C’mon Dave Winer! Dont expose the “platform” to end users.

So I’m having a bit of a look around the FlickrFan app, from the point of view of an end-user.

There’s an OPML icon in my toolbar, what the hell is OPML? (again, I know what it is, but the average end-user does not).

I click on the OPML logo (which I’m assuming is FlickrFan) and I get a window that says: “OPML Editor 10.1a8: 20.0MB free, 2:17:09 PM; 4 threads;11 hits.”

Huh? I have far more than 20.0 MB. What is this about?

And what’s PhotoFan? … its under the tools menu.

And there’s a menu called HTML …. what’s that got to do with photos from Flickr?

For all of Dave’s genius … I’m starting to understand his weakness. He is like an Application Architect with a huge bent on developing powerful new usage patterns. But now I see that the usage patterns he aims at are only the “Very End User Experience”. The middle ground, the “Middle User Experience” (here, the OPML app) is only palatable for cluey developers (and even then its just too much!). Installing the FlickrFan application is like opening a door into Dave’s head and exposing this chaotic syndication engine thats churning so hard it cant see that I just want to pull photos from some websites.

Dave c’mon! … recognise your weakness and get a Product Manager! Simplify the app, simplify the message! Dont expose the “platform” to end users.

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2 Responses to C’mon Dave Winer! Dont expose the “platform” to end users.

  1. Mike says:

    OPML/FlickrFan is the same application Dave wrote in the mid 90s, first called Userland Frontier, which then became Radio Userland. All of the functionality is implemented as UserTalk scripts.

  2. then I can understand why he uses it to develop “new” apps … because he knows the language (its tiring learning new languages).

    Its just a shame that its not ‘wrapped’ better … to hide all that platform stuff. I’m a developer and I get irritated when I have to wade through menus and menus of foreign stuff that I have to learn …

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