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List Archive: gentoo-installer
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To: gentoo-installer@g.o
From: "Paul J. Wilson" <paulj.wilson@...>
Subject: Re: educating users
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 16:34:23 -0500
The way I see it, the problem is not about the gentoo installer, but a
problem of perceptions between the developers and the users. There is a
further division between the &quot;power users&quot; and the &quot;noobs&quot;.<br>
<br>
It's easier said than done, but each side should step outside their own
experience. To a developer, &quot;easy&quot; meains opening VI and drawing on
their knowledge of hot keys and bash syntax. To the average user,
&quot;easy&quot; means selecting options from a menu , or not selecting anything
at all to have things turn out as intended.<br>
<br>
Regular, everyday users tend not to have the time to spend on the
finter points of linux and gentoo in particular. If the aim of the
gentoo installer project is to make Gentoo more accessable to these
types of users, then it's not unreasonable to expect these users to
reach out somewhere for instruction. The fact that they DO reach out to
the developers is an indication that 1. the answers are not obvious to
them and 2. they are INTERESTED and willing to participate at some
level. The fact that their interest, ability or level of participation
does not match the same characteristics of the developers should not
matter. Not everyone thinks alike. Not everyone has the same interests.
Almost everyone wants to compute.<br>
<br>
It's also obvious from the responses that some users do NOT find the
handbook accessable. This can't be simply explained away by lack of
intelligence. Again, what is obvious to some is not obvious to others,
especially those who are not trained to think in technical terms.
Brushing off the questions of every-day users as the work of &quot;noobs&quot; is
a very easy and sloppy thing to do. <br>
<br>
There is a huge disconnect happening here. On the one hand, the Gentoo
front matter seems to state that Gentoo is &quot;all about choices&quot; and goes
on to strongly imply that the distribution can be all things to all
users. There are a sub-set of users who 1. don't find the detail and
fine-point instruction in the manual helpful 2. don't have the time to
manually configure everything or 3. are not computer literate. It's
obvious that there are large numbers of people who want to use gentoo
but whose needs are not being met. I have the impression that the
gentoo-installer project is an attempt to meet the needs of such users.
<br><br>
I applaud the efforts of the installer devs and Gentoo at large. I use
Gentoo on 5 machines, including this laptop. I think the installer is a
great idea. <br>
<br>
I hope this honest and heartfelt criticism reaches you as intended:
with respect and earnestness. I've been lurking on the mailing list a
long time and I finally decided to throw in my two bits. <br>
<br>
Take Care<br>
<br>
Paolo<br>
<br><div><span class="gmail_quote">On 9/19/05, <b class="gmail_sendername">Michael Miller</b> &lt;<a href="mailto:1337mail@...">1337mail@...</a>&gt; wrote:</span><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
<div>I dislike the idea of a quiz to use the installer. As much as I
hate to admit it, I am a &quot;newbie&quot; to gentoo, to some degree. However, I
did manage to fairly easily install it by reading the handbook. It is
pretty much just following directions, being very time consuming(took
me about 2-3 days to get my first gentoo box up). I think personally,
that a special guide should be written for the installer detailing
everything needed to be done. If you are very insistant upon getting
rid of the &quot;newbies&quot; in the IRC channel, and insist on having some kind
of quiz, I'd make a quiz to enter the IRC channel.
</div>
<div>&nbsp;</div>
<div>Not to rant on, but my stance on gentoo, albeit against many of
the developers, is that it is a fast operating system. That is, in my
view, the only thing seperating it from other distros save for portage.
Many people like to tweak every last bit of performance out of gentoo,
which is great! However, I think gentoo should indeed be more user
friendly. Don't get me wrong-I CAN install gentoo, and edit
configuration files, but it is very time consuming, and not time
efficent for me. I wish gentoo was very easy to install(like redhat),
and included an easy to use configuration tweaker where you could
EASILY change your cflags for basic optimizations for specific
processors(you could select p4, amd64, etc etc). You would of course be
able to manually edit it as well. The thing that I find so daunting
about linux, as compared to windows, is the fact that you have to know
what almost every single file does. Wanna change your sound card? You
have to know where /etc/alsa is. It is these kinds of things that
frustrate me. Don't get me wrong, I know MANY, if not all but me on
this mailing list, are opposed to catering to end users who don't want
to have to memorize a 40 page guide to know how to install gentoo in
their head, but I think it would be a good idea to have gentoo easy to
configure. I'm not saying someone who doesn't know how to install
Windows will know how to setup and run a gentoo installation, but I
think it should be easier to run then it currently is.
</div>
<div>&nbsp;</div>
<div>On another side note I things that the thing that is blocking
linux from the end user are application installation, and driver
installation. Come up with an easy way to do both of these, and i'll
never use win32 again :). </div>
<div>&nbsp;</div>
<div>Again, I want to reidorate, I realize that the main focus of
gentoo is to cater to so called &quot;power users&quot; who know everything about
Linux, and tweak everything in it. I just wish that I could have a
tweakable operating system without reading 40 pages each time I
installed it!
</div>
<div>&nbsp;</div>
<div>Sorry for the long rant :),</div>
<div>Mike</div>

</blockquote></div><br>
Replies:
Re: educating users
-- Zac Medico
Re: educating users
-- Andrew Gaffney
References:
educating users
-- Andrew Gaffney
Re: educating users
-- Zac Medico
Re: educating users
-- Ɓukasz Damentko
Re: educating users
-- Nick Dimiduk
Re: educating users
-- Bryan Quigley
Re: educating users
-- Chris Gianelloni
Re: educating users
-- Paul J. Wilson
Re: educating users
-- Michael Miller
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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