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Be a good GNU/Linux advocate on these forums

#1

Many of us Free Software and Linux users on the forums are passionate about Free Software and its use, and want nothing more than for everyone to see not just the technological benefit but the moral and liberating benefit of using Free Software. We are essentially a community of information sharing people who want to share and share alike.

Its a noble and I think worthwhile goal.

However, frequently on the forums there have been a number of different Linux users who have been unproductive in their attempts to make people "see the light" so to speak, encroaching on non free software topics with, to be honest, replies that are unwanted, uninformative, and make people mad.

So, my suggestion to you is to remember that you represent what the Free Software community is like when you talk about it and reply to people, and keep these things in mind:

  • Level1 Techs is an information sharing space, its encouraged to share what you know, people like to hear about alternatives they may not have considered.

  • But consider if its appropriate. Does it help what they need!

  • Remember if you're in the windows category, people probably want windows solutions. Respect that people have many reasons for not using GNU/Linux.

  • Replies like "use linux" or "widnows sucks why are you letting them suck the freedom from your life" although correct ( :P ) aren't constructive and don't help anyone.

  • We might be a community of Free Software users, but were also part of the Level1 community. Respect each other and help each other.

That, to me, makes a good GNU/Linux advocate.

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TheCaveman's list of forum annoyances and complaints
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#2

What I want to have added... there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.

Even if you heard the question 1000 times and the solution is the first hit on google, imagine how it was when you were new to the matter. (not knowing how to call it is a big drawback when phrasing a google search or even a forum search)

No ideas how to call what your problem is, and often new to forums as well.

Don't use responses like rtfm or man it.. supply a link to a reasonable detailed but still easy to understand source (e.g. some how to, or even a post you once wrote on the forum that helped someone in the past.)

rtfm, google.it or man.it do not help, just create a aura of arrogance driving away newcomers and let you shine in a light of ignorance.

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#3

So very true.

  • Linux is not for everyone. It will make many people's computer experience a miserable one.
  • Linux is more suited to the power user.
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#4

With the exception of people who need Windows/OS X apps to do their work.

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#5

Those, though they make seem true at first glance, I do not want to second. It always depends on the needs of the potential user.

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#6

Linux is the best thing ever, anyone who disagrees have bad teeth and smell like poop.

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#7

Oh dear.. you totally missed the point.. or I missed your sarcasm...

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#8

It was a joke ;)

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pinned #9
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#11

TL;DR: don't push it. it's not a religion, it's an option for people to try if they need a free OS that is easy to get going if you need the basics RIGHT NOW, or you're a power user looking to learn something new.

that's it.

also, can we at least give people a round of applause if they even know how to use Ubuntu? if you can get shit done in the so called "noob friendly" distros, being shit on by some Arch edgelord is just unacceptable. nobody cares what you run, as long as you're comfortable with it.

on the other side of the coin, don't like Linux? don't like command line? cool. that's okay. but calling people nerds and spouting bollocks about Linux being impossible to use isn't going to be met with warmth. if you see this, kindly correct said misinformation in a calm, detached manner, and everything will move along. again, nobody really gives a toss if you don't like it. Tek is Linux heavy, not a fucking cult.

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#12

I've used Linux for a long time and even I find Ubuntu odd to use, they make weird choices.

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#13

The purpose of this thread is to inform and remind all the Linux users to be respectful of people's choice in what they use. we have a lot of people who are just plain derailing threads to promote Linux instead of ACTUALLY helping people who need help with a particular problem in their thread. and it's getting out of line already. we don't need the arrogance and narcissistic behavior on the forum.

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#14

Great post and good that its pinned...

With this though I cannot say I agree. Free software is and should be concentrated around the non-power user because its him that software freedom is striving to protect. The power user can protect his freedom using his skills.

And distos like Elementary, Mint, Manjaro and Ubuntu are trying to do exactly that. Create a user friendly experience and most are doing a very good job.

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#15

should be, but generally isn't. They are made by people who are experienced and generally are made for more specific roles/tasks and due to not being marketed, stick to their initial objectives/group of people intended for - the more experienced... I agree it is starting to change now (thank god) and they are doing a much better job like you said, but still a fair way to go :(

Edit; btw @Eden i commend the post, i know that 99% feel this is so, and whilst making remarks negatively, do genuinely want to help and try to. I liken them to priests though.... good intentions.... but preaching from the bible on peoples doorstep praising the almighty Linux can be tiresome......

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#16

The free software movement always had the user freedom not developer's freedom at its focus. That was the point from scratch. The distros I mentioned are officially focused on that goal I think are doing very well. I cannot think of a practical reason why Mint for example is less user friendly than Windows or a MAC.

The only major issue in ease of use for everyday activities is hardware compatibility, but this is more an issue with the manufacturers than the OS itself. I would not blame a Linux distro for a propitiatory driver issue the same way I would not blame windows 10 for the issues it has currently with Nvidia drivers for example.

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#17

An OS is only as good as the support it gets from the manufacturers. And unfortunately, manufacturers do not really put Linux compatibility upfront as they do for Windows or Mac. In the enterprise world, tho it is completely different, Linux compatibility is put at the front. But trying to secure enterprise hardware is expensive.

*edit: meant hardware manufacturers.

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#18

Sorry i should elaborate; I'm lumping all free software into that category not just Distros/OS. it is less user friendly due to compatability issues and the fact that it is less mainstream and therefore people need to research/learn more etc by themselves with fewer people to help them etc etc, whilst this is unfair it is still a measurable dimension to making something more/less practical

its not just hardware compatability but software too (this is becoming less so but i did state that it is getting better.... thank goodness).... nor would i blame them, but how long we have to wait for that to be solved is different from OS to OS both have pros/cons on that front but i would argue that microsoft for the time being has linux beaten for the general consumer.... for now...... (hopefully not for much longer).

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#19

Its a chicken and an egg issue. You just have to create the critical mass...Its slowly getting there in the desktop i think...

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#20

Honestly, my mother has Xubuntu and she's very happy with it. She uses her laptop for browsing the internet and that's pretty much it. Complete opposite of a power user.

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#21

Since I want to keep this an open discussion and not get off topic (feel free to make a new topic, though sometimes this discussion tends to go in circles), I have this question. What can we do to improve the somewhat negative appearance that sometimes comes across?

Id love to see people share more howtos, and write blog topics on there every day use of Linux and Free Software, theres always something new, a new command, or thing you found. Dont hesitate to create a new topic about it.

Theres some great Linux topics on here of people sharing there experiances.

@goalkeeper's Linux enlightenment of the week
@cynicrf's complete guide to zypper
Rootz guide to switching dekstops in Ubuntu
@goalkeeper's guide to apt

1 Like