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Re: On a particular design meme

From: Martin Thomson <martin.thomson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 12:00:11 -0700
Message-ID: <CABkgnnVTjX_Fj2gHBK-vniF8j_CsECmU86f3JN+azSwx510Jpg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Cullen Jennings (fluffy)" <fluffy@cisco.com>
Cc: "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>
On 27 August 2012 07:33, Cullen Jennings (fluffy) <fluffy@cisco.com> wrote:
> I think you assertion that the work here is assuming the user is an idiot is just wrong and pretty distasteful. Do you have any evidence to back up this allegation?

It was an essay on design, not some sort of crass allegation.

To be perfectly clear, the trigger for this posting was a throwaway
comment; one that did not have any significant bearing on the outcome.

> ... most successful API and libraries take some complex functionality and wrap it up in a way that meets the users needs and is easy to use.

API usability is important, but for the most part, usability arises
from a clear communication of design intent.  Part of the thesis is
that architecture that supports usability is important.  As
requirements emerge then the architecture might need to change and
with it, the design.

Two concerns that I've had in this regard arise from a) the idea that
certain existing structures are sacrosanct, and b) concentration on
efficiency.  The former leads to the sorts of hacks that we will be
discussing tomorrow as it relates to ICE state.  It leads to the
design of new features solely to compensate for incompatibilities.
The latter is an optimization.  As such, it's premature.  I've
definitely seen an expressed desire for efficiency in this working
group - though to be fair, that might have been in the context of
thinking that the affected features were complete enough to justify
optimization, or through some conception of design economy.

Received on Monday, 27 August 2012 19:00:39 UTC

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