The Face of Linux Mint Support

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please
Tandrias
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The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by Tandrias » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:14 pm

For me, as a long time winblows user, the community of a particular distro is as equally important as the distro itself. I won't point any fingers or mention any names; but I've tried distros that I absolutely loved only to have bad experience after bad experience from their mods or ops in their forums or irc channels and it can ruin( RUIN ) the experience of a new user.

Today I spent 5 hours in the linuxmint-help IRC patiently waiting for a kind member of our community to point me in the right direction of a solution to two crash reports I had on my fresh mint 19 install. One particular user ( someone who's name I recognized ) began to ask me questions about my system and proceeded to pm me. I provided him with the information and even a link to a topic I opened in this forum detailing the situation. He then advised me, my system wasn't linux friendly and to "go back to windows and never pm me again". Immediately I went back to my chat logs. (I save every chat I ever have with anyone on my storage drive) I did a search and sure enough, it was the same user I'd bumped into a few years ago the first time I tried mint.

My very first attempt at LinuxMint led to many issues regarding configuring my graphics card and having some trouble with my wifi speed. I had barely gotten the distro installed when I went into the IRC for mint-help and had an even worse experience than the one I had today.

I say all of this to make one point and ask one question.
It is my belief that how we treat people coming to a community (and that's what linux should be all about.. community) reflects on the community itself.
Is there an appropriate forum in which a user can be reported for such an experience or is this up to channel Ops in IRC?

If the former, please direct me to such a forum; if the latter, do the Ops support this face that's presented to new users?
Last edited by Tandrias on Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pierre
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Re: Reporting Users/Mods to the Ops in IRC

Post by Pierre » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:18 pm

Ah - No - - that is Certainly Not Acceptable, not ever.
:(
you'r right though - - the support.forum can quickly give the wrong impression to any N00B.
:roll:

the Team.Forum.LinuxMint does administer all areas & including that IRC area.
- - Please - Do PM either OR both of the Admininstrators of this Forum - about your experience,
keep your first contact brief & to the point .

when you get a Reply & you should do so - then add further information, where requested.
Image
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

Tandrias
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Re: Reporting Users/Mods to the Ops in IRC

Post by Tandrias » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:14 pm

I was going to let this go but today in the same chat channel, the user who's name i'm not going to mention told a new user to ":run "inxi -Fxxxrzc0 | nc termbin.com 9999" share link here" which to any user familiar with linux is a simple and obvious instruction. the user's reply was "run where?". Which immediately would tell anyone that this user is completely new to linux and obviously not understanding the instruction he was given. He then asked if he was supposed to run it in terminal or open steam and run the command.. myself and a few other members tried to chime in and help but when the new user finally states he ran the command in a terminal, the user-who-shall-not-be-named responds with "copy and paste it here, wow, not that difficult". Again not understanding; the new user begins to copy and paste the entire output of the inxi command into the help chat... ofcourse he immediately gets kicked from the chat...
So when the new user reconnected to the chat; the user who was "helping" ( use that term lightly here ) begins to tell the new user "i said share link, here wow you didn't read the command right; so do you want help or not?"....

The new user was obviously lost but instead of getting clear and broken down directions, he was treated with impatience, and rudeness.
Even after being treated this way the user humbly asked for more instruction "how do i share teach me "..
to which the user replied "copy and paste basic computing 101" again more sarcasm... later asking " can you not read?" all while giving short broken instructions.

Now a few members of the community tried to further explain those instructions and made headway but this whole experience could have been avoided by the use of common sense. At the sight of this user's very first response anyone with a brain could recognize he was brand new to linux (which is exactly what mint aims to be, the easy transition from windows to linux; NOOB FRIENDLY) Nothing about this interaction was friendly. And the end advice that was given to the new user was about as helpful as asking him if he could read, eventually advising the user "buy a new computer".

Seeing that none of the mods or ops in the channel were going to step in and either try to assist or to calm I made a comment to the user advising it was obvious the new user didn't understand his instructions and it was no reason to be a prick (who by definition is an incessantly annoying or obnoxious person who escalates their behavior.)

AND IN COMES THE MOD>>>
I immediately get advised that I should watch my language.
Someone sees fit to admonish me for trying to end a bad experience for another new user and not put up with someone who obviously dislikes assisting anyone who knows less than him, and yet they have no issue with the general experience of new users coming to the very first place they're directed to go with questions.

As a brand new user to linux mint we're told from the main Mint webpage and Help page that launches upon install to read through, and post in forums, and join the IRC for help. If my mother (who uses linux mint) came into the IRC linuxmint-help channel and had an experience like this she'd shut the application, and go right back to windows..
This needs to be addressed.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by phd21 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:16 pm

Hi Tandrias,

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

Why didn't you just make posts here in this forum rather than use the IRC chat? I have used the IRC chat before as well without rude behavior from others, although rare, I have seen rude behavior from others on that IRC and in this forum as well as other IRC chats and other forums.

And, I have also not been able to get help on certain issues from the IRC chat and it can take some time to get answers on either one depending on who is available. There is also the possibility that no one has an answer to specific questions and or issues.

This Linux Mint forum is by far the best computer forum I have ever been part of.
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

Tandrias
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by Tandrias » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:06 pm

I completely agree that the Linux Mint forums has been one of the absolute best forums I've had the pleasure of being a part of. The community members in the forums seem to be much friendlier and really take the time to address the user and their situation rather than just the situation.

But to answer your question, the reason I don't only use the forums is two fold. One; if you're lucky enough to find someone in the IRC that can help with any given issue then typically you have a solution provided in a shorter amount of time..
And two;
We're directed to the IRC as a new user..
Every distro I've used has directed new users to two places for support; distro forum and IRC. There's no reason hostility or rudeness should ever be allowed in a forum or an IRC. If any individual who has the knowledge and desire to give back to the community in the manner of assistance with issues regarding the kernel, distro, or any given issue a user may experience; then by all means, please give back and share.
But if you can't do so in a manner that's at the very minimum, professional; then don't do it. The individual I'm speaking of in this post makes it seem very clear that he has no interest in assisting anyone who knows less than himself in regards to Linux in general. Besides questioning his reason for acting as he does; I can't believe it's been allowed. If I was sitting in a coffee shop having a conversation with absolute strangers that I'd just met for the first time for the purposes of discussing a project we were all working on or a tool or piece of software we were all using and I saw someone treated the way he treated myself or the other user I witnessed; I would have addressed it. Calmly, Professionally, but immediately. Many users won't give the community a second chance to prove their character or worth. They'll simply leave with a bad taste in their mouths about their experience.
As human beings we focus on the negative; You don't read the headlines of the newspapers from NYC stating millions got home safely last night; You hear about the two people who died in a subway accident and the Cop that was shot in the line of duty.
You won't see near as many posts praising the community of a linux distro as those you'll see of the person who had a bad experience.
I ultimately want to edit or delete this whole post for that very reason. But I believe the issues and situations like these need to be addressed quickly so as to prevent as many opportunities for users to have that type of experience and walking away with the wrong idea of the linuxmint community.

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richyrich
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by richyrich » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:12 pm

Please PM one of the Administrators of this forum . . These experiences are totally unacceptable !

Tandrias
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by Tandrias » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:33 pm

One of the admins has been pm'd on my behalf. I'm awaiting a response at his or her convenience.

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richyrich
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by richyrich » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:40 pm

Not the Moderators (usernames in purple), but the Admins (in red), right ?

JeremyB
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by JeremyB » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:56 am

There is also memberlist.php?mode=contactadmin
You may be ask for your log of the chat at the time

Neil Darlow
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by Neil Darlow » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:45 am

Rudeness should never be accepted.

Unfortunately people with significant expertise in a field often take for granted a minimum level of knowledge on the part of the individual asking for help. This might range from the expectation that they have Google'd their problem before asking or have some knowledge of doing operations at the command line.

Whenever I answer questions in forums or IRC rooms I take extra effort to ensure I respond clearly and with consideration to the fact that those reading my replies may not read and speak my language natively. Obviously, this requires extra effort on my part and some may not be inclined to do the same. They consider their being available and providing a response as being sufficient.

I am sorry you received such poor treatment on more than one occasion but please remember that for every one bad apple there are hundreds of good ones who will assist you to a higher standard.

ATB,
Neil Darlow
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Tandrias
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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by Tandrias » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:47 pm

Neil,
It's community members like yourself that have kept me in linux! Thank you for your time and sharing your experience with our community. I hope one day to have the knowledge base to give back.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by AZgl1500 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:11 pm

I never use IRC, I just simply don't like it.

I much prefer to get into the appropriate category and try to format a reasonably clear explanation of my problem.

then, it might be 5 minutes, or 5 days, before someone takes notice and helps me fix a problem.

So far, in 2 years, no one on this forum, except for a certain cagey ole codger from way down at the southern poles, has given me any problems.... but, he always throws out his comments in such a way as to make you want to laugh.

I rarely take to PMs, I think that I have done so with maybe 3 people on this forum. and some of those have led into emails with a huge helping of personal one-on-one help.... and those individuals know who they are... and I thank them a lot, and have gone out of my way to make them know that I appreciated their personal attention.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by majpooper » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:51 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:11 pm
I never use IRC, I just simply don't like it.

I much prefer to get into the appropriate category and try to format a reasonably clear explanation of my problem.

then, it might be 5 minutes, or 5 days, before someone takes notice and helps me fix a problem.

So far, in 2 years, no one on this forum, except for a certain cagey ole codger from way down at the southern poles, has given me any problems.... but, he always throws out his comments in such a way as to make you want to laugh.

I rarely take to PMs, I think that I have done so with maybe 3 people on this forum. and some of those have led into emails with a huge helping of personal one-on-one help.... and those individuals know who they are... and I thank them a lot, and have gone out of my way to make them know that I appreciated their personal attention.
+1 - Your approach has always worked best for me. My limited experience (very small sample size really) with IRC was not that satisfying . . . not really anything wrong just not quite as friendly or patient as the forum. I did leave the Ubuntu forum years ago because the Mods were extremely inconsistent in enforcing the rules, while some posters could be downright rude and insulting others were nit-picked for petty infractions real or imagined by the Mods - but that 5 or 6 years ago and just my impression so who knows.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by MintBean » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:26 pm

I've also found the IRC channel toxic. Had one experience where I'd helped a newbie through quite an involved problem and he asked me a single non-support type question in signing off. A mod (or self nominated mod) basically told us to get off the channel if we were going to talk off topic and continued to berate the new guy even after he apologised. Now I agree it's a support forum and people should stick to that, but one comment at the end of a lengthy support session?

Also had another guy butt in and start answering someone's question when I was already assisting, giving contradictory and outdated information. He then told me to stop being 'the man in the middle' in spite of the fact that he was the one in that role, and I hadn't even mentioned it. As soon as I became as irate as him, I was reprimanded by a mod... who conveniently ignored the guy who started it.

All that said, there are some great guys on there who have given me some great assistance over the years.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by JeremyB » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:27 pm

IRC can be a pain to deal with if you are new to Mint and IRC. I do spend some time there and help when I can and do notice some spammers and trolls, people who don't read the rules in the topic, viewtopic.php?f=17&t=224270 people who don't supply requested info or leave within 30 seconds of asking a question.

Moderation on a forum should be handled in private, if a user needs to be warned it should happen in a PM not in a forum thread.

I can't know if a IRC channel OP was involved as some people, like me like to warn people about breaking some rules and they normally only warn people about off topic discussion in -help when there are some support issues being addressed.

The only PM's I accept on IRC are on request of a channel OP or if I think the info I need to solve a problem might contain personal info

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by MintBean » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:10 pm

@Jeremy- to clarify I have zero problem with people asking to keep on topic in the help IRC and inform people myself when I see them chatting - it was just the way it was handled in the particular instance I recounted,

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by Joe2Shoe » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Egos are the main problem that I have encountered in OS forums since the '70s. Obnoxious, incoherent, and just plain "mean" nimrods are everywhere. I know, because I have encountered thousands of them in forums. I retired 6 years ago and closed my PC business for good. I spent most of my time trying to find answers to many technical problems, and sometimes it takes quite a while and many forums later to find the answer to a specific issue. Once the "right" answer was found, I edited the solution and store that info in text files pertaining to that specific issue. Therefore, I do not have to search again for that issue.
But, during that search for the "right" answer, I have observed endless troublemakers in forums reaming out the searcher from mild-to-extreme misbehavior. I, personally, do not fall for their childish manners. It is best to ignore them.
And, yes, I have observed that here, too. Some of the replies are quite blatant and should have never been posted, period. But, most importantly, I am not surprised that those "children" have not been put in their place or banned from forums.
For what it's worth, IGNORE them like the plague, and do NOT respond, period.
I now have a huge database of text files resolving many M$haft, MAC and Linux issues. And, if I am on a forum, it is only to resolve an issue, or to assist others.
Never get "personal" on forums, and never kowtow to imbeciles or whatnot. Just ignore them.
I personally believe that this forum is one of the best.
"Tolerance is the refuge of men without conviction."
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by XP-refugee » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:40 pm

Having experienced the brand-killing responses of some volunteers (not on LM) I know what the OP is addressing.

It would be good if mods could keep a closer eye out for non-civil behaviour and make sure new users get treated well.

Seems that English was not the first language for one of the volunteers quoted. And that they probably had a different understanding of "civility".
Looks like mods weren't up to scratch in keeping them in line.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:29 am

XP-refugee wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:40 pm
Having experienced the brand-killing responses of some volunteers (not on LM) I know what the OP is addressing.

It would be good if mods could keep a closer eye out for non-civil behaviour and make sure new users get treated well.

Seems that English was not the first language for one of the volunteers quoted. And that they probably had a different understanding of "civility".
Looks like mods weren't up to scratch in keeping them in line.
you are assuming of course, that the UnPaid mods have the time to read every single post on a forum?

get real...... I am a moderator of a different forum, and there is no way in blazes that I can read every single post....

We rely on the "Report" symbol at the top of each post.
if you think a post is out of line, then tap the Report symbol.
that will send a PM to each mod, and one of them, will eventually read the post, and make a decision.

that decision may, or may not, go along with what you want to happen.

these are public forums, and the members live in just about every country on this planet, and we dang sure don't all think alike.

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Re: The Face of Linux Mint Support

Post by catweazel » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:42 am

AZgl1500 wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:29 am
these are public forums, and the members live in just about every country on this planet, and we dang sure don't all think alike.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn ʞuıɥʇ ǝʍ ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ uı ǝɹǝɥ ˙ǝnɹʇ ʎɹǝʌ ʍoɥ
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

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