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Re: newbies needing help for graphic login

On Friday 06 January 2006 10:12 am, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> Having said all that, I agree that the prevalence of "help help" emails is
> a good sign and its incumbent upon us, as a community to reach out to these
> people and help them in whatever way we can. First, of course, talk them
> through it on the list. Second, help the dev's produce a better first time
> experience for users.
> Finally, I think this sort of stuff is already pretty well done by other
> debian based distros. The question is does debian want to become like them?
> or remain as it is -- the grandfather/mother of many distros and a place
> for the more experienced/brave?

I really appreciate this topic and am delighted to see experienced Debian 
users responding positively to the "help, help" emails.  Andrew's question is 
the critical one:  is Debian for newbies or not?  From my own experience over 
the last couple of years I'd say it is not -- unless the newbie has strong 
technical skills and lots and lots of time to read manuals and this email 
list and getting the system up-and-running quickly is not critical.  Without 
a prior Unix/Linux background or the dedicated help of a local expert, you 
have to approach Debian at the very least as a time consuming, very technical 

I think many in the community would say, "But that's as it should be.  If you 
don't have the dedication to figure things out, go to another distro, stick 
with Windows, or buy a Mac."  To me that's short sighted.  If Debian is to 
remain vital, it needs to keep attracting new users.

In addition to the other suggestions on how to improve the newbie experience, 
I would add creating yet another mailing list specifically for people trying 
to establish a stable installation.  Like other diehards on this list I can 
filter 150 emails/day.  That's not true for all and a newbie especially.


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