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Re: experts

Dave Winer wrote:
> Yes, that's true, and problem is once you know too much you aren't a user
> anymore.
> I wish it were otherwise, it doesn't seem fair. ;->

That all depends on how eager you are to make your software suck.  The
more entrenched in the design and development of your system, the more
you shift away from the actual use of the system.  Balancing the two
(and even leaving more weight on the usage side) is the key to a good
system design from the user's point of view.  And let's face it, it's
the user that matters.  You could design the end-all-be-all of systems,
but if it's features are too complex to easily get a grip on, has way
too many features that user's don't need, and far too few features that
users actually want, nobody's going to use it.  This is the problem with
most of the specs coming out of the W3C these days.

I don't consider myself an expert in XML databases, and if you've ever
spoken to me in person, you might wonder if I'm an expert in anything. 
The reason that I got into XML databases is not because I did 6 years at
UC Berkeley (which I didn't) and decided that I'd like to make my life's
work the research and development of XML databases.  I got into it
because I wanted to use XML databases to solve problems, and when I
started, there weren't any.  Simple as that.  Every approach I've taken
in designing my product has been from the point of view of "When I
finally get to use this thing, what am I going to do with it?"  I don't
sit around and pontificate about the optimal and idealogical feature
set, design patterns, and technologies that should go into an XML
database.  I just respond to user demands, or iteratively decide that
the system is going to need feature X.  There wasn't 2 years of research
(both technical and marketing) that went into it, thankfully, because I
think we'd have a huge, complex, monolithic beast that nobody would want
to use.

> Net-net, sometimes you gotta have someone around who doesn't know what you
> know to teach you how to make your ideas enter the minds of people who don't
> know, assuming that's the goal.

Or you can do it yourself.  Just forget you're 'incredibly' smart for a
minute (I know that's hard to do), and put yourself in the place of
someone who's only 'very' smart, and ask the question "Does this confuse
or insult me as a developer?"  If you answer yes to either, you need to
go back to the drawing board as the 'very' smart person, and do it