Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: The "Itch Scratching" philosophy

Author:Raymond Yee
Posted:9/19/2000; 3:02:39 PM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 9/16/2000
Msg #:21508 (In response to 21406)
Prev/Next:21507 / 21509

[Dave W.'s words in italics]

We use the tools, we're sick of how awful we are, but we also know that they're the best that are available anywhere. What a conundrum.

Amen. I also think that Manila is the best tool currently available for easily maintaining a rich website that is geared to getting content out to the readers (as opposed to focusing on the look--and-feel). The frustration comes in the "it's-a-great-start-but-it's-not-there-yet." And that's why I'm relieved to know that work on Manila is going forth.

Another reason you can be sure Manila goes forward is that we're using it heavily to document and support Radio UserLand. And we belong to the "itch scratching" school of software development, in other words, we feel your pain, probably even more than you do.

The "itch scratching" philosophy has its strengths and limitations. Indeed, one is strongly motivated to scratch one's own itches. Consequently, Manila will grow more powerful and usable for the people at Userland -- and for people with a similar itch to you.

But will that be enough for other people who use or want to use Manila? My co-workers and I want to promote the Two-Way Web at UC Berkeley and among teachers and students in the K-12 world, to enable people from both communities to communicate and work with one another. We've been trying out Frontier/Manila/Radio Userland to serve that goal. Our tentative conclusion is that although Manila is something that my immediate co-workers and I really love (because we're technically knowledgeable and have the time to invest to learn Manila), it is still not quite usable enough by our constituents--unless we are willing to put a huge amount of effort to suport and teach them how to use Manila.

I know that work on Radio Userland will eventually advance the cause of Manila, but sprucing up the core functionality of Manila would go a long way towards wider adoption of Manila as a website editing framework. At least that's what we've seen here.

BTW, how much usability testing has been done on Manila and with which groups of users?

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