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[liberationtech] Guardian reporter delayed e-mailing NSA source because crypto is a pain

Eleanor Saitta ella at dymaxion.org
Wed Jun 12 09:07:21 PDT 2013


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On 2013.06.12 11.54, micah wrote:
> I'm constantly hearing from people who complain about the UI in
> things like gnupg. I feel your pain, I do not want to argue that
> you are wrong. However, I do want to argue that complaining doesn't
> help to solve the problem. I've asked every single person who has
> complained about this problem to me recently, "have you filed a bug
> about your issues?" and everyone's response is: "no".
> 
> I've done this, and guess what? It works! I filed bugs and had 
> discussions on the gnupg mailing list that have made your
> experience with that tool a little bit better. There are many ways
> that I think it can be improved still, don't get me wrong, but the
> gnupg developers are reasonable people who want to make the
> software better, and probably have been hearing these complaints
> for years and years and would welcome a way to make people stop
> complaining.
> 
> It seems there are a lot of people out there who have a clear idea
> of what is good and what is bad UI and are pretty vocal about when 
> something is bad. How about turning that into clear bugs that
> describe better workflow and UI? You dont have to be a crypto nerd,
> or a C programmer to make this stuff better and easier to use.

Is there any point in filing a bug that says "Please have a
professional designer re-work all use flows in this system from
scratch"?  (No.)  Is there any point in filing a bug that says "Please
remove features X, Y, Z, Q, R, N, and M because they're too confusing
for novice users"?  (No, especially when X is "the entire web of
trust".)  "Filing bugs" isn't enough -- it's an entire design effort.
 Individuals may see a thing and think "hey, this could be changed",
but what's needed is a top-to-bottom redesign, and that does not
translate into a simple set of "clear bugs".  I don't believe that the
GPG designers have the resources available to do this design effort as
it stands, and it's not just them, it's the entire ecosystem that
needs to be involved and work together.

We'd love to see this fixed.  If it was this easy, it would have been
done years ago.

E.

- -- 
Ideas are my favorite toys.
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