No, it is not. The world is full of people that don't know the tool, refuse to learn the tool, and blame the tool for those shortcomings. .

@sullybiker Agreed. Not everything has to be for everybody. We've already went through that for the past 20 years or so, and after two botched Windows releases and planned obsolescence of hardware by the current release, it still won't matter to those particular users.

@claudiom I'm all for making things better, but also that includes educating the end user, which is critical.

@sullybiker Absolutely. I mean, even your run of the mill Windows user or Mac user doesn't educate themselves enough to know how to resolve a problem, so why is the focus on Linux for these same things such a big deal?

@claudiom The saying that Linux and BSD let you do very stupid things in order to also be able to do very clever things is absolutely true. It's freedom, but the cost is eternal *vigilance.

*Constant education

@sullybiker Basically, "with great power comes great responsibility."

@claudiom @sullybiker Confession: I'm not going to read the article, but I can surmise what its saying.
In my opinion, there needs to be one Linux distro that is universally recognized as the "never-will-be-used-by-a-technical-user" distro.

ChromeOS stands behind their software but if you root it (there's a Google-advertised process for that) they say all bets are off. That's a good model.

Similarly, if you drop to the terminal, all bets are off.

Otherwise, the details of how software is installed and maintained (ie, traditional install, snap, flatpack) should be transparent to the end-user.

@fikran Actually, it recommends that all mainstream distributions implement failsafes(?) for end users that can't be bothered to read the fine manual or even a short warning. The warnings were transparent to the user, but a "proceed at your own risk" is available in an oddball event the user wants to do that.

Problem is that *some* mainstream distros are geared to those who are more technical (Arch, Slackware, etc.) and don't need such handholding bloat or limitations.


@claudiom @sullybiker I can see myself screwing up my machine nowadays. I have been a Chromebook-only guy for a while I can see myself not reading the fine print and breaking something when I jump to Manjaro or OpenBSD on this lappy...

@fikran I actually did this with my PinePhone when I changed repo trees in the sources.list file. It still works, but I need to redo it. And that's fine, because I'm just tinkering with this device! However, I wouldn't do anything dangerous on my Fedora laptop which I use daily. Same with my OpenBSD laptops. If something were to go wrong, at least I have stuff backed up. Problem is even if you make it easy for the end user, they don't back up before things go wrong. @sullybiker

@fikran The point is educating the user, as @sullybiker said. Otherwise, you're just treating the symptom and not curing the problem itself.

@claudiom @sullybiker I don't agree with that, respectfully. The software should conform to the user, not vice versa.

@fikran If we were to conform to the user in terms of driving, I'd be afraid to go outside! We take driving lessons to understand how to drive a vehicle and what the traffic laws are. It should be the same with computing. You have to meet half-way IMO. It can't be either of the extremes. @sullybiker @stsp

@claudiom @sullybiker @stsp Right! I wouldn't go to an extreme...but I'm just saying, I would err on the side of "fixing" issues done by a large number of users. Assume as little knowledge as possible and zero command linery ever.

@fikran @stsp @claudiom As a slight tangent, MS took this philosophy for years, trying to diminish the CLI as much as possible, until finally realising it's not a terrible thing and going the other direction with Server Core and Powershell, both of which were very positive steps.

@fikran @stsp @claudiom I am not keen on the philosophy that the CLI is inherently arcane or difficult; it is merely something to be learned. Anyone can do it, even me!

@sullybiker @stsp @claudiom It can be overwhelming. I remember when I switched from Windows to Linux for the first time and had to run an `rpm` command on Mandrake. I thought it was very, I took an interest in it, so that's different. But most people will stop at "complicated".

I think Macs are a good example - you have a full-fledged Unix system at your disposal, but you can also run high-level entirely.

"I think Macs are a good example - you have a full-fledged Unix system at your disposal, but you can also run high-level entirely."

AND YET, ....

I've seen macOS back since the Mac OS X name where Finder would just act up and the only way to resolve it was getting in that hacker mindset and diving into the Terminal. Not something the average user will do of course.

@stsp @sullybiker

@claudiom @stsp @sullybiker

Have you ever taught programming? People get - and – mixed up, “ vs ‘ vs `, / and \, etc. And they get genuinely stuck and give up. This isn’t to blame people, its that human brains are literally wired differently and stuff others can do people like you and I cannot and vice versa except with a high degree of difficulty. I’ll put it this way: It all comes down to failure tolerance. For my phone, I have a near zero level of tolerance. I want it to work and do not want to debug it - ever. There are even problems I probably could fix that I just gave up on (my keyboard spacebar is slightly off). With my computer, I have a very high level of tolerance (though ever since my kid, that’s changed). If stuff doesn’t work or crashes or I need to do manual maintenance, I will not mind that. Its kinda fun. I suspect that the vast majority of humanity have very low levels of tolerance. This would explain why the most the most successful Linux deployments in the world do not even have terminals: ChromeOS and Android. (They also come pre-Installed at stores). If my suspicion is correct, then whatever optimal distribution should be extremely simple to use, install software on, upgrade, does no demand console usage. There already is at least one good candidate that comes to mind: ElementaryOS. I haven’t really used Pop_OS much, but they seem solve the right problems too: pre-installed, clean interface that does not demand console usage and hardware support. What’s currently (hopefully not forever) lacking is being sold in stores.

@claudiom @stsp @sullybiker There are literally thousands of Linux Help sites. I can use them just fine but most people still have trouble. This shows that the issue isn't help, its the end-user. But until we can rewire a generation, software should step up to the plate and be so user friendly/easy that breaking things becomes a challenge.

That means having a LOT of testing and warning users before letting them break two cents.

@fikran @stsp @claudiom Some of the help sites form part of the issue, In that they encourage what I call administration-via-copypasta. For example the liberal use of sudo, to the extent the user does not understand in this context it's basically 'do this as root' and thus they do not understand the risk level.


@fikran @stsp @claudiom It didn't help that after Vista, MS reduced the warning level of UAC down to a simple click, rather than a password because it was annoying. The password is a very good prompt you're doing something significant, though.

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