Re: Another try to get a response

Dear all,

Andreas J. Guelzow wrote:
On Tue, 2008-11-18 at 14:07 -0800, John Leonard wrote:

I am inclined to agree with you on this issue. The problem as I see it
is that the open source community consists of a lot of fantastically
clever programmers, but few designers and even fewer technical authors
who can put together decent documentation (especially in several
different languages).
Worse, it is considered a rite of passage to have to trawl through
hosts of poorly designed websites, post to forums for answers that you
don't understand when you get them, and to learn the terminology
before you can get going. This is fine if you are technically
inclined, not so good if you are the average Joe whio is just trying
to get a job done.

There is a large business community that is happy to help you with your
MS Windows problems for a fee. The size of that community and the very
visible advertising for it clearly indicates (to me at least) that there
are lots of problem even with non-open source programs.

So if "average Joe" has a problem with an open source program, why
doesn't he hire somebody to talk them through those installation or
other problems. I am pretty sure that you could find somebody
knowledgable for the appropriate fee.

I recently came to see Linux phased out as a webserver from an otherwise open-source friendly business (and by the way Netcraft shows a similar trend), because:
- the cost of MS Windows Server 2003 is ~ $ 800
- the price of a good Linux administrator is > $2.000/month even in my less-developed country - most people know how to boot windows and how to log on to windows, what is the proportion that knows this on Linux? [This fact is relevant, because we employ customer support, and those people are likely to be available over the clock, so they are onsite when a server problem occurs. Having to pay a Linux-expert beyond the customer support team, which is available over the clock, is a complete waste of money.] - I had to allocate 3 persons for 1 week to install Firefox 3.0 on an older Ubuntu, and the persons had some knowledge of Linux (albeit non-experts in Linux, but they were all web-experts; sorry, but technologies have shifted)

Until open-source learns to come a quantum leap forward with user-friendliness, I do see dire with open-source. There are exceptions. But there is still a long path to go, and especially for Linux and some other programs running on Linux.



There are lots of volunteers that work on open source software which
benefits many people. Each of them obviously has a reason to do so but
none of them is required to help "average Joe" just because "average
Joe" would like it.

If you feel that a web site needs improving then you should provide an
improved page (note that I am not saying that you need be able to write
one, you could hire somebody to do so and then offer the page to the


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