On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 4:29 PM, Joshua L. Blocher <verbalshadow@...155...> wrote:

We would like the cutter and scrap booking communities to not have to use
proprietary software as well. But like you said most of the people in those
communities are not skilled computer users. There in lies the rub most non-
technical user think the technical user don't care or want about their input.
Yes, some non-techies get that impression, but I think it comes about as a result of a response to a question that is couched in terminology they don't understand. Additionally, some people look at groups like this and see very technical questions being asked with very technical responses and they simply slink away without asking... Don't know what to do about that other than occasionally posting a request for any level of question and a promise to answer them all... On the forum there is a sub-group for cutters - note how many requests for cutter support have gone unanswered or simply written off as "not possible".

What exactly are they having troubles with? Is it have to learn too much at
one time. If so the easy solution is to make a tutorial that clearly state
these are the only tools and functions you have to know. All the other stuff is
extra and can be fun to play with if thing have time, but totally not needed.

There are a few tutorials for how to use Inkscape for these hobby users and they have helped somewhat, but as I stated before, many of these people are intimidated by the tool bars in Photoshop - Inkscape comes with too many features (at least too many turned on?) and they assume it's too complicated for them.

A second thing that will help more in the long run is to help us build a user
profile that helps us account for this type of user when making design

OK... I started on a project to review the hobby cutter software out there and make a list of features: have to have; commonly available and nice to have; competition beater, etc. I got as far as a list of what file formats each would accept & output nad ran out of time. I'm still out of time, but this conversation has me interested again. No promises, but I just added it to my to do list.

This is clearly an area the Inkscape and the FOSS world in general needs help.
We were starting to work with a couple of groups to help get this sorted, but
the project fell apart. We really just waiting to find a motivated contributor
who is interested in this. Since everyone works on the things that interest
them. The good news is joining the team is easy. Two patches, translation
updates, documentation additions get you commit rights to BZR.

 I'm motivated, but not sure I'm a contributor -- my programming skills other than those use to build web sites are pretty rusty, and I remember all too well how coding can consume you - I am trying to retire!

If you have time please relay to us your experiences with the communities you
work with this will help us build a better Inkscape.

Excellent idea - unfortunately, one of the most active groups is dedicated to a specific cutter and their proprietary software so I'd have to lure them into helping very tactfully... that said, I think it would be possible -- I have a few friends there and in a couple of other groups. Where is the best place to make any findings or suggestions public?

Jack at HighSierraDesign dot com

Joshua L. Blocher

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