The Real Reason Designers Don't Contribute To Open Source

—Monday, August 28 2006

It’s Monday morning and “Designer” has just decided to help “Developer” on the open source project “ProjectX”. Designer doesn’t know it yet, but he’s in for a long day.

Developer: Hi Designer! We’re really glad you decided to join our project. We could really use a kick ass UI because we all suck hippo ass at design.

Designer: Thanks! I’m looking forward to helping out. I have some really great ideas for the project.

Developer: Thats awesome Designer. I’ve got you an svn account setup. fred/23rSD@#$SDRsdfEasd5323. Go ahead and check out the source.

Designer: Where do I check out the source?

Developer: svn://

Designer: Cool, thanks!

[10 minutes later…]

Designer: Uhh…I don’t see anything at that url.

Developer: ???

Designer: When I go to that url, I don’t see anything. Safari just gives me a message saying it can’t open that url or something.

Developer: Haha! Your not supposed to ‘check out’ the source as in ‘view’, your supposed to run that command from the command line. svn co svn://

Designer: Oh! Sorry, never done this before. So just type that in…Terminal I suppose?

Developer: yeah.

[10 minutes later]

Designer: Man, I’m just having bad luck or something. When I type that command in I get the message: -bash: svn: command not found.

Developer: You’ve got to have svn installed. Have you installed it yet?

Designer: No, where do I get it?

Developer: Just run sudo port install svn

Designer: sudo port install WTF?

Developer: Do you have Darwin ports installed?

Designer: I don’t think so? What’s that?

Developer: Grab it from here (insert url here).

[Two hours later]

Designer: Ok, I’ve managed to get Darwin ports installed and I’ve checked out the source. Finally!

Developer: Awesome! You should be able to rock and roll now.

Designer: Great, going to check it out now (as in view).

[30 minutes later]

Designer: Developer, you know I think we should really change the way feature-x is implemented. It’s just not that intuitive. From a users perspective, we should probably implement it like …[insert well founded design decision]…

Developer: Hmm… I don’t know. I think it’s fine the way it is. Besides, it would take forever to implement it the way you think it should be. We’d have to change too much stuff.

Designer: Hmm…….OK.

Developer: So, think you can make this look like a really awesome app?