Trying to help Ubuntu
I think I have been asked how help should work on a leading distribution like Ubuntu.
Well, I'm glad you asked because I have a few opinions.
I have helped family and friends onto Ubuntu. I have helped collegues at work who don't know the first thing about Linux onto Ubuntu. I've also actively sought help myself for many many years on a whole bunch of problems that I've encountered whilst using Debian & Ubuntu.
Let me start with what I don't like about Ubuntu regarding finding help.
- https://help.ubuntu.com/ -- different versions of help for different version of Ubuntu? Wrong.
- -docs packages. I hate that. It's a waste of space. Sorry, assume you have Internet.
- GNU info pages -- a lot of GNU stuff is stupid. I would purge these or get them into man pages.
- Work closer with magazines and LUGs
- Use cases don't address step-by-step user experience for brain numbing regular tasks, like posting a picture online
- Gnome help -- ffs don't get me started
- Openoffice help -- ffs don't get me started
- Failure for Ubuntu to focus on the browser -- next they will be wondering why Chromium OS is far more popular "Linux Desktop"
- Launchpad. For every user, it should be painless to file a bug. A bug with a bounty. And if bugs don't get closed soon something is seriously wrong with the process.
- I think sharing desktop works, but I never had it working from my Debian or Arch machine on a friends machine. Why? You tell me.
- Having to type the users password every 10ms.
- The update process is a PITA.
- Wiki is too slow. Web applications by Canonical just suck imho. Use PHP and just make it FAST, ok?
- Noise and other spam I see on the forums
What I do like:
- the Web browser
- http://manpages.debian.net -- could be miles better. manpages need to come onto the Web in a better way
- IRC -- bit geeky
- an OS being slightly exclusive -- I'm sorry I do not want be in a community with complete morons who can't think or type
- stackoverflow & superuser -- excellent Web applications for learning
- LUGs and local mailing lists -- a bit geeky, but hellava important
- Searching with Google -- people must learn how to copy and paste in an error message
- chatting to friends -- people need to be introduced to Ubuntu, so it must painless to connect with them. I personally use Gmail.com's Gtalk to chat to my newbie friends.
- Getting a formal education in how to use a unix computer and how to ask questions or open bugs
- Arch wiki
- Keeping things simple. Avoid buggy CRAPWARE like Gnome
- Having things work in the first place. I.e. doing a TON of testing
- Less is more -- don't support crap software
- The terminal -- do not be scared
- Use the power of the Web. I really like the rich useful comments on the PHP site