing foo functionality
Try to put tooltips, good English strings, and not to bloat the UI
Less is more, meaning the fewer UI options the better. Because too many UI options end up having a bloated UI so no options will be used. Most users are afraid/bored to read all all those options!
Yes but how can a person know what most users want?
Now, that is very tricky and it's very difficult to succeed in. But doing it AS SIMPLE AS IT GETS and thinking stuff like: "Can this UI be used by my grandma?", "Can a new user to the PC world use it? Will he feel comfortable with it?" is a good start.
You can't be serious! Why is that a good start?
Because thinking of your grandma using your software always makes you doing it simpler and better.
Because thinking of what a novice Windows user would feel about the design is SAFE as Windows users are the majority of users concerning OSes, and Windows (believe or not) defines user-friendliness and usability. If you like to radically change the UI world, Gajim is not the place for you, sorry.
Yes but can't I just ask the users that contact me or just do what they ask?
No, that is not a solution. I do not mean to ignore them, but that is not the majority of users. Of course they care more and without them we would suck, but that does not mean we should think of those as the majority of users. Let's do some math (as math always speaks the truth):
We have 9 occupants (wihtout devs) in room?
I'm optimistic and I make them 20.
We have 25 bug reporters that are not in the room?
I'm optimistic, and I make them 40.
We have 5 opinions in ML that are not in the bugtracker/room?
PLUS users that get DEB from debian servers, Ubuntu, RPM from redhat servers, FreeBSD, NetBSD, PLD, Slackware, Archlinux, SUSE, etc.
So we have AS of the first half of September (a normal month):
332 + 296 + 203 + 146 = 997 ONLY FOR tarball and .exes and Autopackages.
We also have:
Now users prefer their distro's packages and not sources.
So add a number of the people who used those packages we cannot count.. Hmm
Is 2000 good? Or maybe more? I'm pessimistic, and I say 2000.
So we have:
2000 + 997 = '2997' Users that did NOT express their opinion!
[ 75 (that expressed) / 2997 ] * 100 = 2.502502503 % is the users that contact us.
So bottom line is:
2,5 % is not the majority of users. 2,5 % is the users that care more of what will happen to Gajim and/or have time to report/contact us etc. That does not mean the remaining 97,5 % do not care about Gajim or dislike Gajim. I use programs that I love and I never cared to contact anyone.
Now imagine someone who only has 4 hours free time in his 24hour day. Will he spent his 2 hours in TV/eating and his 2 hours in mail/IM (Gajim user) with friends or he will go to our room to start a chat that may last up to 30 minutes or so? If I were him, I would just use Gajim and if that is not good for me, I would use another client and that is it.