14 Mar 2005 roozbeh   » (Master)

I'm trying to somehow make this my English blog, as opposed to my Persian blog UTF-8.

It was mainly this post by Daniel Veillard that made me try to think and write about the local perspective here. I first tried to disprove Daniel's point about geographical diversity, and tried to find the page about the countries that were represented in GVADEC in Kristiansand, but it proved Daniel's point. Yes, it's really an issue.

Guess what? KDE is more popular than GNOME here in Iran (same with the Arab countries). The reason: they are driven by customers rather than developers/designers/etc. When a user posts a bug report or a feature request that is written good enough and is easy enough, he gets it (specially if its low level, like i18n-related, usually it's someone from Trolltech that gives it to them). This results in much more fans, and since there is not much business around free software in Middle East and Africa yet which makes the fans the only people who write about free software, KDE, and other user-driven free software, gets mentioned more and more, which results in more users. The users rarely tend to become developers of course, because they get what they want usually, with enough nagging or noise.

And guess what, there are lots of frustration involved when nobody steps forward to give a patch for a bug. The user community simply rotates around itself: This bug shows it all. (It was finally Behdad, a GNOMIE, who came to their help.)

I just happen to be reading Alan Cooper's The Inmates Are Running the Asylum these days, and it gives me enough reason to make sure that we're on track. Yes, we are a smaller community both developer-wise and user-wise, we have less features, we don't have the resources to listen to end users much, but we will get more users in the end, who may start to turn to contributors. Alan Cooper tells me (and I have enough reason to believe it) that we are going to have a much much better desktop in the end.

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