Well-intentioned Linux Troll Anatomy

Original author: Ubuntucat
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Linux forums will always be a tidbit for trolls, and now I'll tell you why. Contrary to all orders like “Don't feed the troll!” and "It’s better to ignore such posts" people will continue to answer, because trolls (like all kinds of Linux distributions) are completely mottled. In particular, there are trolls that look quite sincere and passionate, so they are always answered.
If I can’t figure it out, then no one else can for sure ..
Actually, I even believe that such a troll acts out of good intentions, and that is why they answer him. In the end, he doesn’t just stir up empty arguments and laughs in response to all the arguments. Such people have specific problems, therefore, the answers are given with the aim of specifically resolving them.

How it happens

Someone with a large - just incredibly large - experience in Windows, who knows a lot about programming, web development, server administration, remembers all DOS commands by heart, etc. heard from fellow workers about Linux. “Well, it's worth a try! Everyone around is talking about how wonderful he is, and I think I even read an article that Linux is ready for the desktop market ... commercials in 2001. Well, let's see. ”

He takes the usual distribution kit for housewives, for example Ubuntu. Ubuntu did not recognize the resolution of its monitor. This user is used to searching and installing a driver in such situations. But he cannot find a driver. Then he decides to install any programs. And he does it the way he is used to - he searches for them on the Internet, downloads and tries to install it. However, instead of the installation wizard, it receives a README file with an instruction in the form of a sequence of commands ./configure, make, and make install. He is trying to do all this, drawing on past experience with Windows - and he is failing. He also notes that much of what he is used to (and that an ordinary user simply does not need to - for example, find out the IP address of a computer) do not have a graphical interface. After a while, he doesn’t stand it. “I'm a programmer! Even if I can’t understand Linux, how can ordinary people [Mikhalych’s neighbor, grandmother, etc.] can figure this out? I think it's worth telling all these Linuxoids to stop telling Linux tales to housewives. ”

And so he goes to the forum and expresses the above thought, without even realizing that he is far from the first. He does this with good intentions. He wants to help people. And what happens? Instead of exclaiming “Wow! You are the first who tells us this. We had no idea that old-timers of Windows might have problems with Linux. Of course, we should lock ourselves up and develop further before showing Linux to people. ” Linux users are seriously upset. “You do everything as if it were Windows.” The troll does not understand what Linux users are trying to explain to it. “Like in WIndows? On Windows, this is all much simpler. At least I had no problems there. ” And he does not realize how long it took him to learn how to work in Windows, and now, like a foreign language,

Here is the course of his reasoning:
If I have more experience, then it’s easier for me than others. If I find it difficult to deal with Linux, then it will be even more difficult for others.
This is where the fallacy of his logic lies.

Switching to a new operating system is like learning a new language - a different syntax, different vocabulary, even culture is completely different. It may be more difficult for an expert English linguist to learn Chinese than his four-year-old daughter (who, of course, has little sense in languages). Ask the immigrant children themselves how often they have to translate for their parents. Similarly, someone who is very used to working with Windows will have a hard time adapting to Linux. Most ordinary users (not programmers) will not have to run the ./configure, make and make install commands and resolve the dependencies. All they have to do is a couple of mouse clicks in the Synaptic package manager and all the programs they need will be downloaded and installed, including all the dependencies. To "ordinary" users, who know little about computers do not have to relearn. Maybe they’re already used to how to do something on Windows, but in fact they’re just used to seeing the icons and clicking on them.

Well-intentioned trolls act on the assumption that Linux should be a system for everyone. But Linux is not like that. And Windows is not like that. Like OS X. Contrary to what some companies make you believe, there is no operating system for everyone. Moreover, from the point of view of some Linux purists, this means that Linux is not for the faint of heart. Such, in case of a problem, they are sent to read the user manual. Such users have been familiar with Linux for too long and are confident that Linux should not try to cater to newbies. If a new user likes Linux, great. If not, let them fail. Others, like myself, believe that some distributions should be more user-friendly (which in many cases happens), however, this does not mean that Linux is for everyone. He is for those whose mind is open to the new and those who have some computer skills. For example, if you use programs available only for Windows, a big fan of new products in the gaming industry and you have a win-modem, then Linux is clearly not for you. However, if you, like most users, need a computer only for what I call the “six elements”(“Basic six” - ext. “Big six”, approx. Per.) , Then Linux you will like:
  1. View mail and instant messaging
  2. Web browsing
  3. Organization of a photo collection
  4. Listening to music
  5. Work with text
  6. Simple toys (Tetris, Solitaire, etc.)
The last misconception of such trolls is that the Linux distribution is Linux itself. They try one distribution and believe that everyone else is exactly the same. Then they begin to make “assumptions” about how much Linux should be “refined” for Windows users, not knowing that many of the “problems” have already been fixed. I saw how such trolls complained that too many programs were installed to solve the same problems (solution: Ubuntu - one program for each task), or that incomprehensible text is visible when loading, instead of a splash screen (solution: Mepis, Mandriva, and almost any user-friendly distribution), or that it’s too difficult to install themes (solution: Gnome), or that you need a distribution that copies Windows exactly (solution: Linspire). After all, on Linux, the amazing thing is how different it can be. You can choose a lightweight or overloaded distribution. You can take a distribution kit or one in which everything is automated. You can choose KDE, Gnome, Fluxbox, IceWM or XFCE. You can’t say that “Linux should do this or that” until you try a few basic distributions. And by "try" I did not mean to insert a CD, poke the system for a couple of minutes and give up.

And we are all tired of these arguments like "Linux should be as easy to install as Windows." Windows is not easy to install. And most users do not install Windows at all. Point. And no matter how easy it is to install and configure Linux - people will not begin a massive transition to it until companies start buying more Linux computers until schools start getting more Linux computers to educate their students, and the company also like Dell, they won’t start selling computers with Linux.

Many consider Mac OS X to be the most user-friendly operating system. Well, a longtime Windows user (me), it was pretty hard to use Mac OS X first. I had to get used to a completely different set of hot keys (Cmd-Tab instead of Ctrl-Tab, Cmd +, to open the settings dialog, etc.). I did not know how to install programs by dragging them from some white disk-shaped thing into the application folder. I'm used to installers. I did not know that I needed additional applications to remove noise at boot. I did not understand why clicking on the + sign in the window does not open it. I did not understand why minimized windows are not restored when you focus on them using Cmd-Tab. And this list can be continued for a long time. I was a disappointed user. But I digested it, and now both my wife and I do a great job with everyday tasks in Mac OS X. Similarly, with Linux. I digested it. I accepted Synaptic's package manager and can no longer stand the installers. And that's all after twenty years of communicating with a product from Microsoft and four months with Linux.

By the way, I'm not a programmer. I am not a system administrator or web admin. I am not a graphic designer, game designer or any engineer. I am a regular former English teacher who honestly tried to learn Linux, and now I'm a convert. I am not against Microsoft. I am not against Apple. I am just for Linux and I’m tired of hearing the same “suggestions” again and again.

Well-intentioned trolls should refrain from writing posts. All this has already happened. And I hope that the next time another troll appears, you just give him a link to this post. For example, I will give. Because I was tired every time to write the same refutations to these accusations.

If you really want to help, instead of whining on Linux forums, do something better:
  • Use your programmer knowledge and help develop Linux
  • Report the error on the appropriate distribution / program site
  • Donate money to help Linux developers
Linux distributions are constantly updated and improved, and new Linux users are becoming more and more every day. Linux is not for everyone, but for many.

This is a cross-post translation from my blog , everyone is welcome.

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