[Slightly OT] Re: Ranter or evangelist?

gilpel at altern.org gilpel at altern.org
Sun Jul 26 23:04:43 UTC 2009

> On 07/26/2009 12:28 PM, gilpel at altern.org wrote:
>> If bugzilla had any effect don't you think that users would stop doing
>> "let's see if this other application works" dance all the time? My
>> is bugzilla works only for kernel developers.
> Your feeling is wrong since bugzilla is hardly used by kernel
> developers.

They use git, which is not really a bugzilla, but bugs do get fixed before

> If you refuse to file bug reports, what is point of
> ranting? It is reaching nowhere.
>> You mean Radio-Canada is a specific instance? Maybe, after years of not
working, the specific instance should be looked after?
>> Please, check the specific instance.
> I can't read it.

I must confess that before writing this, I went to Société Radio-Canada
(SRC) and couldn't read it either. It went to see a feature, came back and
it worked. It's the first time this happened. Maybe they had a server
problem, maybe mplayer is still shaky... or they must see me coming before
things work :)

> They don't seem to supply a WMV file directly instead
> providing some javascript based tricks. There are many instances like
these which are the fault of web developers relying on IE specific things.
Blaming a media player doesn't seem right.

You are absolutely right. THE problem is the SRC using the WMV format and
Microsoft servers with all their shenanigans.

OTOH, people who come from the windows world don't care about this: they
want to watch the state television, no matter what. And MPlayer does it!

Not only does it do it but, formerly, you had to use media player
connectivity to read the video, click this and that and edit urls, etc.
Now, you just click the feature and it plays.

It seems contradictory but, if you want people to get aware of what
proprietary formats really mean, you first have to provide them means of
reading them... and joining the Linux crowd. (Marketshare, again!)

If I go to bugzilla to say there's a bug with Totem, I'll receive exactly
the answer you gave me. Is it the place on bugzilla to have the discussion
we're having now? Is bugzilla a place to create awareness?

If I was a developer and identified a security problem, I'm sure I would
receive a lot of attention but, if I say that, for years, "New file" has
been entering the clip everytime I create a new file in GNOME, I'll be
bashed by loudtalkers just like here.

Developers know the problem and don't want anybody playing Steve Jobs to
remind them. Steve Jobs can kick his developers ass, but I can't.

So what's the use of going to bugzilla for a non-developer? Bugzilla is a
closed club where only developers are listened to... when they report bugs
that present a challenge to developers.

I'm no different than most destkop users: if something doesn't work --
Totem, Brasero, whatever -- I switch to a software that clears bugs that
hinder user experience.

There's not other choice. As often happens in the Linux world, your POV is
not reality, it's rhetoric.

Same goes for RTFM on the net. When you can already figure out the
solution, finding the keywords and evaluating the value of the answers is
easy. When you can't, it's a nightmare.

I already noted that I advised the aministrator of the fedorafaq that his
instructions on using NVIDIA drivers were incomplete and gave him the
reference to rpmfusion's way. That's pretty much like filing a bug report,

What's the result? No change whatsoever. As we speak people still go there
to read instruction that won't enable the NVIDIA driver. Everywhere on the
net they'll find instructions suggesting that they install akmod-nvidia,
since it will recompile -- or whatever -- every new kernel that comes in.

I'm afraid this might be tricky. I believe newbies should leave the people
at rpmfusion do the job but, at the places were you read this nowhere will
you find "Not suggested for newbies".

Instructions for installing Fedora should be provided on an https server
on one page and be no longer than the equivalent of 5 8½ x 11 pages:

Here's where you can download Fedora from.
Here's an exe that will check the validity of your download.
Here's how to burn a bootable CD.

Problems would be solved on another page.

Compare to:


It's a frickin' mess that numbs your mind getting from one page of no-info
to another.

Anyways, I must have supper now but, believe me, it's absolutely
irresponsible to pretend that the reason Microsoft has its market share is
only because of the dirty tricks they play. Linux has its responsibilities
too. The needs of simple users are hardly ever considered.

I wished this discussion could end here but, everywhere, it goes on for
ever, Linux for the desktop is always for next year and it never happens.

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