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Thread: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

  1. #11
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    2. Figure out the problem: most likely, especially if you're new to Linux in general and Ubuntu specifically, the "problem" is really just you screwing things up. I'd say (as a six-month newbie myself) that 99% of the problems I've had in Linux have been my fault--I just had no clue what I was doing, and I screwed something up.
    i agree completely, especially with having absolutely no clue what i was doing part
    i almost totally killed my system by messing with the visudoers (i think that was what it was called) file. it turns out that since the last time i had used the command line editing program it had been majorly updated , changing the commands. meaning that since i when i went to save and exit, it wouldn't work for me , luckily i knew someone who did know how to fix so i didn't have to do anything drastic to fix the problem.

    my point. most of the problems you will encounter in linux, or any OS for that matter can be chalked up to user error, (or in my case sometimes just plain stupidity ) so hang in there youll get it eventually.

  2. #12
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Yeah, but complaining takes less time and effort and who wants to do all that?
    Hang in there. It gets better...

  3. #13
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Just some random thoughts.

    A lot of times in whining threads, I see a mix of types of complaints and "suggestions."

    We could do that, but we choose not to
    For example, getting rid of Xubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu, changing the default Ubuntu color from brown to blue, including build-essential by default, or creating a root password during installation.

    I think those things are important to discuss, but it's also important to recognize that the developers and/or Mark Shuttleworth probably thought about those choices before making the decisions. You don't have to agree with those decisions, and they may not be the right decisions, but they are thought-out decisions nonetheless.

    Try to understand before criticizing, and realize, too, that you may never change their minds, and you're free to fork Ubuntu, since it's open source. Mepis has.

    We could do that, but it would cost a lot of money
    This applies mainly to the inclusion of various proprietary codecs. Now, of course, Ubuntu won't include them anyway, since it's supposed to include only open source/free software, but even if it wanted to include popular multimedia playback, it would have to pay for a lot of licenses in order to distribute them. It's not going to happen for both philosophical and monetary reasons.

    What you're asking for requires more resources than we have
    Some people want GIMP and Inkscape and OpenOffice--already fully featured applications in their own rights--to have the exact functionality that Photoshop, Illustrator, and MS Office have. My understanding is that while Ubuntu itself has corporate funding from Shuttleworth/Canonical, individual applications are developed by others and only packaged to be included with Ubuntu. Ubuntu itself does not actually develop GIMP, for example (someone can correct me if I'm wrong about this).

    The best way to improve functionality on a project is to donate money to the project. You were going to spend US$1000 on Adobe Creative Suite? Consider... consider... spending that $1000 donating to improve open source alternatives. Just demanding, "this needs to include X, Y, and Z" is spitting in the wind--doesn't get anything done except make your face wet.

    What you're asking for is already happening
    A lot of whining rants make it sound as if Ubuntu (or desktop Linux in general) is static, never-changing, as if the developers just sit around and twiddle their thumbs all day.

    They actually are hard at work to create a new release every six months. Certainly, there are more improvements than this, but off the top of my head I can think of gaining a bootsplash and menu editor (Hoary to Breezy); double-click installation of .deb files, Add/Remove programs in the menu, CD ejecting by pressing the button, and a graphical installer/partitioner for the live CD (Breezy to Dapper); and more polished artwork and faster loading times (Dapper to Edgy).

    There are times and places to put in suggestions for the upcoming releases. Put those suggestions in, and the developers might actually implement your suggestions. Creating a thread that says "Ubuntu sucks and needs to do X, Y, and Z right now" isn't constructive, and I'm glad developers do not read such threads, which usually devolve into pointless bickering.

    What you're asking isn't possible or requires way too much work
    I got told this when I suggested visual feedback from the terminal when entering your password. That's the way the terminal works--it's a fundamental part of *nix that won't change, and you just have to suck it up.

    Likewise for suggestions to totally revamp the file structure. It's one thing to hide the file structure from the GUI (a la Mac OS X), but if you actually ditched /boot, /etc, /usr, /lib, and all that for something else, almost all your Linux users would jump ship.

    That's outside our control/unreasonable
    It doesn't make sense to demand Ubuntu have drivers for every piece of hardware out there. Sometimes the drivers don't exist because the manufacturer doesn't make Linux drivers or won't release the driver code. Remember: Microsoft doesn't make most of the drivers for Windows--Lexmark, Samsung, HP, etc. make those drivers.

    Likewise, Microsoft doesn't make setup.exe files for non-Microsoft products. If you want a Ubuntu .deb for a piece of software, create it, or politely ask the software developer to create one.

    Conclusions that "average users" wouldn't be able to install Ubuntu are completely irrelevant to discussions about improvement, since "average users" rarely if ever install Windows themselves, and it's not up to Ubuntu developers to make deals with Dell to preinstall Ubuntu, and even if it were... good luck trying!

    What you're asking is reasonable, we haven't considered it, and we're interested in it
    Here's the rest, and even these should go through the proper channels, not through a whining thread. Remember, too, that tone of voice matters, too, when you're offering suggestions. You are not the donor of a large library to and alumna of a prestigious university. You are not entitled to anything. Ask nicely, be specific, use the proper channels, and hope for the best. Right now the "proper channels" may seem a bit intimidating. Some forum members are working now on a "forum ambassador" idea that may make it easier to convey ideas from "real" users to the developers in a way that's efficient and best for all parties involved.
    Last edited by aysiu; October 25th, 2006 at 08:50 PM.

  4. #14
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Stickied.

  5. #15
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Doing nothing makes you gain nothing. Short and true.

    // edit

    @Brunellus: Good one.
    simplicity is perfection

  6. #16
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brunellus View Post
    Stickied.
    Thanks.

    I'm hoping as people come up with more practical suggestions (or if the ambassadors thing happens), people will continue to add to this thread concrete steps users can take to make Ubuntu better.

    A filing bug reports for dummies would be great...

  7. #17
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    aysiu - great posts as ever
    one more thing you should include in "how can I help ?" is :
    were/which/how do I get in touch with the ubuntu developers so I can contribute code that they need for ubuntu ? (I think you know all the links to this one ).

  8. #18
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Actually, I don't, as I've never contributed code (I'm not a programmer).

    Can you post those links?

  9. #19
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    here you go :
    http://www.ubuntu.com/developers
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU

    not only code but help developing ubuntu in every aspect (code, art, sound etc...)

  10. #20
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    Re: What's better than whining on the forums? Making a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu View Post
    Thanks.

    I'm hoping as people come up with more practical suggestions (or if the ambassadors thing happens), people will continue to add to this thread concrete steps users can take to make Ubuntu better.

    A filing bug reports for dummies would be great...
    I definitely agree with that last part, something like that would be great. But since that's based around launchpad now, it would be nice to include in that things like creating a spec, filing bug reports, and some other useful things launchpad does.

    I would, though, advise you to re-edit your post. As far as I'm aware, ubuntu bugzilla doesn't exist anymore, and there's definitely not a link to it from the forums.

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