[ubuntu-uk] Novell adverts

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Wed Mar 28 10:57:19 BST 2007

On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 09:53:17AM +0100, TheVeech wrote:
> There seems to be two models of support here: the one found primarily in
> the proprietary world and that found in the FLOSS one.

I disagree. In the proprietary world you can pay for support or you can 
google, use forums, irc and so on. In the free world I outlined all the 
help-yourself methods, but I neglected to mention the pay-for methods - 
which *do* exist.

> Something more
> substantial than a leaflet/insert/wallet is needed, since such methods
> wouldn't be enough to make people aware of how FLOSS support works in
> the first place and how to get good sources of it, not least because
> most people just want to just dive in and learn as they go along.

A leaflet would just tell people where to go to get help if they need it. 
Not provide help specifically. We dont want to go through the expense of 
putting printed manuals in a retail box.
> This means that learning materials would have to be more immediately
> attractive to a wider audience.  For example, a good set of screencasts,
> arranged well, would stand a better chance than textual documentation.
> A supplementary CD, packed with instructive media, might be the way to
> do it (to also compensate for people without net connections).

Well we have a screencast team and a big list of screencasts we would love 
people to make! If they could be supplied on a DVD with the Ubuntu CD/DVD 
that would be great. Especially so if people could watch it on their telly 
whilst they install/update/work/play.

> Personally, I wouldn't mind churning out a few CDs like this, but only
> in the context of a scheme where a number of us also offer to do
> installs in our local areas, with new users covering pre-determined (and
> fair) costs like travel and CDs.

I don't think it's time efficient for us to be visiting peoples 
houses/businesses individually as part of Ubuntu-UK to do that. If people 
want to do that off their own back that's great, and I know a number of 
small businesses and self employed people do this, which is great. 

I would rather see new users not have to rely on the one person in their 
area, but use the tools and resources available. The support tracker, wiki 
and so on I have already mentioned.

This benefits them and everyone else too. If someone asks a question of an 
individual the only person to benefit there is the person asking the 
question and hopefully getting the answer. If the question is asked in a 
forum or in the support tracker it gets recorded, is google-able and 
referable when others have the same problem.

I totally understand that some people want hand-holding, but we really 
should encourage the use of the tools available.

>  I could cover my area easily, and this
> seems a much more realistic and productive approach for most of us to
> the question of getting Linux more mainstream...so long as enough people
> offer to take part.  I can squeeze in a few hours a week

Think how much more productive those hours would be answering questions 
online though? A few hours in #ubuntu or on the support tracker - or forums 
- could yield results that benefit so many people. 

> and I'm sure
> others could, too, especially those dreaming of one day blockading PC
> World!

I don't know if you're joking, but I don't think this is useful. Personally 
I took part in Software Freedom Day last year. We stood outside PC World in 
Tottenham Court Road (London) and handed out Ubuntu CDs and leaflets. You'd 
be amazed how many people a) had heard of it, and b) were willing to try it.

A London bus driver pulled up at the lights and was handed a CD:-

Driver: "Is this that replacement for Windows I have heard about?"
Andy: "Yes! :)"

> Doing CDs on their own is a bit of a waste of time.  I think a lot of
> people have got more to offer than being button pushers, and they know
> it.

Not sure what you're saying there.

> But this is the United Kingdom and, much as I hate to say it, when it
> comes to community, we're often just not that good at it.

So do something to get better :)


More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list