Sunday, January 28, 2007

Unfriendly Linux forums

If you run Linux as I do, you will have invariably got stuck at some point. Linux is a very complex system with lots of configuration required. Normally the best idea to do is to go online and search to see if others have had similar problems.

I do this regularly for several Windows programs with no problems, but once you start looking for Linux help things can rapidly degenerate.

There are three basic problems I have with Linux forums.

1) Assumed knowledge. So many posts jump immediately into great detail and skip key areas. This leaves me pondering what to do between steps 3 and 4.
2) Just giving commands. "Type this in and it will work." Ok, but what did I actually do?
3) Arrogance. Something along the lines of "Do a Google search and stop wasting my time" or "There have already been loads of posts about this so I'm not going to answer."

Obviously this is not the case all the time and its great that the Linux community is so strong, but if you are a veteran Unix/Linux user, spare a thought for all the newbies switching.



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