Daemon's Advocate article

Scott I. Remick scott at sremick.net
Mon Mar 1 11:41:21 PST 2004

--- Johnson David <DavidJohnson at Siemens.com> wrote:
> I'm a desktop user. I have noticed more than once some active disdain 
> towards the desktop by FreeBSD developers. Why is this? Did I miss the 
> sign out front saying "servers only"? You don't have to be a 
> dumb-downed system like Lindows to be suitable for the desktop.

I have to concur. For some reason, there seems to be a common attitude that
if you use FreeBSD to any extent, you must be a C++ programmer with the
ability to write drivers and patch applications. While I fully respect the
fact that this is a volunteer effort, the above can come off as rather harsh
and deterring for a new user. We FreeBSD users often scold the Linux
community for their attitude problems... why must we replace one bad
attitude with another in our own community?

The people who volunteer their free time for the good of the FreeBSD
community can do a lot of things in their sleep which are beyond the
abilities of the common desktop user. Perhaps some have some free time,
perhaps others find a request simple enough that they can balance their time
to handle something that would help someone else. But to make a polite
request and get back "Why don't you port it yourself if you want it?" or
"patch/driver submissions welcome" conveys an impression that FreeBSD is for
developers only... if you can't code, your input isn't desired.

I know it's all volunteer, and I volunteer my time and efforts in the ways I
can despite not being a C++ coder. Nor have I graduated to the point where I
can port applications (although I will be willing to attempt it once I can
have an additional test PC environment where I can risk experimenting with
apps not in the ports tree). But I field a lot of new-user questions, have
gotten several people up and going who turn to me first with questions, I
run an advocacy/news/help site, and so on. We all help as we can.

I'm sorry to see Greg leave. I own his book and found it very useful.

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