Re: Should arrogant, self-important people be encouraged to use L inux?
On Sat, 14 Apr 2001, Brenda J. Butler wrote:
> > On Thu, 12 Apr 2001 email@example.com wrote:
This is misquoted - I actually wrote this.
> > The thing that got people like Karsten riled is the fact that this
> > guy expected everyone else to provide him with wonderful documentation,
> > on top of excellent software (something many are already trying to
> > do), but in the same breath told everyone that he had no intention
> > of actually helping with the same. Basically, suggesting that we should
> > all be grateful to accept parasites into the Linux Community who
> > are unwilling to contribute, but will suck up everything that the
> > community gives - and complain if it's not to his taste.
> > The fact is, most people coding Free Software do it to satisfy a need
> > that they have - and then they give it away to help others do the
> > same. They coded it, so they really don't benefit from writing the
> > documentation much - they already know it. Also many, but not all,
> > good programmers are not very good at documentation. Most of them
> > do try - and I'm sure it grates on them when someone comes along
> > and says "Hey, what you've given me already isn't good enough -
> > I need handholding! I refuse to search for documentation. I refuse
> > to contribute any if I figure it out myself! You'd better improve
> > this or I'll quit using it!"
> Ahh, did you actually read the post that started this thread?
> The above is a knee-jerk reaction to a stereotype "parasite" which
> this guy isn't (although he shares one or two characteristics).
Yes, I did read the post that started this thread - and all of
the subsequent posts (at least those that were posted to this
list). He made it entirely clear that he wanted to use Linux,
and wanted it to be easier - but he wasn't a Free Software
advocate and "didn't have time" to contribute back - or the
interest. I'd call that a parasite - at least when he comes
into a list like this and makes noise about how things aren't to
his liking. I generally feel that in any community, if you feel
vested enough to complain, you should be willing to try to fix
> Anyway, the chap who started the thread is right. The open
> source collection now isn't the same as it was when we-all learned
> linux. These days, it _is_ really confusing to try to learn it by
> reading what comes on the system (all several gigs of it and
> badly organised, and directed to people who want to run web
> servers and other servers, and each new document features a reason
> why an older simpler package can't be used and this new, more complicated
> and more-integrated-with-other-stuff package should replace it).
Well, I don't know when *you* learned Linux, but I started in 1996.
At the time, I think I was able to find maybe three books on Linux,
and a few HOWTOs and the LDP. Frankly, I would have been happy to
wade through several gigs - no matter how badly organized.
> I'm not complaining about open source stuff (on my home systems
> that's all I use and I'm very grateful for it), but open source
> has changed from when we learned it. It's hard to learn it
> that way any more, because lots of people now write this stuff
> for a living. A hobbyist can't keep up any more.
I'm not really sure I understand your logic. Because there's more
material available, it's harder to learn? I don't agree with that
> So don't look down your noses at newbies. They face a different,
> much more challenging world than you did when you learned it.
I don't look down my nose at newbies - I'm fully aware that I was
a newbie at one time, and that there are still plenty of folks that
know far more about Linux than I do.
I do have a problem with people who just want to complain, though.
It's clear to me that was all Kevin wanted to do. Several folks sent
him suggestions about how to solve his problem - he didn't really
want to address that, he wanted to complain in general about the
problems that we have attracting new users. Frankly, I'm not concerned
about gaining market share as an abstract concept. I'd like to help
out anyone who needs it, providing they're willing to put in some
effort on their end. He wasn't, end of story. One of his complaints
was he was afraid of being flamed or he was embarrassed about sending
comments/questions to this list - so I sent him an email privately
with an offer to try to help with any questions that he had, and also
chiding him (mildly) for the complaining that he was doing on the
list, and a link to the article on OpenSSH that I wrote for Linux
Magazine that is now available on the Web. He ignored my offers for
help, and redirected a private email to the list. At that point he
lost all sympathy from me. That's the behavior of a troll, not someone
who needs or wants help.
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier
"Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books... Men
should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives
and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I
can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that."
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" -- James Stewart