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Re: Clueless users are bad for debian (was Let's CENSOR it!)

Well, in case you hadn't noticed, Debian sets up some pretty reasonable default
configurations for the packages.  Now, if you don't like some of these defaults
for not offering something you feel should be there, I'm sure that the package
maintainers would appreciate some help with the configs.  I agree with you that
in many cases, there needs to be a better way to configure the packages, but, as
the saying goes, "If you don't like it, then help fix it, don't just complain."

						Dave Bristel

That wasn't a flame, but I don't complain when a package doesn't set things up
the way I like it to be, I go in and fix it myself.

On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Andrew Pimlott wrote:

> Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 18:27:57 -0500
> From: Andrew Pimlott <andrew@pimlott.ne.mediaone.net>
> To: Pablo Tombstone Averbuj <pablo@gos.nu>, debian-devel@lists.debian.org
> Subject: Re: Clueless users are bad for debian (was Let's CENSOR it!)
> Resent-Date: 25 Mar 1999 23:26:18 -0000
> Resent-From: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
> Resent-cc: recipient list not shown: ;
> Since you clearly put a lot of thought into that message, I'd like to kindly
> suggest that the most productive way to keep Linux from being "dumbed-down"
> is to figure out how to make software that offers the power you're used to
> without being the gosh darn pain-in-the-butt that Unix has always been.
> Most Unix software was designed with minimal attention to usability.  No, I
> don't mean superficial beginner-friendliness; I mean usability even for
> advanced users.  Sure, you're a hell of a lot more productive using Unix
> software than Windows software, but that's not saying much.  How often do
> you curse Unix programs for failing to offer reasonable defaults, or not
> explaining what they're doing, or making you hunt all over to find the cause
> of a simple error?  The signature below is a propos.  (jwz's rants are good
> in general--find his unix-haters posts.)
> Software doesn't have to be this way.  Think about programs that let you do
> what you want without first screaming and cursing at them.  Debian
> developers are right to want something easier.  But that doesn't mean
> they're going to turn Debian into Windows.
> Consider the example you gave in your own message: you like Debian's
> packaging system because it saves you from compiling "less" every month, yet
> allows you to compile a new apache that will still be well integrated into
> the system.  Think of the menu system and the documentation system, things
> that don't get in your way but make using a computer a little less
> miserable.  See?  It's not an either-or proposition.
> If you want help Debian, drop the macho "software has to be hard to be
> powerful" attitude, and figure out how to make more of Debian like the
> package system.  Study the proposed configuration management system.  Help
> bring order to the XFree86 distribution.  Implement a scheme to reduce the
> trade-offs between up-to-date-ness and stability.
> To address your particular concern, the boot-floppies guys _are_ trying to
> make the installation easier.  And from what I've read, they're going to do
> a damn good job.  They'll add features that make the progress less tedious,
> without taking control out of your hands (why should you have to enter your
> PCI hardware when it's all right there in /proc/pci?).
> Real usability isn't about reducing functionality and presenting a pretty
> face to beginners.  Done right, it will make all of our lives easier.  Even,
> eventually, beginners.
> On the technical side, this is my great hope for Debian (overall, promoting
> free software is a more important goal).
> Andrew
> PS.  The Debian guys have pretty good judgement.  Don't lose sleep over them
> dumbing down the distribution.
> -- 
> It's like a love-hate relationship, without the love.
> - Consummate Unix hate Jamie Zawinski, on Linux
> -- 
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