The computer industry understands the science of user-interface --- that knowledge should be applied to ballot design.Possibly the most stunning thing I've read all week. Consider just one example of the insanity of this comment.
Raymond's recommendations center around the idea that open source developers need to meet the needs of "Aunt Tillie", whom Raymond defines as "the archetypal nontechnical user". (Hereafter referred to as A.T., because the name Aunt Tillie is so queer that it makes yours truly a tad queasy.) The idea being that if open source software is usable by A.T., then it'll meet the usability needs of everyone else, too.Sorry, but for professional reasons I'm sensitive about this stuff.
But the whole A.T. angle is quite disingenuous. It wasn't A.T. who couldn't connect to a shared printer. It was Raymond himself who couldn't figure it out. Yes, I see the point that if it were so easy and obvious that A.T. could do it, a nerd like Raymond could do it too. But this is putting the horse way in front of the carriage. In what world does the "archetypal nontechnical user" have two computers connected by Ethernet? When A.T. needs to configure a printer, it's going to be connected directly to her computer, not shared over a network.
By focusing on A.T., Raymond is ignoring the actual depth of the problem. It's easy to say, The open source community needs to do better, we need to create software A.T. can use. But they're so far away from this right now that even an expert like Eric Raymond can't figure out how to use their software.