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Re: No comments (responding to questions on the list)

Rafi Gabzu wrote:

Hi ,
In the last two weeks I stopped receiving answers to the questions I
post in this mailing list , till now it was very help full.
What happened ? something that I did ...?

	I did my own survey of posts to this list and discovered that fully
half of them are never answered.  Andrew Cater suggested two
possibilities as to why:

a.) Everyone thought everyone else was going to answer
b.) No one had the appropriate answer.

	The real question however stems from the nature of Linux itself:  an
open source, mostly free software developed almost entirely by
volunteers.  At the moment Linux has the reputation -- probably deserved
-- as being for geeks only.  As such, it has no more than 3% of the
market for operating systems for personal desktop and laptop computers.

	Now for the question: do the creators and users of Linux want it to
expand beyond that 3%?  If so, then Linux has to be made useable by the
average BDU (brain dead user).

	A good start in this direction has already been taken: the creation of
such distributions as Ubuntu and Kubuntu.  More however needs to be
done.  Two essential tasks are improving the documentation and answering
*ALL* questions asked by newbies on lists such as this one.

	I have already written elsewhere on the documentation issue. In the
Debian system, the role of the documentors needs to be enhanced, with
among other things a veto role in the approval process.

	As for answering questions, the Debian organization should ensure that
*EVERY* question be answered within a reasonable period of time.  The
questions which are answered are mostly answered by somebody on the list
within 48 hours.  Somebody should be designated to see that questions
not answered, say within 72 or 96 hours, will be.  This person should
either answer each question himself or -- more useful -- assign
questions for answer to those people in the organization most suitable
for each question.
				Ken Heard
				Research Associate
				Museum Studies Program
				University of Toronto, Canada


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