[Mailman-Users] Non-User Friendly Program

Amanda arandall at auntminnie.com
Mon Jul 9 19:31:18 CEST 2001


In response to your email, I have a few suggestions for you.

1) The first is rude and undignified, so I shall refrain from sharing
it, and try to offer you some tidbits that will actually help you to
understand a few very important points.

2) Insulting the program and/or its users and/or developers is going
to get you a big fat zero. No, actually it will probably get you some
nasty email responses. In fact, I would be willing to bet that you've
already gotten a few. Rules of common courtesy indicate that good
manners are nearly always requisite to getting any assistance you
might request. Paid technical-support personnel will generally deal
with a minimal amount of abuse because ultimately the user of the
product is the one who puts bread on the support person's table. The
amount of abuse they will suffer for that end is still, however,
rather small. The folks who are a part of this mailing list are not
(so far as I am aware) paid to provide support for this product and
therefore have absolutely no incentive to help someone else out,
except for the goodwill and kindness residing in their hearts. That
goodwill has a limit. Bend it too far, and folks are more likely to
tell you to take a flying leap than to offer you any help. It might
help to keep this in mind.

3) Welcome to the Linux world: Documentation, if exists at all, is
minimal, full of technical jargon, sometimes outdated, and (unlike
Windows software; and this is a two-edged sword) assumes that you
actually have a thorough understanding of the operating system under
which this software runs. Frustrating? Yeah, sometimes. The Mailman
docs are better than most. If the stuff you're reading in those
instructions doesn't make any sense to you, then some training is in
order. Pick up a few good books on Linux/UNIX in general, or your
flavor of OS in particular. Take a class at the community college.
Read some tutorials online. Enlist the help of a local friend or
acquaintance who can help you learn to navigate and manipulate your
operating system. Then come back and have another stab at installing
and using the wide range of software available to you. Chances are,
it'll make a lot more sense.

4) If all else fails, remind yourself of this simple fact: You get
what you pay for. The majority of stuff available for download for
UNIX/Linux systems is free. That doesn't mean the software isn't good
(okay, there are some that really suck eggs, just like for any other
operating system) - but it does mean that there's a limit to what you
can expect. Some of the most awesome utilities out there come with
practically no documentation. Trade-off? Perhaps. I personally would
like to see the bar raised on the average level of documentation
provided with Linux-stuff. But at the current time, the Linux world is
still full of propellerheads (myself included) and stuff for Linux is
written accordingly. If you're looking for simple no-brainer software,
Windows and Mac software generally much better fits that description.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...


Alexa-Francesca Karliev wrote:

> Please be kind enought to e-mail me plain english instructions as to
> use your program. Thank you. Alexa-Francesca
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