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  1. #1
    Just Joined! TheMayhem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Warm welcomming of newcomers


    I just want to give this feedback to the forum administrators in an open forum for all to see. This forum deserve all praise for its way of warm and friendly welcoming newcomers to the forum and/or linux! I have never seen anything like it! It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over... ok, ok, a tad bit of irony.

    I am a frequent user of many forum and have tinkered with Linux on and off. I finally decided to do more than just tinker and where to go if not a large and well populated linux forum to find some help?

    I have in all my time never seen the likes of what I was met by. But from what I can tell I am not the first one.

    I am referring to my post here.

    As you see the reply is simply Please take a look at the link in my signature. It will get you started and help you decide what is the best fit for you..

    I felt like walking into a brick wall... or one of those stores where you see the owner looking at you and going "oh man, now I actually have to do some work".

    Sure, the links are good for a complete newbie, but honestly, we all know distrowatch is not the most well organized site for a newbie to make sense of.

    The linked post doesn't really add to the feeling of being welcomed either:
    This repitition grows annoying with the length of your forum membership. - e.g. You are annoying and I blame you for all the others before you. (Second bash at my confidence and I have only been at the forum for a few hours).

    do the following (in order) and you won't have to post to ask: - Your are bugging me, stop posting questions, it's not like it's a forum or anything..? oh right, strike three.

    This topic has been covered MANY times. - See, many times, so you must be stupid for asking again. (strike four) And by the way, all those posts have the same answer: It has been covered many times!

    And finally...welcome to Linux and! - I feel really welcome by now.

    Now, on to the ice cream comparison. It simply makes no sense at all. I'm not just asking for the best ice cream, I'm telling you my preference in flavor (as example salty, nothing fruity, perhaps a bit minty). And from that I'm sure any ice cream salesperson could suggest a few flavors I could try that might fit.

    And while we are at it, why not compare it to going in to a car dealer. What dealer would send you packing into the street with the latest issue of "auto-life" saying - Go read, come back when you know which car you want!

    Or someone asking for a nice seafood restaurant. Why not tell them a few good ones you know of AND give them the local restaurant directory instead of simply sending them packing with the directory and saying "come back when you need directions to a specific restaurant".

    I'm sorry if I have offended anyone. It is not my intent to do so, I simply want to point out that the language of your "greeting message" might be a bit harsh, and that you might want to reconsider the "we give no suggestions" approach.

    It's obvious that you can't pinpoint an exact distro. And I agree with you if it was just a simple "give me linux" question. But since I clearly state what pre-requisites I have I think you (knowing linux well I assume) should be able to point me in the right direction by suggesting a couple of distributions that might fit my need? Or ask me for more details and then give some suggestions. Forums are after all used for discussions, not just link suggestions. And I'm not asking for an answer, only suggestions.

    The links are useful, but I've already been there, and what better place to go for more information than to the people who actually know linux?

    On a side note, I also asked about different solutions for firewall, webserver, ftp etc. that still need suggestions. (as well as the distro question). Anyone with suggestions can find a new thread for those questions at

    For reference other locked threads (and there are MANY more:

  2. #2
    Linux User tech_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Already working on something here.
    'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.'
    --Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I would like to respond seeing as how I was the one that locked that thread.

    The sheer volume of "which distro" threads that are started is incredible. Everyday there a few and they begin to pile up if unmanaged. When being asked that question over and over again, the mods, me and the other TP's and all forum members in general grow tired of answering the same question over and over again with the same answers.

    What should be pointed out is that all distro's use the exact same software so what can be done on one can be done on all the others. Each may have their own way of organizing things but they all work the same internally. The differences with each distro will please some and make others run and there is no way for us to tell you what you are going to like. I understand your frustration and I would help but we can't start allowing exceptions to the rule.

    Asking for solutions to different problems regarding firewalls and server software is different because each is setup differently on each distro (as mentioned before). These may require help and this is what we are here for.

    I had no intention of making you feel unwelcome and if I did, I sincerely apologize. I obviously can't speak on behalf of everyone here but I do know that those I know all share the opinion that we are trying to build a community inclusive of everyone. That said, there needs to be rules and guidelines to make sure that everything stays in order.

    Honestly, and this may sound weird now, I do wish you the best of luck with Linux. I won't apologize for locking your thread but I do apologize if I gave you the opinion that you weren't welcome. Everyone here is welcome (except spammers ) to participate and join discussion but some discussions have been covered extensively and need to be controlled.
    Looking for a distro? Look here.
    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
    Queen's University - Arts and Science 2008 (Sociology)
    Registered Linux User #386147.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Hi, TheMayhem

    In most cases, any "which distro?" threads will likely continue to be locked, because they are for the most part, pointless. However, the wording in the "which distro?" thread you refer to above has been changed in an attempt to make it more new member friendly.

    Thanks for the feedback.


  6. #5
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Birmingham - UK
    It's true you know. Those 'which distro' threads become tedious after a while, to the point of being annoying.

    I don't think this has much to do with welcoming new users ... we all try that as best as we can given the limitations of Forums like this.

    The 'which distro is best' debate has no answer, and we aren't a corporation offering a service. Just volunteers giving up our spare time (what little we have) for something we believe in to some degree.

    Hope this makes sense. We're not unfriendly, just doing the best we can with what we have. Distros are incredibly flexible, and if - for example - we both used Debian our experiences would be very different owing to differing hardware, desktop environments, network configurations ...
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  7. #6
    Just Joined! TheMayhem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Thumbs up

    Hi all,

    I appreciate you taking time to respond to my post (and not locking it ). Having past experience from working at a servicedesk I can relate to the tediousness of beeing asked the same easy (or impossible) question over and over again. In this case it shone through a bit too much though.

    Your rework of the "which distro?" thread shows me that you indeed are open to input from visitors. The new wording sounds much more appealing and welcoming.

    I guess I will never make you understand my point of view that a suggestion of a distro or two to a detailed request should be possible. But then again I can't, and shouldn't, impose my way of thinking on you or the forum you have been part of for a long time when I am a mere newcomer.

    Thank you for your answers and taking the time to listen to my feedback!

  8. #7
    Please take a look at the link in my signature. It will get you started and help you decide what is the best fit for you.
    it's always a good place to start. bryan is actually a friend of mine and he's a great guy. i just signed up here, so i can't attest to anyone else, but i can tell you for sure he's a man of good character and will help in whatever way he can.

    edit: to avoid misunderstandings such as these, it may be a good idea to start a policy of using a generic and informative post in the closed thread that is as gentle as possible so that users understand the frequency of these threads and how incredibly annoying they are, without being offended.

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