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Re: Greaat disappointment

On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 22:34 -0400, Kevin Mark wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 01, 2011 at 01:55:01AM +0200, Qactuar Rogue wrote:

> you will find a much better response if you ask your question on the
> debian-user mailing list. That list is more representative of the good people
> who use debian than the IRC channel. IRC is another kind of beast. It is more
> hit or miss. Debian does not pay people to moderate IRC or the mailing lists,
> we are a group of volunteers. 

I am surprised by the perception of IRC support in the Debian community
exemplified by this mail. I do not know about your own experiences, Mark, but
I have the impression that some people (still?) think that IRC support is best
to be avoided, that support on the mailing lists is better and that something
needs to be done about our IRC culture. 

You are correct in that you say that getting good support on #debian is a bit
of a "hit or miss" in that there is no guarantee of it and it depends on when
and who you run into on the channel, but there are numerous examples of people
receiving *very good* support. In some cases people spend hours to debug and
fix a specific problem, in others questions are answered immediately because
the regulars are aware of many current problems and their solution and
sometimes one does not find good support or are trolled. The latter is rare
but cannot be avoided, but I should note that the channel community strives to
maintain a professional and helpful athmosphere and that trolls are most often
swiftly dealt with. It is a hit or miss, but some people are really happy with
the support they receive on #debian and explicitly state that good and
professional IRC support is 

I can only invite all participants in this thread and those who want to make
up their mind about IRC support to spend this weekend in the channels and I
would certainly be happy to see *more* DDs/DMs in #debian in particular because
IRC *is* an important medium for Debian development and support. If you think
that something is wrong, act accordingly and set a good example.

Specific to the issue at hand:

1. Ti-Chan/Qactuar/TAKA's first words in the channel (#d on oftc) were:

    [00:56] <Ti-chan> Hi. Could someone who has a remotely comprehensive
                      understanding of partitioning and is not a complete
                      dumbass help me out?

   Which is not a very good way to start any conversation. If one seeks help
   it doesn't make sense to approach people you want help from in a hostile
   and insulting manner. The reactions were foreseeable and I can guarantee
   you that if Ti-Chan would have said something like:

    "I apologise for my choice of words, but I really need help with
    partitioning. I do not understand FOO, BAR and BAZ and am looking for some
    advice on partitioning best-practices. My setup is ... and the machine
    will be used for ..."

  The response would have been much different. And I would like to point out
  that the initial reactions were:

    [00:57] <devil> Ti-chan: maybe try that again
    [00:57] <ompaul> Ti-chan: given that one persons expert is another's
                     beginner, you really got that question right!
    [00:57] <ompaul> btw we sat here all your life waiting to abuse you ;-)
    [00:58] -*- daemonkeeper is a dumbass so he can't help.
    [00:58] -*- devil is a comprehensive dumbass.
    [00:58] <ompaul> I am a multi ass that is dumb
    [00:59] <Ti-chan> You can straight stop picking on me. I am not here for
            that. And in a forum for a quality software used by millions, certain
            language is not appropriate.
    [00:59] <ompaul> you are here
    [00:59] <ompaul> you abused those who might help you
    [00:59] <ompaul> deal with it - life is not fair
    [00:59] <devil> Ti-chan: yeah, your language is not appropriate
    [00:59] <amphi> Ti-chan: which language did you have in mind?
    [01:00] <ompaul> amphi: something derived from the original statement I guess.

  Which is arguably not the perfect response, but pretty understandable and
  would have left ample opportunities to ask a *real* question and seek help.
  I really don't understand why somebody thinks that starting a conversation
  with strangers while using an unfamiliar medium in that manner is/was a good
  idea. Ti-Chan/Qactuar/TAKA might want to comment on that.

2. A bit later Ti-Chan/Qactar/TAKA joined #debian on FreeNode with the
   following result:

    [01:13] <Ti-chan> Hi. I have questions about partitioning. Could someone
            who knows about it in detail be of assistance?
    [01:15] <dondelelcaro> !tell Ti-chan -about ask
    [01:15] <ompaul> Ti-chan: I don't know, what exactly is your question, some background would be useful.
    [01:16] <Ti-chan> What folders to create a seperate partition for and whit
            what size. (I have my own idea about it) Would very nice if I could
            discuss this with someone
    [01:17] <daemonkeeper> There is not a single, correct answer to that question, Ti-chan.
    [01:18] <ompaul> Ti-chan: decisions on sizes of partitions are totally
            personal. If you have the time and inclination,  I'd suggest let the
            machine auto decide on LVM then you can change stuff to suit afterward.
    [01:18] <daemonkeeper> Although the Debian installer makes lafe very hard
            to you if you want to use LVM, but don't allocate all available space.
    [01:19] <dondelelcaro> you just have to know what you want
    [01:19] <daemonkeeper> dondelelcaro: You need to partition manually, yes.
    [01:21] <ompaul> Ti-chan: one thing if you do decide to go your own way,
            if the box is used for production anything make the swap 2x the ram
    [01:21] <daemonkeeper> ompaul: Ehrm, swap being 2 x RAM is obsolete since ... 10 years?
    [01:21] <ompaul> daemonkeeper: not in certain crash situatios
    [01:22] <daemonkeeper> ompaul: In certain scenarios you need a certain
            configuration. Any rule of thumb is not helpful at all, especially not in
            times of 8+ GiB RAM
    [01:23] <-- Ti-chan (~ubuntu@catv-178-48-125-37.catv.broadband.hu) has quit (Quit: Ex-Chat)

  Please note that some of the discourse participants are the same and that
  nobody held a grudge, but tried to help and gave suggestions. Unfortunately
  Ti-Chan decided to just leave the channel and I honestly do not know what
  was wrong with this conversation and its tone.

I really hope that IRC is seen for what it is and it might be time to spend
some hours/days in #debian to get an impression of the work that is being done
there. Many people invest their free time and try to set a good example and I
am disappointed that this is apparently not appreciated within the project.
Please correct me if that perception is wrong though!
Wolodja <babilen@gmail.com>

081C B7CD FF04 2BA9 94EA  36B2 8B7F 7D30 CAF1 4EFC

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