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Re: Integration of new users

From: Anders Breindahl
Subject: Re: Integration of new users
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 23:50:29 +0200
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On Monday 08 August 2005 16:49, Anders Breindahl wrote:
> Hello,
> I was just starting to reply to the post of ``Fraser'' on bug-hurd. He, as
> many before him, offer his services to an almost alarming extent: He offers
> to (re)learn to program in order to help the project.
> This sort of postings are typically taken very inserious, and sometimes
> even ignored completely. Beside the rudeness of such, I can't imagine that
> we can't be used for anything.
> This leads me to ask (again): How are users of GNU going to be integrated?
> I might be completely lost, but trawling through the web hasn't been
> beneficial for me to move on past the installation and basic setup.
> The documentation ends at the point where the user has a partly-working and
> user-interactionly bugged system. I hope that there is potential for
> getting more to work (like the screenshots of KDE or GNOME promises), but
> that is besides the point: The non-native-hacker users are left in the
> complete dark, as far as I can see it.
> Am I missing something, or is there a general lack of documentation and/or
> means of interacting with the users? If so, please provide some information
> so the not-so-hackerish-users may contribute, too. Hell, I don't even know
> how to file a bug report -- nor what to report.
> Please spare a minute to comment, and excuse my irritation: I have
> developed strong feelings for this project. :)
> Regards, Anders

I mean to point out:
- The users of the premature GNU system are too much on their own
- There seems to be too little flow of information and help downwards
- No official documentation exist, nor any central entrypoints

I would really prefer that the developers could either admit that I am correct 
on this critique or -- preferably -- argue why I am wrong.

Assuming that the critique is justified: What is to be done?
I would personally love to maintain an official wiki, if somebody could fill 
in the holes of my knowledge. I would also happily file bugs or even headdive 
into kernel debugging -- I just need to have my will to contribute 
appreciated, and pointed in the right direction.

And I don't think I am completely alone on these thoughts:
- Many users of free software are daily suffering from their unwillingness to 
install e.g. proprietary display drivers or animation runtimes -- these 
people are probably willing to give their effort for the completion of GNU, 
- In fact, people are regularly volunteering for various tasks. If people go 
to the extent of sharing themselves to the mailing list -- they are most 
probable willing to sacrifice time and effort.

People volunteering in mailing lists should IMHO never be *ignored*.
So please: Share your thoughts.
Regards, Anders Breindahl.

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