help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

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help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby wilmint on Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:03 pm

I'm placing this thread in the hope it may be useful to the FLOSS, in case it gets due attention and interest.

In a recent Ubuntu review, made in the Washington Post, the author concluded in this way:

"And that's an important thing to remember when talking about glitches in Linux: Yes, they exist, but they can crop up in Windows, too. In Linux, they don't cost you anything -- at least in terms of money. Time is another thing ... especially if you're not accustomed to the vocabulary and grammar of Linux."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/faster ... eview.html


In good truth, Linux information for newcomers is too disperse, diffuse and deprecated. I remember that when I arrived to Linux, one year ago, I posted at LinuxQuestions, to present myself there. Following my post, another new comer, as lost as I was, asked where he could start reading, to get involved with Linux. Nobody was able to give an acceptable answer.

I think that the Linux desktop distro world, would have all to gain by creating a task force, dedicated to a specifically massive action, targeting windows new comers, by creating a very clear, succinct, well done, and attractive kind of Wiki, to facilitate the adaptation of those users to our way of speak and do things.

This project must be top quality, above all. It may require a multidisciplinary venture, involving some marketing, sociology, advertising, art work and of course, technical skills.

After the Wiky and all related work is completed, it should be centralized somewhere and kept updated. It will allow to be linked to every FLOSS and Distro sites who would want to adhere, placing it at a very visible place, and in a very attractive way.

This could be done with some kind of a standard banner, the like of:

"We welcome all Windows users. Please follow this link to learn all the advantages to adopt Linux, how Linux works, our terminology and other useful information for newcomers"

In case of Distro sites, some parts of the standard text, should be allowed to be changed, to meet the specifics of each distro.

I have all the pleasure to leave this project to the consideration of this forum community.

Note that I'm not looking for credit for myself, in any way, and I cannot even cooperate in the execution of this idea due to my lack of Linux skills. I just feel that the community hasn't been growing as fast as it deserves and we need to get together and become more aggressive on finding new ways to achieve that purpose. This is especially relevant after recent news in the net pointing out that our greatest developers are getting now quite old, and new blood is needed.

Everyone may be able to cooperate, even that just by spreading the word.

Thank you all
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby Fred on Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:31 pm

wilmint,

If it were only that simple! There is tons of information available now for new users. Google "install Linux" 64,300,000 hits. Google "Linux basics" 4,350,000 hits. The user's manual for Mint is on the cd in plain view. The forum is here referenced from the Mint home page. It is filled with posts that can be easily searched. There are stickies and posting instructions at the top of every forum page.

Do any of these resources get used by the vast majority of new users coming from Windows? NO! Most just plod blindly along complaining about it being inferior, (not like), Windows. I suspect it would require a baseball bat to get most of them to read more than one short sentence. Am I sympathetic to their plight? Not in the least!

Give me someone that wants to learn and I will work with them for days if necessary. If they aren't up for learning, I have no time for them. Cold, true, and simple. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby FedoraRefugee on Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:56 am

amen!
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby wilmint on Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:07 am

Fred wrote:wilmint,

. I suspect it would require a baseball bat to get most of them to read more than one short sentence. Am I sympathetic to their plight? Not in the least!

Fred



Ya... that made me laugh.

Do you think this also apply to more young people? Those who like computers/software, if they arrive to Linux, may be because they want to have a look into. The other young people, I'm not sure. About the majority of older users, I totally agree with you. They only care about where to click.

What I would like to see is new blood coming in, young people, that if decide to stay with Linux, could be the seed for a future valuable member, or even a geek.

As I presented this idea to a few more communities, and the discussion is now over, I'll come back to summarize what the feed-back was.
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:53 am

wilmint wrote:
Fred wrote:wilmint,

. I suspect it would require a baseball bat to get most of them to read more than one short sentence. Am I sympathetic to their plight? Not in the least!

Fred



Ya... that made me laugh.

Do you think this also apply to more young people? Those who like computers/software, if they arrive to Linux, may be because they want to have a look into. The other young people, I'm not sure. About the majority of older users, I totally agree with you. They only care about where to click.

What I would like to see is new blood coming in, young people, that if decide to stay with Linux, could be the seed for a future valuable member, or even a geek.

As I presented this idea to a few more communities, and the discussion is now over, I'll come back to summarize what the feed-back was.


I disagree. But first I want to add the caveat that people are people. Blanket statements should be avoided. No matter the age group you will find geniuses and idiots, curious and lazy. It is unfair to generalize a whole generation on stereotypes.

That said, I believe year by year our society as a whole is losing its work ethic. We want instant gratification, we are becoming less and less willing to work for anything. We are growing a sense of entitlement that is not only unrealistic but also ludicrous. I especially speak of my country, the US. We see this in the way our government is going and the fact that more and more people support ideas such as a house, a job, and health care are basic rights that we are OWED! Owed by whom? :? These are things that need to be ACQUIRED. They are to be worked for, earned. Life is not a free ride, someone has to pay the way! We see this general attitude infiltrating the FOSS community also. This forum is on the front line of this battle due to the nature of Mint. All these new people come in here with all these "better" ideas, and don't get me wrong, this is great, this is how the community works,yet they are not willing to lift a finger themselves. They want to tell everyone else what to do. When experienced community members try to explain why their ideas are foolish the community is called elitist. The solution is these new people need to earn their stripes! They need to sit down, shut up, and learn the ropes BEFORE trying to change the world! There is a set way that things are done. This way can be changed, evolved, modified...But it will require reason and the push of the community to change things.

Anyway I am rambling...I disagree that old people are doddering, slobbering idiots that only care about where to click! It was us older people that ushered in the computer generation! It is our generation that knows how to use a slide rule and how to manually draft a blueprint. It was our generation that built the foundation for all the electronic crap you enjoy today. We were the first Unix programmers, keypunch operators, and network technicians. We not only knew how to write our own programs in BASIC, Pascal, and COBOL, we scratch built the bloody home computers that used these programs. :D

By contrast, what is the latest generation contributing? The kids of the 90's. Again, I do not want to trash everyone of this generation...There are some very bright kids with promising futures included here. But overall this is a selfish, self-centered generation. They were spoiled and given the moon. Kids 12 years old walking around with cell phones texting their posse... They no longer play baseball or football or swim, hike, or build tree forts. They sit inside and play x-box and PS3 18 hours a day and sleep the rest. They feel they are entitled to everything without having to give anything.

So yeah, I think Fred's post applies directly to these people! Those who are too lazy to actually LOOK for the answer to their problem, to read up on something before they jump in, who feel they are OWED an answer just because they graced the world by being born. Not all of them...Not by a long shot...And God bless the ones who do want to learn to become part of something big. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those kids. I am willing to spend whatever amount of time to help them out. But the rest? No, I am not sympathetic either. Not when I had to fight my own way up that hill, I am damn sure not going to carry them up on my back! Let them do their own work!

And yeah, I AM a grumpy old fart and I do not apologize for it. I EARNED the right! :wink: Now get off my damn lawn! :lol:
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby RepElec on Thu May 20, 2010 8:20 am

Fred wrote:wilmint,

If it were only that simple! There is tons of information available now for new users. Google "install Linux" 64,300,000 hits. Google "Linux basics" 4,350,000 hits. The user's manual for Mint is on the cd in plain view. The forum is here referenced from the Mint home page. It is filled with posts that can be easily searched. There are stickies and posting instructions at the top of every forum page.


Searching this forum is NOT easy. Further, Linux is not a one-solution-fits-all OS by any means. Case in point - the bootsplash resolution issue currently plaguing Ubuntu and Mint. The prescribed fix FUBARed my desktop effects, and searching for the text of the error message - here AND on Google - returns nothing meaningful. Because of that one fact alone, it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint exact solutions for the novice user.

But if they search and probe and read and quest and STILL don't find their answer, newbies who read stuff like this may not be terribly inclined to ask about their problem. I don't believe a newbie should be made to feel that way if they're making a genuine effort to the best of their abilities.

Fred wrote:Do any of these resources get used by the vast majority of new users coming from Windows? NO! Most just plod blindly along complaining about it being inferior, (not like), Windows. I suspect it would require a baseball bat to get most of them to read more than one short sentence. Am I sympathetic to their plight? Not in the least!


I'm terribly sorry you feel that way, then, and would sincerely appreciate it if you would not direct your apparent vitriol for such observations at people like me when we do ask for help. The vast majority of us aren't trying to be jerks, but we just might be massively frustrated due to searching and kludging and failing for hours to find a solution. Please, be patient or simply ignore such requests. Thank you in advance. :)

Fred wrote:Give me someone that wants to learn and I will work with them for days if necessary. If they aren't up for learning, I have no time for them. Cold, true, and simple. :-)

Fred


I agree that a person has to want to learn, but please understand that in many, if not most, cases, the lack of Linux knowledge does not stem from willful ignorance. For many, we simply weren't offered the opportunity to learn, especially here in America and especially in my generation. For us, it was DOS/Windows or nothing. Linux simply wasn't offered in elementary schools (at least, none of the ones I went to), and in America Linux has always been considered the domain of science and academia.

It takes time to learn, and it takes time to reverse some of those ingrained trends. I'm sorry that newbies frustrate some people so much, but in the vast majority of cases that frustration is not intentionally inflicted.

When the average Linux newbie reads comments like these, it doesn't help them want to gain knowledge on the subject of Linux. What's the point for them? To be embarrassed and ridiculed over an operating system they don't need? They'll just trundle off to Best Buy and slap down a few hundred for a Windows box rather than put up with idle threats of violence and condescending tones. Anybody would.

Bottom line: The world's friendliest Linux distribution deserves to have its friendliest users. I'm not saying that "gurus" should brook insults or namecalling or other sophist nonsense that has no place within this century; I'm saying that newbies don't ask those kinds of questions in an attempt to insult or offend anyone else. Please, keep that in mind in the future.

We're not all that bad. We just don't speak your language. Yet. :)
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby Biker on Thu May 20, 2010 8:52 am

There is a plethora of information available if one wishes to learn about Linux. Specific issues can be difficult to track down, and not all fixes work. However, if you sit down and really think things through, many times a solution can be found without having to ask.

Searching for an issue isn't that difficult. Those that say it is, don't know how to frame the proper query. There's an old programming term called GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. It applies to more things other than programming. If you frame a search with garbage, you'll get garbage in return.

Far too many come into the forums without having done one iota of work on their part, expecting to be hand held through an entire process. They've exclusively used Windows, know nothing about the basics, and complain bitterly when told they have to use the CLI. Linux isn't for everyone. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, either.

But to state that one wasn't given on opportunity to learn is absolute BS. There's nothing that prevents an individual from learning about something on their own, if they wish to. The Internet has opened up many opportunities to learn about a great many subjects, and to sit back and ignorantly state that because it wasn't spoon fed to you, you didn't have the opportunity to learn something is absolute rubbish.

Even before the days of the Internet, there were many ways to learn, and one of those was to grab a book and start playing on the computer. Yep, many reloads resulted, but each boo-boo resulted in a kernel of knowledge that was never forgotten. Many of us learned the old fashioned way.. By digging into the nuts and bolts of the operating system and seeing how things worked. We weren't hand held, we weren't spoon fed, we didn't expect someone else to come alone and do it for us. We sat down and did it ourselves.

If you get frustrated because you've done nothing but look for an answer without learning how something works and then attempting the fix yourself, you're using the wrong OS. You don't need to be a programmer to understand how an OS works. You don't need to be a programmer to be able to use the CLI and give basic commands. However, you DO need to be willing to get your "hands dirty" and dig into the bowels of your system to fully understand how it works, and why things happen in the way they do. Far too many expect Linux to be the same mindless OS as Windows. If it can't be done by mindless "point and click", they don't want to use it.

Like FedoraRefugee and Fred, I don't mind helping folks further their knowledge. I DO mind folks coming into the forums expecting to be spoon fed information with absolutely no work on their part. If they don't want to really understand and use the OS to its greatest capability, why did they switch to begin with? Don't give me the anti-MS mantra either. If someone was too lazy to learn how to effectively use and maintain Windows, why are they going to be any different using Linux?
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby RepElec on Thu May 20, 2010 9:44 am

Biker wrote:There is a plethora of information available if one wishes to learn about Linux. Specific issues can be difficult to track down, and not all fixes work. However, if you sit down and really think things through, many times a solution can be found without having to ask.


...and many times, one has to ask. After all, this forum itself DOES acknowledge that all "gurus" were once "newbies" themselves, and I feel comfortable betting a significant sum that even Torvalds himself has to ask SOMEBODY for help at one point and time. So, while to say that "many times" a solution can be found is an accurate statement, it shouldn't be construed to mean that ALL solutions can be found without having to ask someone for help.

Biker wrote:Searching for an issue isn't that difficult. Those that say it is, don't know how to frame the proper query. There's an old programming term called GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. It applies to more things other than programming. If you frame a search with garbage, you'll get garbage in return.


I respectfully disagree, but would be happy to be proven wrong as I would learn something I didn't previously know in the process by default. I will present you with the issue to which I was personally alluding - searching for the following error message:

"Ubuntu is running in low graphics mode.

The following error was encountered. You may need to update your configuration to solve this.
(EE) VESA: Kernel modesetting in use, refusing to load
(EE) No devices detected"

The solution we found (not via search, but through brainstorming) was to simply reinstall the OS without applying Level 3 updates, but searching for all or any portion of the error message through use of search yielded no viable solution. Hence, the reinstall.

Further, I would like to respectfully remind you that, while you are entitled to your assumptions concerning the abilities of others, your assumptions may not be reality. One of the many hats I have worn in this lifetime is that of a skip tracer working for a debt collection company, and I was one of its top bloodhounds - mostly due to my ability to comb through online data via search. For whatever it may be worth to you, I am quite comfortable with my level of ability to search for information and apologize if said level does not meet your standards. I am happy to accept constructive criticism of my search abilities if you have any to offer, for it is a foolish person indeed that passes up the opportunity for self-improvement.

Biker wrote:Far too many come into the forums without having done one iota of work on their part, expecting to be hand held through an entire process. They've exclusively used Windows, know nothing about the basics, and complain bitterly when told they have to use the CLI. Linux isn't for everyone. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, either.


Forgive me, but I find it very strange that one would claim an open-source OS "isn't for everyone". Perhaps it is a correct statement, but if I am not mistaken it is the very mission of open-source to BE for everyone - by everyone. Granted, many choose not to participate, and an arguable number may choose to participate only to gain the information THEY need without contributing any of their own, but I don't believe that alters the mission of open-source. This is, however, a personal opinion through which I mean no offense.

Biker wrote:But to state that one wasn't given on opportunity to learn is absolute BS. There's nothing that prevents an individual from learning about something on their own, if they wish to. The Internet has opened up many opportunities to learn about a great many subjects, and to sit back and ignorantly state that because it wasn't spoon fed to you, you didn't have the opportunity to learn something is absolute rubbish.


I'm not quite sure if you're from America, or if you are maybe you're from a part I've never been to, but I can most definitely confirm that Linux is not a common curriculum item in the school systems with which I am familiar. The typical American computer user simply isn't that exposed to Linux. They are instead inundated with Windows from a very early age, both at home and in school.

As such, America is producing its second generation that is essentially speaking a language that is radically different from Linux, in an environment that actively promotes Window$. Comparatively, it'd be like teaching a child nothing but Spanish for 18 years, then tossing them an English book and asking them to write a college-level composition in a foreign language. It's not impossible, sure, but it IS remarkably difficult and frankly, I don't see the point in ridiculing anyone for trying or getting frustrated with someone who is themselves frustrated by something COMPLETELY different.

Biker wrote:Even before the days of the Internet, there were many ways to learn, and one of those was to grab a book and start playing on the computer. Yep, many reloads resulted, but each boo-boo resulted in a kernel of knowledge that was never forgotten. Many of us learned the old fashioned way.. By digging into the nuts and bolts of the operating system and seeing how things worked. We weren't hand held, we weren't spoon fed, we didn't expect someone else to come alone and do it for us. We sat down and did it ourselves.


As I am confident Torvalds had to ask for help along the way, so too am I confident that almost every other Linux expert had to ask someone for assistance - including yourself. No offense. :) As much as I like to say I'm self-made, I still had to have help from the emergency homeless shelter for a place to sleep for 26 days, so I guess the ol' lyrics are true: "We all get by with a little help from our friends."

Biker wrote:If you get frustrated because you've done nothing but look for an answer without learning how something works and then attempting the fix yourself, you're using the wrong OS. You don't need to be a programmer to understand how an OS works. You don't need to be a programmer to be able to use the CLI and give basic commands. However, you DO need to be willing to get your "hands dirty" and dig into the bowels of your system to fully understand how it works, and why things happen in the way they do. Far too many expect Linux to be the same mindless OS as Windows. If it can't be done by mindless "point and click", they don't want to use it.


I'm not sure what the basis is for your apparent hostility toward the Linux novice, but I would posit respectfully that such hostility is not a productive area of conversation. I agree with you in concept, but see no reason for belittling someone for being initially intimidated by the massive complexities of Linux. I would also suggest that intimidation may be what you're interpreting as an unwillingness to learn.

Would you be willing to learn if any time you asked a question, someone tried to belittle you for asking? A lot of people would still press on, sure, but I think we can agree that neither one of us would put up with it for very long before retaliating in some fashion.

Biker wrote:Like FedoraRefugee, I don't mind helping folks further their knowledge. I DO mind folks coming into the forums expecting to be spoon fed information with absolutely no work on their part. If they don't want to really understand and use the OS to its greatest capability, why did they switch to begin with? Don't give me the anti-MS mantra either. If someone was too lazy to learn how to effectively use and maintain Windows, why are they going to be any different using Linux?


A lot of people are switching now because they need a safe operating system that's usable, but cannot afford Window$ or Apple offerings. They also can't afford to tinker with systems they could break, or afford the time to become even Linux intermediates because of having to work to put food on the table.

Further, what a person is or isn't too "lazy" to do with their operating systems isn't really for any of us to judge. Maybe they just want it stable enough to play on Facebook and shoot IMs. Maybe they're not interested in contributing bug reports or source code. Should these people be denied the use of open-source because of this "laziness?" Should Linux users ridicule the "laziness" of asking questions that may seem simple to some, but impossible to the individual asking? Are we even considering the mental acuity of the person asking? Perhaps they're developmentally challenged and simply cannot conceptualize solving that particular problem, but they ARE good at following instructions. (Hell, that was our last President. Too bad he was getting crappy instructions, but that's a rant for another time.)

Bottom line: We can sit here and assume all day the intentions and ethics of the individuals asking questions, but in the end we don't truly KNOW why they're asking. Perhaps instead of assuming the worst of these anonymous queries, we should instead assume nothing and offer what solutions can be had. This IS the friendliest Linux distribution. Shouldn't it have Linux's friendliest users?

Unless they're real jerks about it, of course. Then they're flame practice. 8)

/soapbox (My apologies - I lack the ability to form a concise soundbite response.)
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby FedoraRefugee on Thu May 20, 2010 10:46 am

Yikes! He is almost as long-winded as me! :lol:

This will be an interesting read, but I got to pack a lunch first!

and I feel comfortable betting a significant sum that even Torvalds himself has to ask SOMEBODY for help at one point and time.


Linus has to ask for help just to install debian!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll:

Forgive me, but I find it very strange that one would claim an open-source OS "isn't for everyone". Perhaps it is a correct statement, but if I am not mistaken it is the very mission of open-source to BE for everyone - by everyone. Granted, many choose not to participate, and an arguable number may choose to participate only to gain the information THEY need without contributing any of their own, but I don't believe that alters the mission of open-source. This is, however, a personal opinion through which I mean no offense.


When the statement is made that "Linux is not for everyone" that implies that there will be people who will not be compelled to use it. Of course it is free for ANYONE who wishes to use it! But in order to use it you will need to learn some skills. THAT is up to the individual, if you do not want to bother then Linux is indeed NOT for you! :D

I'm not quite sure if you're from America, or if you are maybe you're from a part I've never been to, but I can most definitely confirm that Linux is not a common curriculum item in the school systems with which I am familiar. The typical American computer user simply isn't that exposed to Linux. They are instead inundated with Windows from a very early age, both at home and in school.

As such, America is producing its second generation that is essentially speaking a language that is radically different from Linux, in an environment that actively promotes Window$. Comparatively, it'd be like teaching a child nothing but Spanish for 18 years, then tossing them an English book and asking them to write a college-level composition in a foreign language. It's not impossible, sure, but it IS remarkably difficult and frankly, I don't see the point in ridiculing anyone for trying or getting frustrated with someone who is themselves frustrated by something COMPLETELY different.


Much of your post is starting to read as just argument for the sake of argument! Did you learn everything you do in a school? Personally, my school did not offer a driving course, yet I drive supremely well (though my wife would disagree :roll: ). I did not have a woodshop yet I worked for years as a carpenter. I am now a self taught aluminum installer with my own business. I never took a business class either BTW. And...I never learned Linux in school! Believe it or not I am self taught with this OS. Windows also for that matter as there were no computers in school when I went.

I'm not sure what the basis is for your apparent hostility toward the Linux novice, but I would posit respectfully that such hostility is not a productive area of conversation. I agree with you in concept, but see no reason for belittling someone for being initially intimidated by the massive complexities of Linux. I would also suggest that intimidation may be what you're interpreting as an unwillingness to learn.

Would you be willing to learn if any time you asked a question, someone tried to belittle you for asking? A lot of people would still press on, sure, but I think we can agree that neither one of us would put up with it for very long before retaliating in some fashion.


Ahh! Here is the meat!!! But Biker has NO hostility towards anyone, not even Linux novices! You are putting words into his mouth, or his post at the least! Fred too is being misrepresented here! Fred has done more to HELP the Linux novice then you ever will! You owe him a big time apology! Biker also as he mans this forum day in and day out helping others. It was YOUR lack of comprehension that is creating the hostility here! We are here because we WANT to help people advance with this OS. But this is more than just a question of skill, it is also heavily dependent on mindset! This is my specialty! Linux is not the place for those who are unwilling to help themselves. That is a cold truth that many do not like. Too bad! It is still a truth!

A lot of people are switching now because they need a safe operating system that's usable, but cannot afford Window$ or Apple offerings. They also can't afford to tinker with systems they could break, or afford the time to become even Linux intermediates because of having to work to put food on the table.


Then they will probably fail at Linux! So? It is their problem! Linux is not the savior of the bloody world, it is a free OS! Use it or don't, it is YOUR choice and YOUR problem! If you need help we will certainly try, but NO ONE owes YOU anything!!! Get over it! Because until you do you will fail with Linux! :D
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby DrHu on Thu May 20, 2010 11:02 am

RepElec wrote:I agree that a person has to want to learn, but please understand that in many, if not most, cases, the lack of Linux knowledge does not stem from willful ignorance. For many, we simply weren't offered the opportunity to learn, especially here in America and especially in my generation. For us, it was DOS/Windows or nothing.

...For us, it was DOS/Windows or nothing.
That is fine, however how many of those windows users at whatever version they arrived, let's start with the first real windows OS that worked well enough WFG311, made any attempt to learn or understand the file system hierarchy underlying the windows desktop ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows
    With the introduction of Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows was able to bypass DOS for file management operations using 32-bit file access

Which is exactly why new users to Linux, windows or Apple OSX are in a dither as to what do I do now

Also because Linux is not a one voice operation, there is no central mandate involved, apart from the kernel control, as there is with Microsoft or Apple
--so Linux is more organic, it has more voice and more opinions and I say the more diverse views that exist, the better; at least then, we get diverse viewpoints not the same corporate-speak about every idea as presented.
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby RepElec on Thu May 20, 2010 11:13 am

FedoraRefugee wrote:Yikes! He is almost as long-winded as me! :lol:

This will be an interesting read, but I got to pack a lunch first!

and I feel comfortable betting a significant sum that even Torvalds himself has to ask SOMEBODY for help at one point and time.

Linus has to ask for help just to install debian!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll:


Comical.

Forgive me, but I find it very strange that one would claim an open-source OS "isn't for everyone". Perhaps it is a correct statement, but if I am not mistaken it is the very mission of open-source to BE for everyone - by everyone. Granted, many choose not to participate, and an arguable number may choose to participate only to gain the information THEY need without contributing any of their own, but I don't believe that alters the mission of open-source. This is, however, a personal opinion through which I mean no offense.

When the statement is made that "Linux is not for everyone" that implies that there will be people who will not be compelled to use it. Of course it is free for ANYONE who wishes to use it! But in order to use it you will need to learn some skills. THAT is up to the individual, if you do not want to bother then Linux is indeed NOT for you! :D


Asking questions about the OS could be argued as an attempt to learn those skills. Agree or disagree?

I'm not quite sure if you're from America, or if you are maybe you're from a part I've never been to, but I can most definitely confirm that Linux is not a common curriculum item in the school systems with which I am familiar. The typical American computer user simply isn't that exposed to Linux. They are instead inundated with Windows from a very early age, both at home and in school.

As such, America is producing its second generation that is essentially speaking a language that is radically different from Linux, in an environment that actively promotes Window$. Comparatively, it'd be like teaching a child nothing but Spanish for 18 years, then tossing them an English book and asking them to write a college-level composition in a foreign language. It's not impossible, sure, but it IS remarkably difficult and frankly, I don't see the point in ridiculing anyone for trying or getting frustrated with someone who is themselves frustrated by something COMPLETELY different.

Much of your post is starting to read as just argument for the sake of argument! Did you learn everything you do in a school? Personally, my school did not offer a driving course, yet I drive supremely well (though my wife would disagree :roll: ). I did not have a woodshop yet I worked for years as a carpenter. I am now a self taught aluminum installer with my own business. I never took a business class either BTW. And...I never learned Linux in school! Believe it or not I am self taught with this OS. Windows also for that matter as there were no computers in school when I went.


You're welcome to construe my words however you wish; the point was to illustrate the fact that not everyone who has a problem with something in Linux and asks for help with it is being lazy about it, or didn't try to the best of their abilities to find the answer on their own first. In fact, it could be rather strongly argued that treating such queries with contempt inhibits usage of Linux, because few people want to tolerate being ridiculed just for asking a question.

Again, Linux Mint is by far the friendliest distribution. Having its friendliest users, a community that seeks to help first and ridicule last, seems appropriate. But that is just my opinion, and you are welcome to disagree with it in whatever manner you see fit.

Congratulations on your success.
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby DrHu on Thu May 20, 2010 11:16 am

wilmint wrote:In good truth, Linux information for newcomers is too disperse, diffuse and deprecated. I remember that when I arrived to Linux, one year ago, I posted at LinuxQuestions, to present myself there. Following my post, another new comer, as lost as I was, asked where he could start reading, to get involved with Linux. Nobody was able to give an acceptable answer.

I think that the Linux desktop distro world, would have all to gain by creating a task force, dedicated to a specifically massive action, targeting windows new comers, by creating a very clear, succinct, well done, and attractive kind of Wiki, to facilitate the adaptation of those users to our way of speak and do things.

...targeting windows new comers
I saw that other statement about a banner welcoming windows users: that also won't fly
--since, why should Linux limit itself to only windows users new to Linux or not, even if they do represent the majority of computer users, by their own measure..

Are you trying to give Linux a mission statement, which are often, at least in the business world high-flying doodle

Linux is too organic, too diverse, too independent to even conceptualize this idea of a control and command system
--only the kernel is managed, the rest are independent projects of various groups, such as freedesktop.org
http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/
    Standards
    freedesktop.org is not a formal standards organization, though some see a need for one that covers some of the areas we are working on. For Linux operating system standards, look at the Linux Standard Base project. The X.Org Foundation and the IETF are other groups that do formal standards. The Free Standards Group is one group that publishes "de jure" standards for free software; freedesktop.org is loosely affiliated with the FSG.

    Unlike a standards organization, freedesktop.org is a "collaboration zone" where ideas and code are tossed around, and de facto specifications are encouraged. The primary entry to these discussions is the xdg mailing list.
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby DrHu on Thu May 20, 2010 11:30 am

RepElec wrote:
Biker wrote:Searching for an issue isn't that difficult. Those that say it is, don't know how to frame the proper query. There's an old programming term called GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. It applies to more things other than programming. If you frame a search with garbage, you'll get garbage in return.
I respectfully disagree, but would be happy to be proven wrong as I would learn something I didn't previously know in the process by default. I will present you with the issue to which I was personally alluding - searching for the following error message:

"Ubuntu is running in low graphics mode.

The following error was encountered. You may need to update your configuration to solve this.
(EE) VESA: Kernel modesetting in use, refusing to load
I don't know how or what you are searching: using your query, here is the first Internet search hit..
Code: Select all
Query is
Ubuntu is running in low graphics mode
Of course that told us nothing about the forum rules before posting, such as your version of Linux, which desktop you were using and which hardware you had

Anyway on an Internet search; first hit is..
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=628790
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
post #4..

About that technical part of your query, yes, it is obviously a mode (resolution) issue, and mode is an English word,
http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/mode

Also, as to some of that knowledge needed/requested:
  • Ubuntu 9.04 (karmic) ~ Mint 8(Helena)
  • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) ~ Mint 9 (Isadora)
--you can also do a search on the Internet or in Ubuntu, since it is likely mentioned there already or is even a bug listed on their launchpad site; it is an exercise left to the reader to find Ubuntu's launchpad site..
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby FedoraRefugee on Thu May 20, 2010 12:40 pm

RepElec wrote:Asking questions about the OS could be argued as an attempt to learn those skills. Agree or disagree?


Adamantly and strongly agreed! I think this is your main problem here, no one is saying otherwise!!! :wink: You are taking what was said out of context! New users are free to ask anything they would like! That is why we are here. The difference you are not getting is that many people will not try to help themselves FIRST! It is blatantly obvious when someone is what can be termed a "help vampire." We do not encourage spoon feeding. If you do then great! Welcome to the forum! I cannot wait to see some of YOUR helpful posts to the new folk coming in.

You're welcome to construe my words however you wish; the point was to illustrate the fact that not everyone who has a problem with something in Linux and asks for help with it is being lazy about it, or didn't try to the best of their abilities to find the answer on their own first. In fact, it could be rather strongly argued that treating such queries with contempt inhibits usage of Linux, because few people want to tolerate being ridiculed just for asking a question.


And once again you are arguing something that was never said! Legitimate queries are NEVER treated disrespectfully! Trolls where no questions are even asked but only complaints issued can be treated disdainfully. Such is life! If you have something bad to say, then by all means say it! I welcome the opportunity to correct you!

Again, Linux Mint is by far the friendliest distribution. Having its friendliest users, a community that seeks to help first and ridicule last, seems appropriate. But that is just my opinion, and you are welcome to disagree with it in whatever manner you see fit.

Congratulations on your success.


Sometimes your best friend is the one who has to tell you that you have a booger hanging out of your nose! Some of the best advice I got when I started in Linux was not very well received at the moment. But in time I saw the wisdom behind the words. I am so glad I was not surrounded by a bunch of PC fools trying to blow sunshine up my butt! I got over myself rather fast, it is always fun to watch how fast the noobs can get over themselves and their silly Windows ideas. Once they do they are usually good to go!
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby Koninator on Mon May 31, 2010 7:20 am

wilmint wrote:... another new comer, as lost as I was, asked where he could start reading, to get involved with Linux. Nobody was able to give an acceptable answer.
...


EU is doing something... http://ftacademy.org/
http://ftacademy.org/materials/fsm/1#1 Introduction to Free Software
http://ftacademy.org/materials/fsm/2#1 GNU/Linux Advanced Administration

and hopefully in some time there will be more books and courses available.
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Re: help please. My idea to increase FLOSS users

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:37 am

I wonder how we go about decreasing FLOSS users?
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