And yet in the linked quote he also professes how he instantly loved Modo the first time he used it. Presumably he had the same lack of motivation to learn Modo so why the different response?
I think xrg’s observations are spot on. If people with lots of experience and the ability to compare your application to other similar applications keep telling you that your application is hard to use, maybe it actually is. That doesn’t mean you should turn it in to a clone of something else, but it might be worth taking those notes on board and looking at what other applications are doing right.
I agree 100%, being different is fine, if it adds value for the user. Being different to show how clever of a developer you are, or because it was slightly easier to code that way, or because that’s the way it has always been done; is likely bad design.
It’s also inverted compared to the real-world hand drawn animation and drafting techniques where those other applications drew their inspiration. In the real-world you have a background layer that physical cells or vellum layers are placed on top of to add components to the drawing.
For me it’s all of Blender’s little inconsistencies like this that are the most frustrating, doubly so because they are really hard to get addressed. The way that Blender’s issue tracker is managed, I would assume that any bugs filed about this would be closed as “Not a bug” because it is, in fact, working as designed. Even if that design is not what the user expects and is arguably a bad choice. What other option do users have for raising these issues? 40 page long threads a la Colored Wireframes?