So, imagine you are a potential new user or reporter trying to figure out what GNOME is all about by checking out the GNOME info-web.
Currently, if you Google for "GNOME", you get the correct result (for us): the first hit is http://www.gnome.org, check.
On this page the top line navbar elements are
- News (news.gnome.org), didn't load for me today
- Projects (www.gnome.org/projects)
- Art (art.gnome.org)
- Support (www.gnome.org/support)
- Development (developer.gnome.org)
- Community (www.gnome.org/community)
- There is no news (OK, maybe that's a transient error)
- There are a mixture of headers navigational elements in the "official" GNOME web (art, developer)
- The developer docs are extremely out of data
But what if you Google for "GNOME support"? Currently the first hit is http://gnomesupport.org. Seems reasonable. But you get to a site that at first glance looks nothing like the "official" GNOME sites. Maybe this is a third part ("Community") site? Who knows? You certainly can't tell from the page itself. The "About" link doesn't tell you about gnomesupport.org, it takes you to http://gnome.org/about; probably not what you'd expect.
All in all, not a good first impression. And it seems so easy to fix. We tried to fix this in the past. Why couldn't we?
Why am I led to the conclusion that the people in control of those sites just don't care about the user-facing side of their efforts? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but rather there seems to be a disconnect about what we say and what we do. If we really care about the users, why do we make life harder than it needs to be for them?
Did I say "them"? Sorry, I meant "us".
The first comment on this post shows exactly the problem with many open source and Free software developers attitude to users:
"Why do you switch from 'why couldn't we' to above accusation?
Everyone having SVN can improve. Instead of asking who does it, do it already or quit complaining, too easy."
I rest my case. Developers don't care about users. If a user offers constructive and actionable feedback, the guaranteed reply is "do it yourself". Is it any wonder we haven't acheived Word Domination, or at least 10x10 by now?
But I'm not bitter. I will stick with GNOME until I die, and weather the flames generated from trying to help.
Peace and love,