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Re: Who is a Debian user?

On Sun, Aug 26, 2001 at 12:20:51AM +0200, Claes Andersson wrote:
> My point is not that it is impossible for users to use these          
> programs. It is very possible. You have to tweak the path settings,   
> or use the absolute path every time. The reason for this seems to be  
> traditional,                                                          

yes, it is traditional. they are in those locations because they've
always been there. even more importantly, many scripts expect them to be
in those locations and call them by absolute path - if they were to be
moved, then those scripts would break.

that's why i can't understand why you're complaining about this as
if it's a problem specific to debian - those programs are in those
locations on just about any linux distribution, indeed, on just about
any unix.

i'm still seeing an over-sized molehill here.

now, rather than go into some long-winded and misguided complaint about
what kind of users debian caters for, why not just file a wishlist bug
report asking for the sbin directories to be in the default path?

if you did that, you'd find that many people would agree with you that
it would be a good thing. who knows, it may even happen if enough people
are in favour and nobody can come up with a good reason to not do it.

instead, you're going off on an irrelevant tangent which gets no support
at all. that achieves nothing but wasting your time and our time.

> It seems that in many situations when a design issue is discussed on  
> Debian lists, the decision is not guided so much on making it easy    
> for the user.                                                         

no, that's not the case. the fact is that we know better than novice
users about what constitutes good system design. sometimes that means
we do things in a way or for reasons which novice users don't (yet)
understand. you might think that's a patronising attitude (and maybe it
is) - but would you want to run an OS designed by people who had never
even used it before?

most debian developers don't see this as any kind of a bug which needs
fixing, most of us see it as (at worst) a user-education problem. the
best thing to do is to document things and teach users what and why.
that documentation does exist - all the user has to do is read it.

> The user is rather expected to RTFM. But even if you are a very
> intelligent user, RTMF takes time, and when you have to do it a lot,
> it adds up.

an operating system is an inherently complex thing. the user will always
be expected to RTFM and be willing to learn.

> I tried to show that there are cases when users have a good reason
> to run these programs. I have many times had the need to use them,
> myself or telling other people to run them. And it has not been on
> my computer, or a computer I can administer. It has been just any
> computer where I have "borrowed the prompt". And to me Debian is not
> "helpful" in this situation.

if you need to run those programs, then learn how to do so.

your complaint is sounding like "i need to use vi, but it's too hard.
that's a bug in vi, it should work like pico". 

sorry, but it doesn't work like that...it's not a bug in vi, it's your
lack of knowledge/understanding that is the problem. if you need to use
vi then you have to learn vi...and if you can't figure it out, there are
simpler editors like joe & ae & nano available.

> [...]
> Would it not be easier just to tell me? After all, it is not a secret

it *would* tell you if only you bothered to ask the right question. i.e.
"/sbin/ifconfig" rather than just "ifconfig"


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
 -- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch

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