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Old 10-23-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
ajzebuski
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newbies being looked down upon


Everyone in the Linux community seems to want the entire world to switch from Windows to Linux, yet when a newbie asks any type of question we are frowned upon, told to read the man pages, or just Google up an answer for yourself. Why not just answer the question instead of telling us "go back to Windoze you moron."

I have been called an idiot for using Fedora 7. So I didn't compile my own kernel from source and create my own distro, I guess I'm an idiot.

I like Firefox and Thunderbird and have been told "just go back to Mickeysoft if you are going to run junk like that."

I know all the Linux masters are tired of getting questions about Linux anti-virus software or whether KDE is better than GNOME, but not all of us are Linux gurus, most of us are just looking for a little guidance to make the switch to Linux and get rid of Windows for good. Can you help us without being mean?

Last edited by ajzebuski; 10-23-2007 at 02:59 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #2
craigevil
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Actually that type of behavior very rarely happens in most forums, especially here. In some irc channels yes that happens because most of the people that hang out there are tired of answering the same questions over and over again, most of which could be answered simply by reading the documentation that comes with most distros or a quick Google search.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:17 PM   #3
ehawk
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I agree with the original post...and I had no idea only morons use firefox (grin). That being said, I also agree with the previous response. You will get more sympathy and help if you have made known that you have tried searching both the forum and google for answers first.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:23 PM   #4
defau1tname
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As a noob myself to Linux, with very minimal UNIX experience I've found that the majority of problems you will come across can be solved by searching on google or forums. Taking the time to do it yourself is the learning experience, just from partitioning the drives, installing it and all the other goodies you slowly develop an excellent understanding, far better than just being guided through it step by step. I've only been running the OS for a week now and I really do love it.

Basically the thing is, people who are use to using something or doing something frequently become elitists, that is life. Basically all you can do is take what help is given to you, and make the best of it on your own.

Cheers. And nice to meet all of you.

Last edited by defau1tname; 10-23-2007 at 03:27 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:26 PM   #5
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzebuski View Post
Everyone in the Linux community seems to want the entire world to switch from Windows to Linux, yet when a newbie asks any type of question we are frowned upon, told to read the man pages, or just Google up an answer for yourself. Why not just answer the question instead of telling us "go back to Windoze you moron."
I don't know what forums you have been reading...I don't see this all that much. Yes, there are some rude people (actually more likely that they are just impatient--and probably give a different impression). And it is certainly true that the occasional person who acts like a moron gets treated.........

I've gotten a huge amount of good help here, and I hope I have helped a few people. Stick around and you will get help also.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:32 PM   #6
rickh
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Grow a skin, man!
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:33 PM   #7
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzebuski View Post
Everyone in the Linux community seems to want the entire world to switch from Windows to Linux, yet when a newbie asks any type of question we are frowned upon, told to read the man pages, or just Google up an answer for yourself.
If this is a reference to the very helpful response to
your first post at LQ you're way over the top with
the statement above.

The guy was correct in both his assessment (googling for
the exact message would have taken you less time than
signing up to a forum and writing the question out), and
he provided you with the info the google search brought
up (which is more than I would have done).


That aside the ramble is better of in General, where I
have moved it to now ...

I guess I can understand your frustration, but why don't
you ramble at the people on the forum that has given you
that treatment rather than here, where you got proper
help anyway, and no one called you an idiot?



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:36 PM   #8
tredegar
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Quote:
... Not here on LQ, but on other support sites I have been called an idiot ...
"Other support sites"? - Perhaps you should be complaining there, here at LQ we are mostly pretty generous with our time and patience, but try as we may, we cannot always be perfect. That said, I continue to be amazed at the patience of many long-term contributors to this board. HINT : If you have nothing positive to contribute, please don't click the "Post Reply", or even "Start New Thread" button.

I do not wish to encourage your feelings of persecution, but you have just 2 posts on LQ (and this is your second).

Your first post appeared to be answered. No "thanks" or follow-up from you though. There was, though, from someone else who [searched], found the thread, it answered his problem, and he posted a "thanks".

Mostly, we try to answer Q's as best as we can, and if we have managed to solve your problem, in our time, I think the least you as a newbie should do is say "Thanks, that fixed it, and I've learnt something". And perhaps now you'll be able to help someone else in the future.

Here's an example of a recent thread that pi??ed me off: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...3/#post2932754

Why was I pi??ed off?
-No real information about the exact problem, he hasn't done any basic homework (searches). No thanks at all when he is provided with links and information.
I do not think I, or the other contributing poster was "mean" or condescending.

Maybe (if you have not already done so) you should read this: http://www.linuxsilo.net/docs/smart-questions_en.html because it explains quite a lot. Politely .

LQ is an "adult" community. This doesn't mean that you have to be over 21, just that you should behave sensibly & responsibly.

[Mods: Maybe this needs to be in "General [..Rants]"! Thanks]

[Edit: Tinkster, you've already done it! Fast off the block! ]

Last edited by tredegar; 10-23-2007 at 03:43 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:43 PM   #9
Dragineez
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Good Advice

I've found the advice here are LQ and the Ubuntu forums have been incredibly valuable and normally very friendly. But I've also found the the advice "Google is your friend" has been the most valuable.

Whenever I have some sort of problem, I ask myself "Am I the first person to ever experience this error?" If the answer is "No" (and it almost always will be), then I Google the error and start looking through the 10,000 hits on how to fix it.

If I still can't figure it out, I'll ask for clarification here - after first pointing out that I looked for the answer but couldn't understand it. It always helps to use any forum correctly and to try to ask smart questions.

That being said, it is a public forum - and people can be jerks. The previous "grow a skin" comment applies.

Last edited by Dragineez; 10-23-2007 at 03:48 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tredegar View Post
[Mods: Maybe this needs to be in "General [..Rants]"! Thanks]

I beat you to it ;}
 
Old 10-23-2007, 03:55 PM   #11
tredegar
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@Tinkster:
Quote:
I beat you to it ;}
Whoo Hoo, and now we're in "General"!
Yes, and I think you answered my very first Q here on LQ. Dumb struggling newbie that I was (still am in many ways). You were soooo patient! "modprobe this & that". Suddenly it's working!! Got me started and eventually addicted to linux. Thanks again
 
Old 10-28-2007, 02:12 PM   #12
Quag7
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There are dynamics in the Linux community which cause this kind of friction from time to time. A few quick points:

(*) A sense of entitlement, either in terms of support, or in terms of software features, rubs a lot of Linux users the wrong way. To many of us - or, alright, to me, as I speak only for me - it's not what Linux lacks that defines it, but how much it has going for it, in almost all cases free as in beer. Many/most developers are not paid (yet hold day jobs, so often do development in their free time), and any indication of entitlement rubs people the wrong way as a result. Whereas, when you pay Microsoft for their OS, you might be more justified in demanding something in return. Often this irritation will manifest itself as, "Code it your self, you spoiled jerk," or, "Look, I just searched on the exact error message you said you were having and the answer was in the first hit. Why are you wasting my time, when you could have searched?" The issue is redundancy; most problems you could possibly have have already been had, discussed, and solved. It justifiably strikes some as silly and wasteful to do a search even a new user could have done, and regurgitate something that's already been solved elsewhere. Obviously, in some cases, newcomers cannot adequately explain their problems in terminology that is easy to search on, and get flamed anyway. And that's not right, either. The rule here is, always try searching first. If you find something you think addresses it, provide the URL and your question about it, at least to show that you've tried finding the answer yourself. Eric Raymond is a controversial figure, but most people have no argument with this document, which should be required reading for all new computer users (and not just Linux users): http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html - most experienced Linux users have read this, and most have adopted most of its suggestions (whether they got the idea from this document or not).

(*) Pose(u)rs. An OS doesn't define one's character or your worth as a human being on this planet. Some people labor under the sad delusion that it does. In any case, in 1994 it might have said something about you being part of the vanguard of something new and revolutionary if you had the wherewithal to get Linux installed, but in 2007, friendly GUI installers have seriously diminished the whole "Getting Linux running is a computer geek accomplishment and rite of passage" thing. Most of the top 10 distrowatch distros are no more difficult to install than Windows. People who develop some kind of elitist stance - and they are getting rarer each day - are best ignored completely. They're silly. Most of them will not stick with Linux, anyway. They'll move onto the BSDs, be elitist about that, and then probably on to a Mac or back to Windows, because it's less about the merits of these operating systems, and more about the delusions of intellectual superiority or "punk"ness - so to speak - of running something outside the mainstream. What these people forget is that Linux is exactly as Torvalds envisioned it - a mirthful postprandial penguin. That's how it should make you feel, as opposed to making you feel like, oh, Morpheus. Or David Lightman. And so on.

(*) Be nice. Always. There are a lot of discombobulated geniuses on the internet. Some are downright curmudgeonly. A spoonful of sugar with a request for help does wonders. Please and thank you are always appreciated. If you find yourself frustrated (or angry, or enraged, or downright violent) about a problem you are having, *never* post a question in this emotional state. Write it up but keep it in a text file or as a draft. Walk away from the computer. Have a comfort food. Take a short walk. When you calm down, sanitize what you wrote to eliminate negativity or outright irrational emotionalism. Writing a "Linux is a piece of garbage" post in anger is going to get you flamed. There will always be a minority of saints who will come out of the woodwork in Buddhist-like balance to answer you stoically, ignoring the bile in your post - and these people are amazing and I want to be like them - but they will be the exception rather than the rule.

I will make a bold prediction: It is my sense that every Linux user has, at least once, been pushed to the edge of *rage* over some kind of penguin-related problem. It comes with the territory. Even if simplifying Linux to the point that these problems could be completely eliminated was possible, it probably would not be desirable, as it would lock down parts of the system, diminish functionality and customization, and probably eliminate everything that makes Linux what it is (there are those who have told me this is a defeatist point of view, but I'm convinced I'm right about this). Linux is always improving in this regard, and it will continue to get better. In almost all cases, people will happily give you the gun to shoot yourself in the foot. This is what most people (like me) *like* about Linux.

(*) You will, whether you like it or not, probably have to read documentation. You will probably have to read documentation about services and subsystems you have no interest in whatsoever. This documentation will often be less than ideal for someone completely in the dark about a specific process, system, or service. You will have to google and look up definitions. Hopefully, this will not be excessive, but it will be like this from time to time. If you encounter bugs you cannot solve, or documentation that is completely unclear or wrong, please:

(1) File a bug report.

(2) Send an e-mail with corrections, or at least an explanation of the problem with the documentation, to the author or documentation maintaner. Be courteous, and offer suggestions or fixes if you know what they are.

(3) Follow up. Be available to help test changes or review revisions, if asked.

By running Linux, you are not merely a beneficiary of the Linux community - you are part of it. If you cannot build the foundations or forge the bricks and girders, you can spackle and inspect. There is a role for everyone. Linux has always been like this, and I think that newcomers are sometimes unaccustomed to that expectation. There's a role for everyone -- even for those who cannot write a line of code. This is a community project. Sometimes there's not enough peace, love, and understanding, but you'll find more helpful people than obstructive ones. Be sure not to judge the whole community by a few bad experiences.

Be polite, persistent, and constructive! If someone rubs you the wrong way, try to shake it off, and seek help elsewhere. If you look for help on IRC - and this is just based on my history, it may not reflect everyone's experience - try the channels on Freenode (irc.freenode.net) and avoid Undernet, EFNet, and so on. You are more likely to get courtesy because there are likely moderators in the Freenode channels with a leash on the some of the...stronger...personalities. It tends to be more professional than the other networks, though it, of course, is not perfect either (I have heard stories, but I have not had a problem on #debian, #gentoo, or #mysql, the three channels I've used most often on Freenode).

I hope you have better experiences in the future. Linux is a wonderful thing; it completely rekindled my enthusiasm for computers as a hobby after a long period of waning interest.

I, myself, am a newcomer to linuxquestions.org as a poster, though I've been reading it for years, and this is definitely one of the brightest spots.
 
Old 10-28-2007, 03:33 PM   #13
tredegar
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@Quag7,
An excellent, well-reasoned post
In fact, the best first-post I've seen.
Quote:
Write it up but keep it in a text file or as a draft.
I agree completely. I have a ~/Rants directory, not just for LQ, but work, family, friends - write it now, & review it tomorrow, or the next day. 99% of the time, I'll think "You idiot!", and refile in ~/Rants/Stupidity/. 1% I'll agree, refine, sanitise, and post. [Something tells me this is exactly what you've just done ]
Quote:
I, myself, am a newcomer to linuxquestions.org as a poster, though I've been reading it for years
What kept you back? I'm sure you have much to offer. Welcome aboard.

Last edited by tredegar; 10-28-2007 at 03:36 PM.
 
Old 10-28-2007, 03:56 PM   #14
reverse
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Quote:
What kept you back? I'm sure you have much to offer. Welcome aboard.
Hehe.. he's been filling up his stash of rants before moving in for the kill.
 
Old 10-29-2007, 12:15 AM   #15
evilkorn
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Before switching to linux i was involved in some windows communities. The problem is I have used windows almost my whole life, some Apple II and DOS experience, but for the most part Windows was it. The commands really haven't changed from version to version so the same repetitive questions were asked like a droning fan in the night, some nights it is soothing while others it's a pain in the ass and you just want some sleep already. If people took the time to search first, even if they might not be the best terms to use but at least I would be more inclined to help them if even the slightest hint of effort was put forward, it would cut down on at least some of the questions asked around the world.

Like someone else said; the thought process should be: am I the first(most likely not), search, try what you find, put thought into your post and show us you tried = friendly helpful answer.

Now that I switched to linux, I find myself not posting as much, but forming groups of local support and doing a lot of searching and reading. Even investing in a few books from the local book stores and libraries.
 
  


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