Quality of Forum Threads

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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby kedaha » 2016-01-11 20:10

steve_v wrote:The thing that's bugging me at the moment: Why are so many running Testing, when most of them appear to have no idea how to debug the inevitable problems?

Why? You can bet your bottom dollar that the lower the post count, the greater the chances are they're running testing. The route they've come by in a short time is likely to be from Windows -> Ubuntu -> Mint -> Debian Testing; it's likely that, with their little knowledge, most see testing as an "upgrade" from stable to newer and shinier software and are confident they can run it before they've learned to walk.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby golinux » 2016-01-11 20:34

Pratfalls are amusing. How would we entertain ourselves without them?!
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby arochester » 2016-01-11 21:18

I am tempted to play Devil's Advocate here.

Distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint are often said to be suitable for beginners. Debian is said to be for more experienced users. Why? Is the system intrinsically more difficult? (O.K. Testing and Unstable!) Is the documentation less accessible? Is the community support less?

By telling people to look at this and read this are we effectively saying RTFM? "What we expect you have already Done” refers to “A Beginners Guide to Debian”.” A Beginners Guide to Debian is” dated 2010. It says , for example, "Stable is currently Lenny. Testing is currently Squeeze". Just what beginners want to know.

A good example of documentation might be https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/

If someone makes their first post and asks a simple question giving them a simple answer might mean that they just sail away

If someone has made 145 posts and ask a simple question maybe they are never going to “get it”. (An 80 year old friend asks me over and over and over how to get his digital photos off his camera and into his computer. I tell him, but the answer will never be for him to “read the instructions”.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby steve_v » 2016-01-12 00:26

arochester wrote:A good example of documentation might be https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/
Perhaps, but a cursory glance at that "mobile-ised" menu makes me want to pluck out my eyes.
It also appears to be long on pictures and short on technical details, catering heavily to the "if it isn't clickable, it's too hard" crowd.
Too image-heavy for me, and it's not going to render well in links. :wink:

How could one write an "easy mode" guide like that for debian, when there's no way to tell what desktop a user has installed, or if they have one at all? All those bandwidth-sucking pictures become meaningless.
With great flexibility, some newbie-friendliness must be sacrificed.

Thankfully, there are still man-pages - the one true source of information.
Alternatively, one could read the manuals. And by "read" I mean actually read, not just glance at.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby MALsPa » 2016-01-12 00:46

kedaha wrote:
steve_v wrote:The thing that's bugging me at the moment: Why are so many running Testing, when most of them appear to have no idea how to debug the inevitable problems?

Why? You can bet your bottom dollar that the lower the post count, the greater the chances are they're running testing. The route they've come by in a short time is likely to be from Windows -> Ubuntu -> Mint -> Debian Testing; it's likely that, with their little knowledge, most see testing as an "upgrade" from stable to newer and shinier software and are confident they can run it before they've learned to walk.

I can't see how most people who have reached the decision to give Debian a try, navigated the web site to find the ISOs, and managed to get the system installed could possibly look at the words "stable," "testing," and "unstable" without some idea of what those words might imply.

Then again, I don't know how many times I've read comments along the lines of, "Debian Testing is more 'stable' than most other distros' final releases." Perhaps comments like those are a big part of the problem.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby steve_v » 2016-01-12 01:20

MALsPa wrote:I don't know how many times I've read comments along the lines of, "Debian Testing is more 'stable' than most other distros' final releases." Perhaps comments like those are a big part of the problem.

I suspect they are actually the root cause. The internet is littered with bad advice.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby No_windows » 2016-01-12 01:25

Everyone wants to be special, have something special, run something special. Testing is that special thing when it comes to Debian in many peoples eyes, I theorize. You get people running beta versions of Windows before a new big release, too, that just have to have the newest thing. (I can only imagine how flaky that must be)
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby thanatos_incarnate » 2016-01-12 06:16

arochester wrote:Distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint are often said to be suitable for beginners. Debian is said to be for more experienced users. Why? Is the system intrinsically more difficult? (O.K. Testing and Unstable!) Is the documentation less accessible? Is the community support less?

To take another analogy, an article in physics isn't suitable for 16 year olds studying physics 101 in high school. Their physics text book is and it can explain the same concept in a more suitable manner. If a physicist had to read the same information as digested for high school children, he'd lose valuable time by reading a plethora of text he already knows.

It's the same with Debian: things are actually really simple, it's just that there's a somewhat more involved initial stage where one has to hunt for the documentation or learn to overcome procedures that in other distros are simplified. But that's OK, since people who don't want any involvement with complex setups or who want more handholding still get to use e.g. Ubuntu or a more FOSS equivalent like Trisquel.

arochester wrote:By telling people to look at this and read this are we effectively saying RTFM? "What we expect you have already Done” refers to “A Beginners Guide to Debian”.” A Beginners Guide to Debian is” dated 2010. It says , for example, "Stable is currently Lenny. Testing is currently Squeeze". Just what beginners want to know.

1. This is the only of the links that's deprecated. Thanks for pointing that out. I've checked the others and they are all updated to Jessie, which is enough as testing and unstable are not supposed to be covered by beginner's documentation anyway.

2. The Debian way is one of participation. As a software philosophy, it goes against expecting your OS to be a service (which it isn't because you're not paying anyone to do something for you). You take an active role in looking for documentation and reading it. This doesn't mean that Debian can't be used by individuals who aren't willing to learn more about the system, but then I'd rather suggest having a friend who'll at least set up e.g. a working desktop for said individual or a company that will provide the aforementioned service experience. Truth be told, this service mentality is provided by Ubuntu in a much more accessible fashion. Hence we are right to say things like: "What we expect you have already done." and I would even go as far as saying that I also expect any user here to take any documentation that is provided in an unofficial capacity with a grain of salt. Yes, it's part of the active participation process to take a look at the dates of the document, maybe write a PM to the poster and point that out or write your own updated guide and ask the mods to pin it.

arochester wrote:A good example of documentation might be https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/

This is again a kind of documentation that I would deem not suitable for the Debian way. Remember, it's an open source project whose members often advocate the KISS principle, so I'd expect the documentation to be lean. Human-readable text is enough. While some layout may make things more readable, an excessive waste of bandwidth with large images is not what Debian is about IMHO (which seems hypocritical reading my tl;dr-ish banter here, but it's true :D ).

arochester wrote:If someone makes their first post and asks a simple question giving them a simple answer might mean that they just sail away

If someone has made 145 posts and ask a simple question maybe they are never going to “get it”. (An 80 year old friend asks me over and over and over how to get his digital photos off his camera and into his computer. I tell him, but the answer will never be for him to “read the instructions”.

And that's OK. He has you as a "service", free or paid for. Debian doesn't provide service, it provides tools. It's the difference between buying a toolbox, where the vendor might be courteous enough to give you a free FAQ sheet on screwdrivers, but it's actually not his job, and paying a person to fix your sink.
Ubuntu, Mint and, in a more FOSS way, Trisquel all show that service mentality and zero cost can coexist, even as a (partially or fully) open source phenomenon. But Debian isn't about that.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2016-01-12 06:42

detly wrote:What's wrong with RTFM as an answer when the answer is clearly in the FM and requires only cursory Ring?
AdrianTM wrote:There's no hacker in my grandma...
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby oswaldkelso » 2016-01-12 16:08

To play Devil's Advocate here. :D

At currently showing over 100,00 views. "A Beginners Guide to Debian" though dated has been and still could be a useful resource. I even find myself referring to it. However, it does need a bit of love and since I've handed over all control. I can't edit it but neither can the new editor in chief apparently. :P
I suspect Site Admin is the only person that can fix it.

arochester wrote:I am tempted to play Devil's Advocate here.

Distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint are often said to be suitable for beginners. Debian is said to be for more experienced users. Why? Is the system intrinsically more difficult? (O.K. Testing and Unstable!) Is the documentation less accessible? Is the community support less?

By telling people to look at this and read this are we effectively saying RTFM? "What we expect you have already Done” refers to “A Beginners Guide to Debian”.” A Beginners Guide to Debian is” dated 2010. It says , for example, "Stable is currently Lenny. Testing is currently Squeeze". Just what beginners want to know.

A good example of documentation might be https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/

If someone makes their first post and asks a simple question giving them a simple answer might mean that they just sail away

If someone has made 145 posts and ask a simple question maybe they are never going to “get it”. (An 80 year old friend asks me over and over and over how to get his digital photos off his camera and into his computer. I tell him, but the answer will never be for him to “read the instructions”.
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Ash init thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby dasein » 2016-01-12 18:05

oswaldkelso wrote:"A Beginners Guide to Debian" though dated has been and still could be a useful resource.

+1

Euclid's Elements hasn't been updated in over 2000 years, but it's still the definitive text on geometry.

Sure, the Beginner's Guide could use some love and a fresh coat of paint, but much of what that thread teaches is timeless. Its signal-to-noise ratio is still way better than the vast majority of new forum threads (which was, IIRC, thanatos' original point).
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-01-12 19:00

oswaldkelso wrote:At currently showing over 100,00 views. "A Beginners Guide to Debian" though dated has been and still could be a useful resource. I even find myself referring to it. However, it does need a bit of love and since I've handed over all control. I can't edit it but neither can the new editor in chief apparently. :P
I suspect Site Admin is the only person that can fix it.

I have PM'd Ganneff but it hasn't even been opened :cry:

None of the other staff know what to do.

Sorry everybody :oops:
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby thanatos_incarnate » 2016-01-13 09:40

I suggest unpinning Absent's old post (since he's also not here anymore AFAIK) and just make a similar one with updated links, while of course giving almost full credit to AbsendMinded for his work.
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Re: Quality of Forum Threads

Postby jibberjabber » 2016-01-15 17:32

I am new to this forum, over all it seems pretty good. I used to just browse and sometimes find use full information.
I have all ways been able to find answers to my questions either here or in the Debian documentation so I never felt the need to register. No questions.
Now just maybe a comment, I noticed this topic and thread.
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=126544#p604383
It is of pretty low quality. I hope the administrators here do not let more of that get started.
There do seem to be a lot of questions repeated and asked over and over but I guess maybe they do not have time to search and browse to find a answer and they hope to
get a quick answer. Also there is a old saying "There is no such thing as a dumb or stupid question but the ones that do not ask will all ways remain dumb or stupid."
The Beginner's Guide mentioned here, I often have read and it is still very use full.
It is pretty obvious if I look at the documentation it refers to I can see the older distributions like Lenny and Squeeze are no longer the current stable Debian version and most of the Debian.org or wiki pages have choices so I can look at what ever version I need to. It is good that there are still manuals and links for the older releases as well as the newest. Those links to what some people think are outdated are use full to anyone like me using a older Debian version.
Thank you for providing this forum, I found it on the Debian.org site.
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