[mythtv] Newbie "noting down little quirks and oddities"

Bruce Markey bjm at lvcm.com
Mon Jan 9 20:30:41 UTC 2006

Donavan Stanley wrote:
> Craig Tinson wrote:
>> well.. personally I think this is a good report.
> You honestly think that a report on an old version of the software 
> posted to the developers list by someone who didn't read the existing 
> documentation is a "good report"?

Nope. I thought this was pretentious and laughable. This is really
just a set of newbie questions framed in a new and bizarre way.

>> I've read through all the replies and to be frank I think they are 
>> completely out of order.
> Really?  Maybe I should start posting usability reviews of rocket design 
> software.  After all I have no clue how it works and I'm sure they 
> should jump to implement my suggestions.

They look really uncomfortable in those rockets. Maybe there should
be a room with a sofa. And food in little bags is tacky. They should
have plates of mashed potato(e)s with gravy poured over the top and
peas and nice glassware with ice cubes.

>> How is OpenSource software ever expected to get into the realm of 
>> public use without it being easier to use?? more software should 

There are at least four invalid presuppositions before this question.

>> undergo similar Usability Testing.

"Undergo" is an interesting word. "Endure" would be even better.

> There's a huge difference between usability testing and Joe random 
> spouting off about crap he doesn't understand.

Couldn't agree more. I didn't know how to say it but this is
exactly what I saw. Usability testing requires the tester to
understand why the thing is useful to accomplish some objectives
and assess how useful the tool is for accomplishing those goals.

If someone decided to test golf clubs and hadn't played golf
they might report 'I could throw the ball further than if I hit
it with a stick' or 'the hole should be bigger' or 'it's hard
to pull the ball out of the hole with the flag stick in the way'.

I think some people fell under the Emperor's New Clothes spell
and thought that with nice formatting and a lot of bravado, this
guy must be saying something important. Me, I was literally
laughing out loud at these comments that came across to me like
the golf example above. After that, I felt sorry for the guy for
being so pretentious and so clueless.

>   Hell even Tivo comes with a manual.

Do you know how to get a page like myth's Program Detailes? Or
the magic sequence of keys that spell "sort" to sort the play
list by titles? Or any of a couple dozen other undocumented

The unstated or partially stated premise for those giving their
'expert' opinions on usability in this thread is that if the
user has to learn something first then it must be poor design.
Okay, if someone bought a calculator that had calculus functions
does that mean the user will understand calculus without ever
having read a book? It's absurd.

> ...If he had said something to the effect of "the 
> documentation"  doesn't make this clear it might have carried more 
> weight but he didn't even read the documentation.

Absolutely. If someone credible was doing something useful the
documentation would be the first and primary focus. This guy has
no credibility and I feel I'm giving him too much credit by
even saying this. Note that I changed the subject line by quoting
his original message. This is just another chump using myth (or
any DVR for that matter) for the first time and doesn't know
what he could do with it.

But what an example of the power of words. He wrote "Usability
Report" and forty some odd messages respond as if this guy was a
highly paid consultant offering pro bono service. No, he's some
dude sitting on his sofa with a bag of Cheetos who can't figure
out what the colors mean. Look at G7. This isn't a expert opinion.
Not only didn't he read  "Controlling Your Schedule" in http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-12.html#ss12.2 but he
didn't even try pressing Enter(!). I like his suggestion "to have
a list of shows that are being recorded" [sic]. Surprised we never
thought of that ;-).

And remember, "you need to reference the EPG regularly"! ;-)

--  bjm

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