So OpenBSD is basically the poster child for break all the APIs and fix userland. (among operating systems, i’m sure there exist projects in other domains with even more cavalier attitudes.) But another thing Theo frequently mentions is finger memory. He doesn’t like when he used to type this and now he has to type that. So aren’t these the same thing?
No. When we change an API, we have to fix all the programs that use it, but each program only needs fixing once. But when you change a user interface, every user must relearn the software. There’s no way for us to do that for you, or batch it up, etc. The work scales directly with the size of the userbase.
Yes! I have written about this before (https://singpolyma.net/2016/04/ux-stability) and spoken at a couple lightning talks. I think that keeping UX working for users over their lifetime of using computers is a very important step to combat learned helplessness.
“it’s not a coincidence that the two most widely used desktop and laptop operating systems in the world both bend over backwards to maintain backwards compatibility.”
Pretty sure Linux is not the 2nd most used desktop or laptop OS in the world by any stretch.