What is your project about?

I read a blog posting that said XBMC is a great project. Then there were comments to the posting that said how much they loved XBMC. Finally someone else posted that XBMC has been forked and now there is the OSXBMC.

Wonderful. What is XBMC?

I checked out the link to the supposedly improved forked OSXBMC. Nothing obvious on the main page as to what the project is. They only say what has been changed in the most recent version.

I hate that. No clear information as to what the project is about when you visit the main page.

Oh, great, there is an About link at the top of the page. Though it requires that I go somewhere else to find just basic information, at least it will be right there. Uh, no. It just says they are a group porting XBMC to OSX. There is at least a link to the official XBMC site in the side bar.

Too much work.

I am picking on this site/project because it happens to be the most recent one I have run into, but it happens often, and mostly in the open source community. There has always been a disconnect between developers and users. The developers give the users what the developers think the users want. Then the users have to think like a developer to figure out how to do it. Often the interface suffers in open source software.

The lack of information at a website is another example of this disconnect. The developers know everything about the project, therefore they don’t understand the need to explain it to the users. They expect the users to understand the project as much as the developers do.

And, no, I am not going to tell you what the project is about. It is not my job to be their evangelist. They need to handle that on their own and win me over as a user. Then maybe I will take up the cause.

3 thoughts on “What is your project about?”

  1. Excellent point, you’ll be glad to hear we’re in the process of revamping the site. Speaking of usability, you may want to tweak your own site a bit, as the font color for the Name/Email/Website is exactly the same as the background with OmniWeb, at least.

  2. Thanks for stopping by.

    I just installed this theme this week and am still working out the kinks. Thanks for pointing that out though. Since I am logged into the site, I have never seen what the “leave a comment” page looks like from the perspective of a normal user.

    I guess it is time to log out and do some more tweaking.

  3. Intriguing. I think you got paid to post to drive traffic to their site!! J/K There was some good info in FAQ:

    To be the best media center for the Mac, offer tighter integration with OS X platform, and to give users the best of what XBMC and OS X offer. Eventually, we would like OSXBMC to behave and feel like a completely native Mac application.

    But I’d agree something like that should be clearer – unless its an in the know kinda shindig!

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