Good points too, oldcpu. My comments:

We are not interested in seeing Linux world domination, as opposed to the "just work" users who often seem to use that as their prevailing argument (ie if Linux wants wider acceptance, it need to "just work"). Eliteness? No. Definitely NO.


Well, that's a fact, not users' opinions. The way for Linux to gain wider acceptance is "regular users" not being annoyed by it. It stems from the simple fact that the vast majority of PC users are technically clueless and will remain that way, whether we want them or not.

Now, you may feel that wider acceptance is not a goal that Linux should aim for. That it's an OS exclusively (or mostly) for the innards-divers and the hackers amongst. And as with any opinion, you are entitled to have and defend. But my opinion is that it's an elitist opinion; it smacks a bit of the "chosen few" who are able to hack it. I feel open source is for everyone, as e.g. science is, and that everyone is able to (and should!) benefit from it even if they don't possess a natural curiosity or understanding. Knowledge wants to be free, and it wants to benefit all of mankind, not only the smartest among us.


Reference the moral obligation to listening respectfully to users' concerns, however poorly specified? Yes, in general. But listen to insults? How far? ... I think many of those responding on this thread were insulted by the first post, and they responded in kind.

OK, I read again the original post to look for the insulting parts. I have to say I didn't find anything insulting per se, other than the liberal use of the f-bomb. The guy was clearly angry and frustrated, but didn't call linux a POS for example; he even indicated many times that it's superior to what he's used to. He did speak angrily about the stuff that upset him, such as permissions problems; again, imho that's a limitation of the user interface and not of his ability. Give the guy a break, we've all been noobs and we've also been raging mad at stuff we still don't understand very well yet. And re: "each user expressing frustration via insults has their view", well in truth I didn't see it in the OP's rant. I may have missed something, but I just don't see what is so insulting. Maybe it's the tone, and I'll give you guys that, but no respect lines were crossed I think.

One thing I do agree with most here is that this user, as others we've doubtless encountered, doesn't seem to be interested in learning how linux works. And that can be irritating too, because how can someone dare to use something when they're not the bit interested in at least gaining a cursory knowledge of the thing they're using?

My point is that I think that irritation (the one we feel when someone shows no curiosity or interest) is a bit self-righteous. Not everyone is like us, you know. Nor are they obligated to be. Most end-users only want to turn on their PC and surf the web and work on their documents, maybe even play a little or listen to some music. If stuff doesn't work they don't want to have to fix it. And just because they didn't pay a penny for the software doesn't mean they have to be happy with what they got. Think of the guy(s) who developed XMMS, for instance. Would he want people to have to jump through hoops to use the software he wrote and lovingly gave away for all to use? I think he'd want folks to just be able to listen to their music. If hoops have to be jumped, that's a limitation of our software (ours, as in the OS community) and not of the users.

And Chrysantine, it's hard to read your comments without becoming inflamed. I was called out by an admin for my first post. In any case your tone is patently offensive, and I have to say that it was your arrogance that motivated my signing up. You're probably trolling; I mean, faux-apologizing for irritating someone is clearly a provocation. In any case I'll bite and will respond to one thing: you said you're not morally obligated to "do jack". That's where I'll disagree: all of us are morally obligated to show respect and support to our fellow human beings, even if they're not like us or share our views. And that's what's at the core of our disagreement. I feel all of us are obligated to show empathy, I believe in respect and a moral code, and I can only hope you do too.