Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unfriendly & "I know it all"attitude of some of the GNU/Linux developers & communities

Linux Newbie is a person who has started using Linux either out of curiosity to discover and experience a new, different group of operating systems or Windows users who want Linux as an alternate . In the confusion of selection of a good or working Linux Distribution they intend to test different distributions and visit their corresponding IRC help rooms. But unfortunately they are met there with Linux "GURUS" and as the Wikipedia page defines a Newbie they are mostly ridiculed and bullied by both the developers and the so called GURUS.

This approach by some of the Linux communities towards the newcomers is not of any help or appreciation but rather discourages a lot of people to ever try Linux at all.

All the Linux communities are not Newbies hostile, I have seen so many helpful ones who will go to any extent to help the newbies or any one who is asking for any kind of online technical help.

I will not mention names of those hostile, " i know it all " communities but will definitely mention those who are true helpers which are PCLinuxOS , Sidux & Fedora teams.

In my humble opinion if we want to help Linux grow we have to re evaluate our behaviours and try to be more friendly to our newbies, our hostility is equivalent to the M$ closed doors approach and we have to stop mimicking M$.
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kozmcrae said...

I visit a lot of blogs concerning Linux and many forums that happen to show up in my Google blog search. I suspect that if a newbie showed up on a Slackware forum and said something like "Linux is junk, it won't recognize my video card (notice no mention of which model), and there's no graphical installer", he would get scolded harshly. But even there, any replies that were overtly insulting or hateful would be deleted or admonished.

This used to be a problem. It is less so now. I can't recall seeing that geekier than thou attitude in the last year and a half. There has been a recent issue that is cause for concern however. It appears that some people get a big laugh out of "helping" newbies with their problem by giving them commands that will cause great harm to their installation, like deleting everything.

I have my suspicions that some, maybe many of these trouble makers, are really people who make their living off of Microsoft or the proprietary environment they created. Newbies are sitting ducks for them.

If you have seen any recent examples, It might be helpful to expose the offenders here or notify the forum's moderator of the unacceptable behavior.

Dr.Saleem Khan said...

I have many recent and old examples both from many Linux Distributions team members and developers who are present at IRC help rooms for their corresponding distributions but naming them would stirr up a fire and futile war.

If a newbie is facing a problem,or has some queries or difficulties regarding a specific distribution the team memebers and developers should realize that they need to help and direct him/her out at his/her understanding level than to ridicule or insult him/her for the inability or incapability to address that issue.

Derogatory & egoistic behaviour from someone who claims to be the holder of the spirit of open source is definetly against the morals of open source and freedom of sharing of knowledge.

capricornus said...

As a distro-hopper, I visit several communities. I was never scolding and/or scolded at. Most of the time I got an answer, the dummer the question, the kinder the replie, I think. At Granular, a question regarding Firefox got us an answer that quickly made it to the wiki, why not? Every question can lead to a valuable answer for the whole community.

Dr.Saleem Khan said...

Hello Capricornus,

Granular team is exceptionally warm and hospitable, Anurag will help and treat you at your ease at this best.

Chrisz id friendly and easy going and he will try to iron out every single trivial issue you face as a Granular user.

I have no doubt in saying that some people`s wrong doings should not overshadow the while OSS community and those small number of people are just acting kiddishly when they act like Gods in treating newbies.