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Toadinator
April 16th, 2008, 04:18 PM
I've noticed that whenever someone asks for help on these forums they're always told to type something in in the Terminal. What if the person asking for help is rather unexperienced and doesn't know how to work the terminal right?

I know oodles of people who don't know the difference from a desktop and a screen saver (some get it mixed up even, calling their desktop their screen saver) and wouldn't understand what to do if they started to use Ubuntu and asked for help here. That's why I'm proposing a change to the way messages are posted.

For the 1ST POST (none after will have this) there should have a little Radio Button selector that says what kind of support you'll be able to take in. Beginner (don't know how to use terminal) would be the default because they're liable to not check that part out. The other two are Intermediate (prefer the GUI but will use the Terminal if you have to) and Expert (almost always use the terminal/use a server edition). The option you choose would add a suffix to the posted message saying what kind level of help should be given.

There could also be a little section that says how to 'convert' a terminal line into directions for the GUI (for example: if someone wants to say 'sudo apt-get something' they'd say 'Click System-->Administration-->Synaptic Package Manager and click on the check box by 'libsomething').

Is this a good idea or no?

jsmiith
April 16th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Possibly, but often it it _is_ easier to say copy+past this into your terminal and hit enter than it is to say e.g select system menu>administration...etc especially across versions of ubuntu.

Toadinator
April 16th, 2008, 05:24 PM
Possibly, but often it it _is_ easier to say copy+past this into your terminal and hit enter than it is to say e.g select system menu>administration...etc especially across versions of ubuntu.

While this may be true doing it that way may confuse them and they might as well learn to use the GUI instead of pasting some random code they don't know the meaning of into the terminal. Besides, the last time I tried pasting into the terminal it didn't work. Do I need a package or something or is there a special way to do it?

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 05:31 PM
While this may be true doing it that way may confuse them and they might as well learn to use the GUI instead of pasting some random code they don't know the meaning of into the terminal. Besides, the last time I tried pasting into the terminal it didn't work. Do I need a package or something or is there a special way to do it?

Step by step:

Open a terminal.
Highlight the following command:


echo "See?"

Now, go to the terminal and do the following:

If you have a mouse wheel or a third button, you can press it
If you have two mouse buttons (left and right), press both at the same time.

popch
April 16th, 2008, 06:00 PM
For the 1ST POST (none after will have this) there should have a little Radio Button selector that says what kind of support you'll be able to take in.

I rather suspect that this would be kind of self defeating. I mistrust people's accuracy when assessing their own skills.

Toadinator
April 16th, 2008, 06:28 PM
I rather suspect that this would be kind of self defeating. I mistrust people's accuracy when assessing their own skills.

Maybe there could be a little (?) marker next to it that will help you with a little popup window or something or next to Beginner it could say (check this if you don't know what to select) or something.

popch
April 16th, 2008, 06:54 PM
(check this if you don't know what to select) or something.

Quite a few of 'my' uses consider themselves perhaps not top cracks but resasonably experienced. After all, they've been writing documents with Windows for years and years. Office? Ah, yes, in the office, of course.

They even show their new pals how to indend the paragraphs in their texts as required by custom.

notwen
April 16th, 2008, 07:32 PM
The OP could always post back saying there are uncomfortable or do not know enough about Ubuntu to accomplish the request from the poster trying to help. They are asking for help and if they want to resolve their issue, any method to do so should suffice, as long as if it explained thoroughly and they get an idea of what they are doing in the process.

If new users learn basic CLI commands early on it will help them in the long run, regardless of whether they knew how to use it in the beginning. Copying & pasting is easy enough. Just my opinion. =]

Artificial Intelligence
April 16th, 2008, 08:00 PM
The OP could always post back saying there are uncomfortable or do not know enough about Ubuntu to accomplish the request from the poster trying to help. They are asking for help and if they want to resolve their issue, any method to do so should suffice, as long as if it explained thoroughly and they get an idea of what they are doing in the process.

If new users learn basic CLI commands early on it will help them in the long run, regardless of whether they knew how to use it in the beginning. Copying & pasting is easy enough. Just my opinion. =]

Exactly. I get sometimes a reply to explain it in layman/first-time-user term and I say, no problem and do it. - Everybody's happy :popcorn:

mips
April 16th, 2008, 09:09 PM
The terminal usually delivers the quickest results. It's way faster than trying to navigate someone through 10000 menus.

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 09:16 PM
The terminal usually delivers the quickest results. It's way faster than trying to navigate someone through 10000 menus.

Don't exaggerate, it is only 1000 menus that can be different depending on the setup and language.

aysiu
April 16th, 2008, 09:25 PM
If someone tells another user to type a command, that user had better have X broken, have no working internet connection on Ubuntu, or be booted into recovery mode.

Otherwise, there's no reason to ask people to type commands. Commands should be copied and pasted, both of which can be done with a mouse if the user is afraid of the keyboard (kind of difficult to type a support request without a keyboard - I suppose it could be done, though).

As has been debated ad nauseum here, GUI and CLI approaches each have their pros and cons. If you look back through my posting history, I employ either approach as I deem appropriate.

And to any GUI snobs out there, I'll have you know that I've uploaded 1,089 images to the forums (and, no, they're not screenshots showing off my desktop to the monthly gallery). I don't give CLI instructions due to laziness.

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 09:38 PM
If someone tells another user to type a command, that user had better have X broken, have no working internet connection on Ubuntu, or be booted into recovery mode.

Otherwise, there's no reason to ask people to type commands. Commands should be copied and pasted, both of which can be done with a mouse if the user is afraid of the keyboard (kind of difficult to type a support request without a keyboard - I suppose it could be done, though).


I usually don't tell people to copy and paste or type. I just say "use" this command, and post any errors if you get any.

If they know how to highlight and middle click, they do it.

mips
April 16th, 2008, 09:53 PM
Don't exaggerate, it is only 1000 menus that can be different depending on the setup and language.

You always have to belittle me, sniff :)

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 10:01 PM
You always have to belittle me, sniff :)

Sorry...

Here is a bean (you will have to post in a support forum to collect, but it is reserved for you)

mips
April 16th, 2008, 10:09 PM
I'll have it on toast for breakfast thanks :)

aysiu
April 16th, 2008, 11:12 PM
I usually don't tell people to copy and paste or type. I just say "use" this command, and post any errors if you get any.

If they know how to highlight and middle click, they do it.
Unfortunately, a lot of new users (me, three years ago, for example) don't know that you can copy and paste commands. That's why I ask them to. If they start retyping them, it leaves too much room for error, and you get
sudo nano -b /etc/x11/xorg.conf or
sudo nano -B etc/X11/xorg.conf instead of
sudo nano -B /etc/X11/xorg.conf

rune0077
April 16th, 2008, 11:17 PM
Unfortunately, a lot of new users (me, three years ago, for example) don't know that you can copy and paste commands. That's why I ask them to. If they start retyping them, it leaves too much room for error, and you get
sudo nano -b /etc/x11/xorg.conf or
sudo nano -B etc/X11/xorg.conf instead of
sudo nano -B /etc/X11/xorg.conf

If the command seems useful to me for some later purpose, I always type it in myself - it's much easier to remember something you typed later on, than something you just copied n' pasted.

popch
April 16th, 2008, 11:20 PM
Some of the commands I am given by the friendly folks here I keep in a 'command album'. That's currently the ZIM Desktop Wiki.

Those commands will keep even if the GUI is redecorated. Also, I run the English version on my testing system and the German language version on the other one.

aysiu
April 16th, 2008, 11:27 PM
If the command seems useful to me for some later purpose, I always type it in myself - it's much easier to remember something you typed later on, than something you just copied n' pasted.
You, as an experienced user, always have the option to retype as opposed to pasting, but I instruct new users to paste, as it makes their lives easier, and there's less room for error.

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 11:27 PM
Some of the commands I am given by the friendly folks here I keep in a 'command album'. That's currently the ZIM Desktop Wiki.

Those commands will keep even if the GUI is redecorated. Also, I run the English version on my testing system and the German language version on the other one.

I use Opera's notes for recording (similar to Zim)

@aysiu I didn't know either (remember, you are more experienced than I am). However, I would rather not sidetrack a thread.

popch>Help! My screen resolution is all wacky after I upgraded to Hardy!
*Iowan reports it
Me>Copy and paste this command in a terminal:


sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

popch> How do I copy and paste?

One issue per thread I prefer, except for PT and OPP

Toadinator
April 17th, 2008, 02:47 AM
...I'm giving up. Your argument is better than mine, and LaRoza, your wiki is awesome and I'm gonna learn Python with it. Thanks!

LaRoza
April 17th, 2008, 03:33 AM
...I'm giving up. Your argument is better than mine, and LaRoza, your wiki is awesome and I'm gonna learn Python with it. Thanks!

Thanks, I try to make it useful. To be fair, all of the actual content is from other sites. I am just cutting the confusing results of google out of the picture.