Get rid of (information for) lazy people

Rob Park rbpark at
Sun Sep 15 13:25:43 PDT 2002

Alas! Max van de Wiel spake thus:
> Anyways: I thought open source ws to prevent people from investing to much 
> time learning the same things autodidact.

No, Open Source is about sharing ideas for the purpose of making
software better, in general. It's a political ideology that opposes
software patents, for example. It has nothing to do with end-user
support, per se.

If you don't want to invest too much time learning, get Mandrake.

> The thing is; you can learn 
> faster exchanging knowlidge if you share your competence whit others. 

True. But it is wasteful for every newbie that comes along to ask the
same questions, when they are answered in the manuals, or the FAQs, or
the READMEs, or the man pages, or the info pages, or the email archives,
or the HOWTOs, etc etc.

The answer to the question "How do I make ls have color output, like my
host distro?" (for example) is faster answered by ls's manpage than by
asking the list. Similarly, if we spent all of our time answering this
question (and similar), we'd have no time to answer the really
*interesting* questions.

> what i am saying is: you are telling all these support stuff is 
> useless ceause someone can gain the knowlidge by reading a lot.

Yes, exactly. Don't waste our time by asking simple questions; we will
get bored and stop answering you. Do some research on your own, find out
the answer and *learn* the solution. Then the lists become more
interesting, and less time is wasted.

> > By lazy people, I think he is referring to people who get an error,
> > don't try to understand what it is and post to the support lists.
> You can dig into huge paperwork and finaly find out what went wrong;
> but whats the use when someone else has the answer to it; it comes to
> this; you share what you know or dont participate.

That someone who has the answer doesn't want to give it to 100,000
different people individually, that is a waste of time, effort, and
bandwidth. He wants to put it in a FAQ and post it for the world to see.
That is why we write FAQs, and READMEs, and HOWTOs, and HINTs (etc) in
the first place!

> > Yeah, that is why we started with distros that held our hand initially
> > (Slackware, Mandrake, etc.)
> You wont lern a thing from these distro's except the special rules which 
> come whit each of them.

That is wholly untrue. It was Mandrake that taught me all the basic
commands of the unix shell (previously I only knew how to click and
drool with Windows Explorer). Once I had that knowledge, I was able to
figure out how to install and use Debian, which was a great learning
experience that led me on to LFS, which is by far the best "distro" I've
ever used, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Notice that I didn't start with LFS; if I had, I would have been totally
confused by all the strange commands that I wouldn't have known about --
like "tar", or "ls".

Rob Park
You should emulate your heros, but don't carry it too far.  Especially
if they are dead.
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