Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (6210 mails)

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How to answer questions was Re: [SLE] Watching DVD on SuSE 10
  • From: R Goodwin <rgoodwin1@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 15:19:41 -0400
  • Message-id: <1129490382.8235.23.camel@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On Sun, 2005-10-16 at 14:07 -0400, Andy Choens wrote:
> >
> >
> > It's not only a matter of money rather than licensing and restrictions
> > on both sides. For example, for software to be GPL compliant it may
> > not contain proprietary closed source and vice versa. Redistribution
> > would then be either prohibited or the closed source must be opened.
> > You see the problem? It's some kind of deadlock and it's not going to
> > change soon; sadly, it's getting worse.
> >
> > \Steve
> >
> >
> Before I begin my reply I want to apologize to Steve for emailing him
> directly. Wrong button on gmail. Sorry!
> This is one of the most important problems facing "Desktop Linux" today.
> When we (the people on this list) go out and buy/download SUSE/etc. and it
> doesn't play DVD's, we are capable of following the directions here and
> installing what is needed. People on these lists know you are supposed to
> read the archives, and probably have the archives on their hard drive/gmail
> account for easy searching. But, if my Dad were to download SUSE and then
> get told (as happened on this thread) to stop complaining, etc. about the
> lack to DVD capability, win32 codecs, etc. he would throw SUSE out the
> window and be back on Windows before you could blink. His feelings wouldn't
> be hurt...since he cares less about your opinions than you suppose, but he
> does want to be able to FULLY use his computer.
> I believe it is time for groups like OSDL, Novell, Red Hat, etc. to start
> really working towards a solution for multimedia on Linux. Otherwise, yes,
> on the modern internet you are running crippleware. It's even more
> frustrating on 64-bit Linux, but tha's another story. Everyone who has said
> that the problem is a legal one and not a technical problem are of course
> 100% correct. Thus, someone needs to step forward and take responsibility
> for fixing that legal hurdle. This is not a minor hurdle. I don't know very
> many non-geeks who would put up with having to jerry-rig their computers to
> lay a DVD. True, Windows doesn't come with this capability, but when someone
> buys a computer, the computer DOES come with this capability, which is
> interpreted as Windows coming with the capability. Truth is often less
> important than perception in the minds of the decision maker.
> I think it is VERY important that people on lists like this NOT attack
> someone who asks this type of question. They should in fact be helped. If
> they didn't know to read the archives or already know the answer to that
> question, they wouldn't have asked it. If these types of questions annoy
> you, I have a suggestion. Don't answer them, let someone else who is in a
> better mood.
> Sincerely,
> --andy

You are absolutely correct.

It would be a great help if everybody who writes an answer would read
what they wrote from a newbie perspective before sending it. If it is
offensive then don't send it. People who can't answer from a
non-technical newbie perspective may not be the right people to help
out. This says nothing about one's technical abilities. Not answering
every question you can is not a bad thing. Sometimes others can
articulate a solution better ... THAT is a good thing. THAT is the
helpful thing.

There is a famous "paper" providing guidelines as to how to ask a
question ( The fact
that it is like 40+ printed pages says to me it is no longer oriented
towards the non-technical people we wish to have in our community.

I am collating thoughts on a counter paper on how to ANSWER questions.
If you have constructive inputs, please, drop me a line off the list. I
will post what I write when it is ready.


PGP/GPG Fingerprint: 8BF9 990D 8853 5CD8 AB44 8F48 7BC8 5D4B 1B25 7AEC found at

Inspite of the high cost of living,

It is still very popular.

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