Re: This is a Troll!

On Thu, 12 Sep 2002 16:08:31 +0300 (EEST)
Risto Peranen <iamgod cc jyu fi> wrote:

> only way to make linux more popular for common users (IMO). I have 
> programmed many years but still I got answer like RTFM for my > questions.

I think I need to draw a picture here - consider that you have just installed Ubersoft's Nifty Doorways and you encounter a problem getting 
MegaWordSoftPro to work properly. What do you do? Do you contact the programmers directly and expect them to help? No, you phone a help line where you are told how to fix it (for a given value of "fix"). There are two reasons for this - programmers tend to be paid to write programs, not talk to users and this is a good thing because programmers typically have very little patience with users, especially when the users are asking questions that are answered in the manual, faq or other online resources. 

The problem with open source software is that usually the programmers
are the single greatest resource of answers for how to do things: there
may be online support groups, the LDP, help files and more, but the
programmers can give better answers because they wrote the software (or
so the myth goes). Unfortunately open source programmers are usually not
paid, they work in their spare time, and every minute spent answering
the 100,000th copy of "how do I open the find window" is a minuted the
programmer hasn't been coding. Which is a waste of time, effort and
abilities. Programmers are programmers, not tech support and when they
have to play tech support they are wasting their abilities. After a
while, this can become rather trying for even the most patient of souls.
The key concept here is that programmers are not the best resource for
help, they should be the very last resort - unfortunately a lot of users
subscribe to -devel lists in the mistaken belief that it will be
populated by developers simply falling over themselves to help out the

They aren't. 

There are many support lists out there - usually two or three official ones for major projects as well as innumerable generic support lists like linux yahoogroups com and linux-newbies yahoogroups com where users can get answers from other users. But even there questions have to be sorted by priority because there is still no paid up tech support team - people on these lists are giving their own time to help you. If a question has already been answered, if a question is a FAQ or answered in the manual it is a lot better to tell people to use the resources they already have because then the free time that is being given can be directed at answering more complex, obscure problems. 

The solution is simple - pay for technical support. If there isn't 
tech support either a) quit whining because any help you do get will be free, and you get what you pay for or b) set up a tech support company
and employ experts to answer people's questions.


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