How to install Precise without getting screwed?

John Moser john.r.moser at
Sun Apr 8 05:53:04 UTC 2012

On 04/08/2012 01:26 AM, Dane Mutters wrote:
> Michael and others,
> I realize it can be very satisfying to deliver a well-placed rant, but 
> I hope I'm not "out of line" to remind everyone that without 
> moderating our language to be as unoffensive as possible, no web 
> conversation can be very productive.  The issues you've brought up 
> are, of course, quite valid; I only suggest that the conversation 
> avoid inflammatory epithets ("whose stupid idea...", etc.), and that 
> we try to get to the root of whatever problem exists with the help of 
> those who generously donate their time to Ubuntu, rather than ranting 
> at those same people.  I realize that my own language has been pretty 
> blunt, but within the bounds of explaining an issue, I hope I haven't 
> been too offensive.

On the contrary, I found Michael's rant refreshing.  Politically correct 
rants look like a lot of nitpicking over nothing.

"Well, I don't like the idea of moving everything from /usr/bin into 
/bin.  It's just not clean."

"Well, someone broke /run.  Moving /var/run to /run makes no sense."

Ok, so you're getting some push-back, there are rough edges, and people 
are wary of new things.  That's cool, move forward.

"What *@*@* stupid moron came up with this @#*% !?  I swear if it isn't 
one stupid thing it's another, the whole world's gone vacant latched on 
some idiotic trend..."

WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA get behind something!  Perhaps this is a good 
indicator that you should stop and consider what "Progress" means and 
maybe your amazing forward-moving ideas are just useless paradigm shifts 
that are ill-targeted.

Unity and Gnome 3 have gotten a lot of attention like that from people I 
know that are into UI design--I mean UI design as a researched, studied 
field, not "I have a cool idea and I know a thing or two about UI 
design."  I mean people who have read the ergonomics studies, results on 
focus groups, and consider the value of traditional design and the value 
of well-routed behavior in new interfaces like touch screens and very 
tiny screens.  These people are a little different crowd than the normal 
love/hate on Unity and/or Gnome3 (I personally like Gnome3, but this is 

What it all tends to boil down to is simple:  while a lot of people 
love/hate Unity and/or Gnome3, those in-the-know are able to quantify 
that desktops are not tablets and tablets are not cell phones.  
Attempting to wedge desktops with dual 24-36 inch wide screen monitors 
and cursor-based pointing into the same paradigm as a 3 inch portrait 
touch screen doesn't work any better than attempting to use Gnome2 on 
your cell phone.  The problems are different, but the UI is just 
annoying.  I like Gnome3, but its failure to separate application 
[quick] launcher (menu/icon) from application window indicator (task 
bar) annoys me.  This abstraction is great for cell phones, where an 
application will always have a single window, and where access implies 
executing it iff it's not running; but the interface concerns of the 
desktop are different, and here it becomes jarring.  This specific 
concern is immaterial; I only mean to illustrate that big-screen 
desktops are not micro-touch-screen cell phones or 7 inch tablets.

But of course a little "We shouldn't do this, it's a bad idea" just gets 
an enthusiastic push-back from strong-headed "visionaries" that think 
they're onto something.  When the criticism starts coming in force and 
with sharp language, a threat to ration and reason is made--in other 
words:  humans fear losing arguments in the same way they fear being 
punched in the face, and strong and vicious protest is threatening in 
that it makes being wrong particularly high impact.  If the whole world 
is iffy but unenthused, they will swallow your crap and then 
complain--unenthusiastically--that it's not great.  If you are being 
flamed and shouted at, then when the whole world doesn't turn around and 
realize how excellent your new ideas are--perhaps because they're 
not--you take a MAJOR social hit and suddenly nobody likes you, and as a 
bonus they also get it in their heads that anything you touch is a born 
disaster and probably will never come near you again.

In other words, maybe you'll listen when people actually say what they 
mean instead of sucking all the emotional meaning out and presenting 
simple facts--facts which you may dispute with other simple facts.  
Facts are facts, whether they're true or false.  Information is more 
than just facts:  the emotional weight carries, and the presentation 
makes that.  Do you honestly think Unity would have ever happened if 
Shuttleworth got called a pinhead whenever someone commented on the 
design proposal and subsequent betas?  It would have been quickly 
abandoned as every single developer associated with the project ran for 
cover from the raining fire and brimstone.

Plus it's fun to read people speaking frankly, though if you spoke like 
a Franc I guess you'd have to use a lot more accents and apostrophes.

> --Dane

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