I think the word is...condescension !!

Discussion in 'Linux' started by smallhagrid, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    Within the decade or so that I've been tinkering on and off with Linux distros, 2 things have been at the top of my list in terms of curiosities about it:
    - When some Linux distros would finally become user-friendly enough for the grannies & grandpas among us;
    - What it may be that discourages folks so well from being Linux-curious enough to just try it out ??

    As to that 1st point - it HAS become that user friendly in some distros & I have presonally assisted some very non-technically oriented folks in becoming 100% Linux users already.

    The 2nd point brought only discomfort for me - but no obvious answer, I am sad to say - until today.

    The answer was just too simple & too obvious right along - it is simply the outward level of condescension openly expressed towards new users, too much of the time, when they ask for help.

    Some examples of what I mean from real-life experiences I have had:

    ZorinOS - a truly wonderful idea in a distro.
    I helped a friend to buy their paid version - only to discover it had but one truly horrid download source for a DVD sized ISO that quit at random times & took 2-3 days of attempts to get, finally.
    The recipient is over 80 years old and delighted with his OS choice, BUT:
    The Zorin devs are too busy to participate in their own support forum - combined with their focus upon wooing users away from post-XP windows versions.
    The result:
    Getting any problems fixed for the paid user relies upon guesswork by other users, mostly.

    Ubuntu - also wonderful in its mission.
    This has been my personal distro of choice for years now, with LXDE added post-installation.
    I had many, many questions that I needed answers to in order to make things work well.
    I posted at various forums, thinking that those who knew would react in that wonderfully community-driven spirit which makes Linux what it is.
    What I got was scolded mostly - unhelpful & snotty non-answers - ESPECIALLY at the most popular & easily found 'help' sites.
    (I did get my answers anyhow - myself - by spending days & days refining search parameters & trying whatever I could find to see if it helped...)

    Still - I did not see the problem for what it is.

    Just recently was when the core problem became clear to me.
    Several truly notable Debian-based distros came to my attention & since I just happened to have h/w to try them on - that is what I've done.

    The most notable of them is PrathamOS - it is truly very well made & very impressive.
    From a new user's POV it is going to be a load of trouble right from the start.
    No newbie will get it installed simply because it uses a script installer - so just seeing the readme file will be enough to stop most potential users dead in their tracks before proceeding.
    Should someone actually do the installation, they will find that it is most likely an abandoned project with no support available via any means.
    The dev provides an email - but does not reply - and there is no forum or any other means to ask any questions.
    (If one searches on "PrathamOS" forum - of the 4 search results produced, 2 refer to posts I have made...)

    Next best is Just Use Linux, or JULinux.
    This distro has some very nice features and may even be useful to me personally - IF it can be made to settle down a bit, because it is...a bit odd.
    Getting rid of the religious stuff it came with was easy enough, but it has some things sort of nailed into it that are not so easy to fix up, and:
    It also seems to be abandoned, with no user or dev actions that I can find any newer than about 2 years old.
    I have posted at its SF forum with no reply just yet;
    This one really needs some help to be a 'daily driver' OS, and if I cannot find answers for it, that can not happen.

    Of all the really nice Debian-based OSes I've tried lately - the best & WORST of the lot is Q4OS.
    It also happens to be how I finally figured out the whole picture being centered upon condescension, sadly.

    I am a great lover of forums - and was delighted to find out that the Q4OS folks have an active one, BUT:
    Their 'new' forum would not allow me to post - not no way, not no how.
    It allowed me to register and nothing else.
    Their 'old' forum at SF did allow me to post, and I made requests, which went unanswered until I contacted one of the active posters via his own site's contact form.
    Then the 'Q4OS Team' piped up - only to deny there was any problem of any sort.
    I tried again later - only to find my account at their forum had been deleted.

    Last night I finally DID manage to post at their forum from within their OS using their browser of choice - and much to my amazement - it posted !!
    And then what happened ??
    My initial test posting as well as my support request were deleted - along with my account.

    This all makes me think of an article recently posted about how Linus Torvalds still wants Linux to take over as the desktop OS of choice...

    My closing thought after all this is=>
    Perhaps the head Linux honcho himself might consider recommending to the masses of users & supporters to ditch the condescension & snottiness; make it friendlier for those who are starting out & even for those who've been serious users for years already - THEN it may actually become what it can really be.
  2. Superfly

    Superfly MDL Expert

    Jan 12, 2010
    Can't say I have experienced that (touch wood) but then I'm only registered here and at Mint forums...

    My take on it is the "small-dong" crowd who think they are special 'cos they know stuff no-one else is really bothered with regarding the lesser known distro's - but who may ask about in passing whilst 'messing' with those distro's...but expect the same commitment, I guess.

    Reason I've stuck with Mint/Ubuntu almost exclusively (like many of us here) - rather be a master at one with a proper support base and we can in so doing help each other that way - in a polite and friendly way i.e..the proper way Linux communities interact
    Having too many distro's divide it, to counter that we need to be more accommodating of each other's differences, right?
    Don't lose sight of the bigger picture...:biggrin:

    (Phew!... most typing I've done in one sitting in yonks...but hey, my profoundness knows no bounds...::D)
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  3. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    Thanks for replying Superfly.
    Your observations seem to me to be quite accurate, sadly.

    As to Mint:
    I've tried installing Linux Mint many times in the past & only ever succeeded lately on the hand-me-down notebook I am now using for testing.

    It is quite nice, but also very obviously slow to respond - almost maddeningly so compared with how snappy the others I installed are - on that very same PC.

    In the past...:
    When I posted at the Mint forum asking if anyone could explain why it would never finish booting for me or install - I was told it must be my h/w, even when it exceeded their minimum specs - which struck me as very odd.

    As to my recent quest=>
    Given that so much in the Linux world is based upon Debian - yet so many say what a PITA it is on its own, I was delighted to find some other nice variants of it besides Ubuntu to try out lately.
    (Yes, there are a bunch - but so many are not natively done in english and that is all I speak and/or read !!)

    I even went through the 'waiting list' over at Distrowatch to see what has been sitting there waiting for review for years, and found some neat stuff, but none that I wanted to try out.

    My measure (or philosophy, if you prefer...) when it comes to my daily usage OS is that it must be very light, reliable and easy to just forget about while using the things that I need to use within its safe confines.

    So, for the moment, my thoughts range someplace between becoming a devotee of PrathamOS, or remaining with the Ubuntu/LXDE combo I have already been using for quite a while.

    I remain open to suggestions of other Debian-based OSes as I am certain there are many I have never heard of...?

  4. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
    @smallhagrid: We have a number of Linux gurus around here who understand that and despise it as well.

    Plus, we help each other. :) (In 'olde' Brooklynese, we'd say "F**K 'em. We got each other's backs.)
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  5. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    I had the honor many years ago to meet Saul Marantz and as I prattled on and on about signal to noise ratios and other technical mumbo jumbo, he listened politely and then said, "Listen to the music, not the equipment."

    That comment comes to mind whenever I hear the discussions of Linux vs. Windows. I think Bill Gates understood that concept.

    Linux users listen to the equipment, Microsoft tries to makes Window so people can listen to the music and not concern themselves with the equipment.
  6. Superfly

    Superfly MDL Expert

    Jan 12, 2010
    Good analogy,,, like why cook yourself when you can sit on your arse and order take-out... does not enhance one's being much, does it?...

    ... Sorry for the OT, smallhagrid.
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  7. nodnar

    nodnar MDL Expert

    Oct 15, 2011
    ;) :chef: how about that? :D
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  8. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    The master pirate was also a marketing genius, I agree.

    As to listening to this thing vs. that music...

    The users see the huge, glitzy theatre with words like 'SHOW OF THE CENTURY !!' - get lured over to pay the rather high price.
    They then arrive in great anticipation to wait in line at showtime.

    Once inside and seated - they see that all is very shiny with a prominent odour of fresh paint...
    Then they begin to itch - from the cheaply recovered, century old horsehair cushions;
    The curtain creaks open to reveal the screen and the show begins.
    The users hear loud sounds of rain upon the roof...and start to feel dirty roof water dripping in from the leaky roof;
    The screen suddenly goes all blue, saying something about 'STOP - ERROR_MOD_NOT_FOUND (0x7E)
    After waiting a time to see if the show resumes - and it does not - the users leave.
    On the way out they are accosted by theatre reps offering an 'upgrade' to the next showing for ONLY $29.99.
    (Some actually go for that offer, only to find that their wallets have somehow mysteriously vanished...)

    The users are out for a stroll, and see the ordinary theatre whose sign invites them in for a totally free show.
    They are greeted warmly by others there before, and help themselves at the free refreshment tables.
    Upon entering, they observe a dated, but clean space with ordinary looking seating.
    When seated, it then becomes obvious that each seat has amazing controls for maximum comfort;
    Given the 5 minutes or so before the show all have enough time with little effort to get very comfortable.
    The show begins, and all those attending find great value in what they've seen there, and take good ideas
    back home with them of use in their lives, also having met others of like mind while at the theatre.

    I had another, totally different and somewhat snide description in mind - but chose to keep that one to myself !!
    (The general themes which come to mind revolve around mindless lemmings being tormented in their mainstream centered lives, vs. mindful folks making wiser choices - but you, dear reader, already knew that.)
  9. TinMan

    TinMan MDL Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    I apologize if I seem to be rude - that is not my intention - but you seem to me as a creature in a cocoon from the Matrix... You know what I mean? And, worst of all, you seem happy to be just there! You and millions of others... So, without any intention to be snug or insulting, maybe you should have a look from a different angle. O.K., so you hate GNU/Linux, I can get that and I can respect that - but why do you have to be such a die-hard M$ fanboy? I have great respect for what Richard Stallman has been doing and saying, especially his philosophy on free software. It might be interesting for you to read some of his writings on the subject. I myself choose to be free. Right now, I am half-way there, because the GNU/Linux distro I'm using currently does not qualify 100% free, but I'll get there! :cool:
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  10. TinMan

    TinMan MDL Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    I can't argue with that. After all, we're all humans, with flaws. But, "paranoia propaganda"? Really? If you could just listen and I mean really listen to what he's been saying, a lot of it makes sense! Don't be so dismissive...
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  11. TinMan

    TinMan MDL Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    #11 TinMan, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
    Oh, I have no delusions that he's on the spot with every word he says or writes! In fact, I believe that he's pushing it with some of his ideas - but still, this doesn't mean that he's completely wrong and should be dismissed - completely! I agree with him when it comes to Google, Facebook, Microsoft... After all, M$ has yet again raised the bar when it comes to spying its users/customers, which finally pushed me over and away from the dark side! So, I am a padawan in GNU/Linux world, but my force will grow stronger each day - and I'm willing to learn!
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  12. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    I simply adore this function:
    [h=2]This message is hidden because Kakihara_ is on your ignore list.[/h]Blessed silence.

    And of course, this may equally apply to myself from time to time:

    "It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. "
    -- Silvan Engel
  13. Superfly

    Superfly MDL Expert

    Jan 12, 2010
    #14 Superfly, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  14. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
    @TinMan :clap::clap:
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  15. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    Found anudder seeming instance of this sort of condescension...at the forum for Sparkylinux.

    I'd asked for assistance in finding any list of what main apps are included in its multiple variants - and got sneered at instead of being helped...boo.

    My reply (in part) to that sneer follows:

    Windows devotees refer to entirely too much activity in the Linux universe dismissively as "Linux Snobbery".

    By this, they indicate that those whom they like to poke at as being "Linux heads" hold themselves above the common man and look down upon him, sneering at his lack of expertise and his general lack of intelligence.

    Trouble is - in many case these others are not too far off in their disdainful descriptions.

    In FAR too many instances anyone looked at by already involved folks as a Linux newbie is openly sneered at (see above) and entreated with discouraging doses of disdain.

    This has the sad effect of putting folks off of Linux explorations and does not in any manner help the growth of the Linux community.
    As explained here, actually:

    As a freelance IT consultant for more than 20 years, as well as one who started using Linux when X was considered to be eXcessive as well as overly esoteric - I witnessed the start of the above nonsense via the 'CLI ONLY' Snobs.

    My goals have not matched any of that silliness - instead I have worked to inspire open mindedness so that former devotees of what I actually refer to with disdain as 'ween-doze' could see for themselves that Linux is NOT scary and that there ARE actually many kind, gentle folks who will help them, rather than sneering at them - AND all the while during those 20+ years I've also been supporting folks, offices and businesses mostly using that 'ween-doze' stuff.

    Yes, 'PackageList.txt' is in the download list there.
    It also is just shy of 2000 lines long with (likely) every single little bitty installed package/module listed - very nice - IF that was what I was asking about - but it ain't - thanks anyhow.
    Sure, I can muddle through it (or in a moment of insanity even edit out at least 1800 lines of what I don't need...).

    Many distros have nice, neat lists of the JUST main apps contained in their variants posted with each variant that is offered.

    That is what my original query was asking for here, thanks.

    Also worthy of note is that having customised Ubuntu Mate to my exact liking, I actually need this distro, well - not a'tall, BUT:
    It looks interesting, so I thought I'd give it a spin using my 'play' box that I check out different distros on.

    If, however, what I can expect to get in response to forum queries for assistance is criticism and/or open disdain - and funniest of all, getting viewed by folks with less experience than myself as some sort of ignorant newbie...
    Then I guess that is all I need to know before passing this one by in favour of friendlier, better handled choices.

    Thus far lately I've found a number of distros that are total duds by these very same measures:
    And saddest of all=>
    PrathamOS (which would be incredibly terrific -IF- anyone gave it the attentions it looks to deserve...)

    These are explained here also:
    And even more info may be seen here:

    This all reminds me of the sorts of men who INSIST that fuel to air ratio is a hard & fast LAW and that anyone claiming to get over 30 MPG is full of hooey - and these same men will also become openly hostile if/when anyone DARES to challenge their fixed beliefs - all the while driving their 8 cylinder, 3 ton gas guzzlers on the same roads as 50+ MPG little cars.

    Openess & open-mindedness & being open to welcome ANYONE is what has gotten the Linux world to where it is today;
    Neither disdain nor exclusivity is helpful to spreading the happy news that Linux is really very, very good whilst not being ONLY for eggheads.

    In closing here is my hope at this place:
    That this single sample of unhelpful treatment is NOT the way I must expect to be regarded by most other users here.

    T'will be interesting to see what sort of response(s) that may get...?

    Peace Out.
  16. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
    'NIX users (especially myself) are tired of that nonsense. I'm quite efficient at searching; It keeps my questions to a minimum. When I ask a question, it's because I haven't found an answer -anywhere-.

    If you're like me, (a -lot- of people here are) You don't appreciate being 'slapped in the face' for asking.

    So, your frustration is duly noted.

    I have a simple motto which I carry from my real life: Give respect, get respect.

    I find that people who do not share that ideal do not last long here.

    It may sound 'corny' or even silly, but in an international environment, (like MDL) You must always carry yourself as an Ambassador of your respective country.
    At the very least, try to be that person who would be considered to be a good person by your peers.

    On the other side of that, this world, not to mention the Internet, has a bumper crop of a$$holes.

    They're everywhere, so don't forget to wear your 'extra thick skin'. ;)
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  17. ThomasMann

    ThomasMann MDL Expert

    Dec 31, 2015
    That is the way it is... You are a perfect example of what smallhagrid wrote about...
    Not that you will ever understand.
    But many out here do. Suits me just fine.
  18. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
    #19 Michaela Joy, Feb 18, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
    @Palladin: You nailed it. :)

    In all fairness, we need to remember that we are all here because we have a knack for tech stuff.
    Many people do not. I say this as a reminder to everyone that we are intellectuals as far as society is concerned
    ( Yes..we're nerds. :) )

    I see that same phenomena with cars, stereo systems, etc. There are those who could rebuild an engine and there are those who can't even change their own oil or rotate their own tires.

    Windows is great for the average user who can't rebuild an engine. Linux is for the tinkerer who can.

    With only a schematic diagram, I can build a piece of electronics equipment from the ground up. (I design and build guitar pedals and amps as a hobby)

    Although you may be able to do it, I don't expect you to be able to. That would be unfair of me.

    If I insult you because you can't do it, or because you ask me a question about it, then what kind of person does that make me?

    That is the essence of what I see in many Linux forums. And that's what's got smallhagrid upset.

    I don't bother joining those forums, because I'd be the first person to tell someone off, -and- I'd be banned.

    I'd be the bane of the Linux community. :eek:

    We can't judge others by our own capabilities. By doing that we sometimes set the standard too high for them.

    (@Superfly: I cook and bake too, but take-out is very nice from time to time. ;) )
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  19. Superfly

    Superfly MDL Expert

    Jan 12, 2010
    Michaela, I enjoy a night out and take-way on a Friday after a long week as much as the next... the point is do we just trust any sh!t that's thrown at us (and convince ourselves it's good sh!t.. 'cos we're too lazy to think further?) or make the effort to understand what we are doing? ... like those relying on MS to fix stuff (with updates or whatever) that can be fixed one-self with a little bit of insight into the OS.. probably apples and oranges but you know what I mean...
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