Monday, September 29, 2008

Raison d'être

How about that title? Sounds like a suitably profound name for a suitably profound blog, ne? Okay, maybe not, but here it is just the same. The average Linux newbie has ZERO clue why he just switched from Vista, or OS X, to this new system that seems to hide untold dangers around every corner. It's a simple enough problem: the user is merely ignorant of the inner workings, and many modern systems have worked hard to keep it this way. The danger, dear readers, is this: imagine a shotgun. Simple, clean, gets the job done when necessary. Now, imagine that same shotgun left aimed and loaded on a stool overlooking hundreds of innocents, or even millions. Imagine a child walks into the room and pulls the trigger without a second thought. A grisly scenario indeed - yet this is what many users are faced with every time they turn on a Linux-based system.

Why is that?

Well, the number one reason, is that there are literally so many ways of "doing things right" in Linux that many users - I'll use a thread regarding the process of getting any given program to work, on Ubuntu Forums - never get the answer they so desperately need. Often, the answer is of the form "wait until the next Service Pack" - an approach that is doing roughly as much good to help Linux as it did Vista. This is completely unacceptable, so this blog exists to chronicle every instance where this happens (or as many as I catch, at any rate).

If worse ever comes to worst, don't read the README. The package authors probably just put it there to screw with you, rather than provide legitimate instructions.

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