"Us vs. Them" Attitude

"Us vs. Them" Attitude

Post by Evan DiBias » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



        There is a disturbing trend that I have noticed going around in these
groups. I read COLA, not comp.os.ms-windows.nt.advocacy (COMWNA?), so
obviously I can only comment on what I've seen in COLA. But I think the
scope of this post will fit both groups.
        Both of these groups are about advocacy. That's fine. But we cannot
lose sight of the larger goal of _helping computer users do what they
need to do_ and begin off on tangents, splitting ourselves into
factions. I'm not suggesting that we never have opinions, and state
facts blandly to people who come looking for help. That's not it at all.
Obviously, people are going to have likes and dislikes as to how they
interact with their computer. I prefer the Linux way. Maybe you like the
NT way. This guy over here says MacOS is pretty good. But we all need to
notice one thing about the statements I made.
        Or, I should say, notice what _isn't_ in the statements I just made. I
didn't say, "I think everyone should use Linux." I didn't say your
opinion was, "NT is the be-all end-all OS for everyone, everywhere." The
guy off to the left here isn't telling everyone he meets to use MacOS,
because it's obviously the best OS ever invented. Sound far-fetched? Do
you know anyone who would say such a thing? Here's the deeper question:
Would _you_ say such a thing?
        I think the vast majority of us might, myself included at times. We
tend, because of our "factions," to dismiss everything that isn't "us"
as "them" -- or something to be avoided. Guys, gals, this isn't helping
anyone. It's especially not helping those who need it the most: the
users who come in to all .advocacy forums looking for good, solid
answers that will point them in the right direction.
        The first step is to admit that your OS of choice has flaws. Nobody I
know of has ever seen the perfect OS. There is no operating system here
today that does everything exactly the way you want it, supports all of
your hardware flawlessly, never crashes, is never slow, has a load of
near 0 all the time, is coded without any errors, bugs, or mistakes,
etc. I'll be the first to admit that Linux is not the best choice for
any one genre, any one situation. Maybe it'll make the best server for
me. Maybe it'll be a good desktop for you. What are my needs? What are
your needs?
        There needs to be a fundamental shift in how things go on here, or else
these groups are only going to degenerate into a mass of flaming bits.
Remember, we are here to help people who need to figure out what OS
they're going to run on their computer (if not OSs). Yes, good,
technical arguments are OK. If you want to argue about the design of
something in NT vs. Linux, go ahead. But don't do it to argue. Concede
points that you know you've lost. We can make these newsgroups a great
resource for everyone. It just takes a little effort.

-Evan

 
 
 

"Us vs. Them" Attitude

Post by Erik Funkenbusc » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Quote:> There is a disturbing trend that I have noticed going around in these
> groups.

[...]

Quote:> Both of these groups are about advocacy. That's fine. But we cannot
> lose sight of the larger goal of _helping computer users do what they
> need to do_ and begin off on tangents, splitting ourselves into
> factions. I'm not suggesting that we never have opinions, and state
> facts blandly to people who come looking for help. That's not it at all.

[...]

Quote:> There needs to be a fundamental shift in how things go on here, or else
> these groups are only going to degenerate into a mass of flaming bits.

This is the important piece.

You may not be familiar with the history of .advocacy groups, but they were
created *SPECIFICALLY* as a place in which to flame and make "My os is
better than yours" statements.

The idea was to give people that wanted to make these kinds of arguments a
place to discuss them without bothering typical .misc or whatever groups.
These groups were *NEVER* intended to be a place for actual help or factual
information.  They were *NEVER* intended to "help" people other than as a
drainage ditch to keep these kinds of discussions out of "real" newsgroups.

Quote:> Remember, we are here to help people who need to figure out what OS
> they're going to run on their computer (if not OSs). Yes, good,
> technical arguments are OK. If you want to argue about the design of
> something in NT vs. Linux, go ahead. But don't do it to argue. Concede
> points that you know you've lost. We can make these newsgroups a great
> resource for everyone. It just takes a little effort.

If you try and turn .advocacy newsgroups into "helpful" newsgroups, then you
give the zealots free reign to post wherever they want.  Well, they'll still
do it, but for the most part, people try to stay within the bounds of
.advocacy when being inflamatory.

 
 
 

"Us vs. Them" Attitude

Post by James Moh » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


Erik Funkenbusch schrieb:

Quote:> You may not be familiar with the history of .advocacy groups, but they were
> created *SPECIFICALLY* as a place in which to flame and make "My os is
> better than yours" statements.

While I cannot say that COLA was *SPECIFICALLY* for Linux zealots to spout their
retoric, I would hope that it is not true. Half-truths and outright lies do
nothing to help "advocate" a particular position when the falseness is easily
identifyable.

While I agree that this is not the place to help users with a specific computer
(i.e. install the WorderWorks video card), it *is* the place to help them
understand and appreciate your particular choice. I see so many flames against
Linux simply because the poster does not know Linux (a la "Linux has no GUI
configuration tools."). I also see the reverse where people make blanket
statements about NT that are not true (a la "NT **always** crashes). This starts
the flame wars and does not help anyone. (Other than those who have nother
better to do than flame.)

Despite my love for Linux, the current reality is that it is not **yet** for
everyone. By pissing off Windows users, I turn them into an advocate
specifically **against** Linux. However, by keeping to the facts, I can at least
bring them to the point where they might say "Hmmmm, that Linux may be worth a
look."

Regards,

jimmo
---------------------------------------
"Science has promised man power...But, as so often happens when people are
seduced by promises of power, the price is servitude and impotence.  Power is
nothing if it is not the power to choose."
Joseph Weizenbaum of MIT said in reference to Computers.
---------------------------------------
The Great Linux-NT Debate: <http://www.jimmo.com/Debate/intro.html>

 
 
 

"Us vs. Them" Attitude

Post by David Goldstei » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



>         There is a disturbing trend that I have noticed going around in these
> groups. I read COLA, not comp.os.ms-windows.nt.advocacy (COMWNA?), so
> obviously I can only comment on what I've seen in COLA. But I think the
> scope of this post will fit both groups.

  I was going to point out that you practically read the COMWNA group by
default, due to the huge amounts of crossposting that takes place here
by Chad, Jeff, Boris, et al.  Of course, I then saw that you crossposted
this message and can only assume that you were already aware of this ;-/

<snipped>

Quote:> -Evan

David G

PS I removed the crosspost from my response ;-)

 
 
 

1. "umsdos" vs "vfat" vs "looped ext2"

As I slowly convert disk space from Win9x vfat to Linux ext2 (by purging
unneeded Win apps and moving and converting data to equivalent Linux
apps, where they exist), I winding up with lots of free vfat space I
want to make available for use by Linux until I completely empty the
partition and can reformat.

So far my choices are these:

1. Mount the partition as vfat:

This doesn't give me the hard and soft links and permissions Linux uses,
and the naming conventions are slightly different, causing some Linux
apps to break (especially ./configure scripts and Makefiles).  But at
least I do get full access to my Win9x LFNs (Long File Names).

2. Mount the partition as umsdos:

While I get all the goodies Linux likes, I seem to lose Win9x LFNs (or,
at least the documentation doesn't say I get to KEEP them, and they
don't appear in directory listings).  This is a problem when files are
added, renamed or moved by Linux and must then be accessed by Win9x.  Is
it true that umsdos is NOT compatible with vfat, and ONLY with the msdos
filesystem type?  I suspect this is the case, but the documentation
seems to be eerily silent on the issue.  Not even a warning about it.

3. Gather up the free space as one large file (dd it from /dev/zero),
and mount it as a looped ext2 filesystem.

This will maintain the barrier between Linux and Win9x, but presently it
seems not to be possible to resize looped ext2 filesystems, which makes
the continual gathering of free space to be quite a hassle.  The list of
mounts gets huge quickly...

4. Use Partition Magic (or parted?) to move the free space between vfat
and ext2 partitions.

With this method, eventually the vfat partitions would either evaporate
entirely, or would be reduced to their irreducible minimum size (Win9x
apps I *must* keep).  This is not seem entirely practical to me, nor
does it necessarily seem to be an entirely safe thing to do.  Plus I'd
have to reboot every now and then, which would just kill my most
excellent uptime.

I wish I had a one more choice:  "uvfat", a version of umsdos that
understands and manages Win9x LFNs as well as vfat does, and provides
all the filesystem conveniences that umsdos does.  Such a project seemed
to once exist as an alpha-level patch to the 2.0.x kernel back in 1998,
but I have seen no references to it for more recent kernels.  And I
don't even know if it ever left the alpha state.

Does such a beast exist today?  If so, where is the documentation for
it?  I have scanned the entire LDP and Usenet, as well as the Web, and
have uncovered nothing of value so far.  The current source for umsdos
in the 2.2.12 kernel has, as best as I can tell, very little in common
with the vfat code.  Can (or have) the two been merged somewhere?
Anywhere?

Help?  Having something like "uvfat" would really simplify and
accelerate my transition away from Win9x.

Thanks!

-BobC

2. NICs and Interrupts

3. GETSERVBYNAME()????????????????????"""""""""""""

4. Cirrus Logic CL-GD 6410 support for Linux -- anyone got a patch?

5. """"""""My SoundBlast 16 pnp isn't up yet""""""""""""

6. Error when compiling kernel

7. Type "(", ")" and "{", "}" in X...

8. PGX24 Ultra 5

9. "Kernel logical address" vs "Physical address"

10. Caldera "Base" vs "Standard", WABI

11. Unix/linux "installation user" vs MS Windows "installation user".

12. "Open" vs. "Closed" (was Re: Netscape: FREE!)

13. "eth0" vs. "eth0:1"