Re: 1) Identifying AS version? & 2) Gnome and AS?

Andrew Sullivan (
Thu, 29 Apr 1999 19:13:46 -0400 (EDT)

I can see by the length of my INBOX entries that this one has been chewed
over to death, so I'll be brief.  But I think a couple of things deserve
comment here.

On Tue, 27 Apr 1999, Ron McConn wrote:

[skipping over largely irrelevant and, in any case, _ad hominem_

> Not
> everyone who uses Linux knows immeadiately how to configure/install all the
> nuances of the system nor do all of us have time to just sit in front of
> our boxes reading and rereading documentation.  I have a life beyond the
> computer and my family still claims I spend to much time in front of it as
> is.

I have a simple response here, and that is: too bad.  I am working --
painfully slowly, I grant, but nevertheless -- on some "new user" docs for
AS, and when they are even close to complete, I'll make them available. 
But the FAQ (dated as it is) plus the (marvellously complete) man pages
are a tremendous resource.  If you don't have time to learn how to use
your tools, then _don't use them_.  Linux is a powerful tool, and the
learning curve _is_ tremendous.  If you don't have time to do it, well,
nobody cares.  That's the point, after all -- choice!  Or, you can pay
someone to hold your hand and help you out.  But if you want the magical
free giveaway genies to come to your house and fix problems in the night,
without your doing any work, well, sorry.  It's free speech, remember?
You have to fight for that!

> I followed the instructions and I searched through all of
> the documentation BEFORE I decided to email this forum. 

But, as David Mihm nicely pointed out, you offered no evidence that you
_had_ read (or, perhaps, understood) the docs.  And if you'd paid
attention to the documentation you read, you would have noticed a long
disquisition (written by me) about how you ought to report _details_ of
your problems.  A report of "it's broken" is, to be blunt, worse than
useless -- it takes up everybody's time, and gets nothing done.

> However, I like learning new things and I like Linux/AfterStep. 

It's this line, actually, that inspired me to write.  Because, you see,
the other comments suggest that learning new things is only interesting to
you if it causes you no difficulty.  Sorry, but that's not on.  If you
like to learn things, good -- but you'll have to do some work.  For Linux,
at the moment, a lot of work.  I don't think that's a liability.  If the
truth of that causes Red Hat's IPO to be valued lower, my heart's not
broken.  And, more to the point, if that means that you decide that Linux
just isn't worth your trouble, and you want to use Win95 instead, then I
have to break the news to you: we don't care.  We'll help you, if you're
willing to make the effort.  But if you're only willing to tell us about
how you are too busy to read the documentation, then we're not interested.


Andrew Sullivan | (home)| (work)
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AfterStep FAQ: or