What to do about Simpleface

I ran across the news that the new GNOME Human Interface Guidelines have just been published. Nice! It's got me thinking though...

Simpleface was this great idea - a solution to Open Source Software's crappy UI problems. Create a bunch of easy to use design patterns, roll them up into a set of guidelines and get developers to use them. The apps that use the guidelines could be certified and could carry the Simpleface logo. Totally avoid Gnome/KDE/InsertWindowManager fights and have the specs be free of implementations and technologically agnostic. Corporations could train their users on the Simpleface UI, apps would get better and OSS would make some headway on the desktop.

There might be some flaws in that logic, but in general it's got some zing. A bunch of people on Slashdot thought it was cool too, we started a Yahoo Group and within a week or so decided to start a website to hold the designs. I modified a wiki I had been working on, posted the code and started organizing the ideas. But after a couple months or so, the momentum slowed down and now it's at a standstill. The site's been dormant for over a month.

The principal problem is that I'm not doing anything to lead the effort by example. I need to come up with a bunch of cool patterns and post them, hopefully encouraging the rest of the members to do the same. The problem is that I don't really use OSS software right now and really, I've got other things I want to do more, like programming. It was a cool idea, but I was hoping someone else would take the ball and run with it. But quite predictably, no one has.T hat's not a problem. I said back in April that I was going to give the site 6 months to a year to speed up.

What I'm thinking now is to broaden the scope of Simpleface to include Web development. Mike mentioned that he'd be into donating some patterns to a site like that. Does anyone know of a open GUI Design Patterns site out there already? Web or GUI, it doesn't matter... I don't want to recreate the wheel. But remember how cool that site was with the Web Design Patterns? Simpleface could be something as useful as that easily...


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