Thursday, 13 March 2008

Winning Hearts and Minds

It's probably been 10 years since I started playing with Linux and the one thing that has really changed in that time are the forums. Going back to those days a post would usually elicit a helpful pointer or two, even if it was to the man pages, and if not that, at worst, a RTFM. Now days it seems impossible to post a question without some arrogant soul having a go. I recently posted a question or so to a couple of forums and whilst I did get some useful answers I also got the usual selection of comments suggesting I was a complete moron.

Whilst that may be true, it is unlikely that it would be that obvious from my posts. Sometimes situations occur that may not be obvious. I may post a question because of a situation that has a long and complicated history. No one is really interested in how that came about. Maybe a previous admin did something, maybe other factors forced the issue. The bottom line is, the question may seem odd, simple or just plain stupid but what I need are suggestions. Just because you know a lot about Linux doesn't mean you know everything about my place of work and configuration. Knowing grep doesn't mean you can grasp out of the air every nuance of my setup and why I want to do something.

I post questions for lots of reasons, often because I don't have time to research the problem myself. Often because I need some feedback as a sounding board. Sometimes suggestions that are totally wrong are helpful because they put you on a train of thought that eventually leads to an answer.

I thought that after 10 years I was immune to 'experts' arrogant replies but I am not. The last few posts have finally convinced me to seriously consider not asking for help anymore, I'll just do it myself even if it takes ten times longer. That's OK for me, I have been playing this game long enough to know that I will solve the problem on my own eventually. Despite being told several times that I am an idiot I do believe that Linux is a better base than Windows but I am not a newbie. If I were coming to Linux today I think I would last about 10 minutes before some 'Linux guru' was so rude to me that I just gave up and went back to Windows.

As my mother said. 'If you can't say something nice...'


Rhea Silver said...

As MY mother said: "If you can't say something nice...say lots of nasty stuff to fill up the silence!!!"

zbog said...

Actually, I agree with the 'Angry Admin'. Some support people are very rude and turn newbies away from the comunity.

My point is this:
Every community has its bad mouths, we just haven't learnt how to deal with ours. And repairing this will take more mind effort than any technical obstacle that has been put before us.