Christopher Blizzard, a Red Hat software developer and one of the designers of the OLPC project‘s (One Laptop Per Child) Sugar interface, summed up the conflict [between Linus Torvalds and the Gnome project] in his note to the list.
“I was in a meeting the other day where we were discussing this very issue in the context of OLPC. In that meeting it was called ‘the Ramp.’ The problem is described as ‘how do you keep something simple, but grow it to fit the level of experience of the user’,” said Blizzard.
“In GNOME I think we’ve done a very good, and somewhat painful job, of creating something that’s very simple and very usable for someone who sits down in front of the machine,” Blizzard continued. “I say painful because we’ve had to remove a lot of things that people were very used to in order to get a base experience that’s pretty good. But the thing that I think Linus is stumbling over is that canyon. How does he figure out how to get what he needs, which does exist in GNOME, without having to learn everything there is to know about GNOME?”
“If we’re ever going to grow beyond our small community, I think that what GNOME has done is important” added Blizzard. “You have to have a very simple base to start with. … Building a system that’s simple and friendly and works well is where we start. But we do need to figure out how to grow with our users in an unobtrusive manner. I don’t think that any of us have figured out how to do that, and you’re paying the price for it.”