I listen to a lot of podcasts, one of which is the TWIT network’s FLOSS Weekly show. Recently I’ve been going through their archives to see if any of the episodes relate to the open source software usability course I am currently taking (and writing about). In reviewing past shows, I found a number that I think are rather intriguing.

  • FLOSS 76, on Inkscape. In this interview, Jon A. Cruz and Ted Gould discuss how, while they don’t do formal usability testing, they will often observe how people use Inkscape when the software is presented at trade shows. They also mention our lab (referring to the ingimp project) as one possible model of how to address issues of usability in open source. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I listened to this episode. I’ll have to go back and review it!
  • FLOSS 86, on Ardour (a digital audio workstation) takes the opposite approach, and make no apologies for a highly technical and complicated interface. This episode is also worth a re-listen in order to better understand the tradeoffs between usability and supporting domain experts. In this episode, Paul Davis also estimates that about 75% of Ardour’s code is related to the GUI front-end.

While I’m on the topic of FLOSS Weekly podcast, other notable (in their own right) episodes include:

  • FLOSS 88, An interview with Linus Torvalds
  • FLOSS 73, An interview with Tim O’Reilly
  • FLOSS 5, An interview with Miguel de Icaza
  • FLOSS 13, An interview with Eben Moglen
  • FLOSS 7, An interview with Jimmy Wales
  • FLOSS 29, An interview with Dan Ingalls

While these episodes do not deal with usability, I wanted to list them here because I found them interesting, and I don’t want to forget that they exist.