A bit of ranting about Ubuntu.com

Quim Gil qgil at desdeamericaconamor.org
Mon Feb 6 18:29:05 GMT 2006

"Getting started" is useful when you get started. However, you don't
think that "Getting started" will be useful to you when you are using
Ubuntu for a year and you need help/support/documentation.

Microsoft call it http://support.microsoft.com/ . Apple call it
http://www.apple.com/support/ . IBM call it http://www.ibm.com/support/
. Nokia also call it support (
http://www.nokia.co.uk/nokia/0,,18122,00.html ). There are a lot of free
self-support services in these pages, also paid service if you prefer a
pofessional takes care of you. This is the usual offer for support
services everywhere, from car rentals to travel agents. Even in many
free software projects it works like this.

Maybe KDE does this thing or free software has been doing that for ages,
or you subscribed to this list use to do that other thing... but most
users looking for support don't know it. We need to think in the
mainstream users if we want to reach the mainstream with Ubuntu.

> It's there now and people can't find it.

How you know? I'd say people arriving to the Ubuntu homepage looking for
help/support will click there but this is not the problem. Remember, it
was not people but Google who can't find it, or presents it on lower
positions giving priority to the unnofficial sources.

More could be said about http://www.ubuntu.com/support . Without getting
in deeper analysis , the first option shown is "Support Options" (what
are the other options in the page then?). If you click it the first
option is "Free Technical Support". If you click it the first option is
"help.ubuntu.com". If you click it you end up in a page where the
original interface is lost (no more tabs) and the first links direct you
to doc.ubuntu.com and https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UserDocumentation - then
you have "Documentation", which was the second option at
http://www.ubuntu.com/support ...

It's a bit of an Alice in Wonderland experience if you a) are in trouble
and b) are not familiar with the site, nor with free software projects
habits and lingo-bingo ("docs", "wiki"...)

In the meantime, "just Google" will send you to one of those unnoficial
FAQs in one page or to a thread in a forum, not necessarely in
ubuntuforums. It's not a supposition. It's what happens to me regularly.

En/na Shawn McMahon ha escrit:
> On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 02:10:08PM +0100, Carsten Lange said:
>>And you won't click on "Support" because you think you have to pay. And  
>>you won't click on "Help" because you think help is for beginners. In  
>>GNU/Linux world we often find "FAQ and HOWTOs". I always click there.
> Perhaps change "Support" to "Support (free!)"?

Quim Gil - http://desdeamericaconamor.org
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