[nSLUG] Linux and developer resources

Joel Maxwell jaymax at runbox.com
Fri Sep 11 19:52:05 ADT 2020


*** Responding in-line ...

>I try to help users of the (remote sensing) software I use.  Many of the
>problems stem from users with a Windows background struggling to work with
>linux command-line tools.   These types of issues have become more common

*** I hear that. From my experience (particularly in being a maintainer in the 
Android realm), users lack the desire to research anything: every problem is 
a surprise, and requires someone to walk them through it (even though you could
run a search in the XDA Developers forum of the error message itself - where I
would get mentioned and private messaged in on these problems - and the first 
dozen search results all have it answered). It gets tiring, fast.

>as users are working from home due to COVID-19 and don't have access to
>their coffee-time support groups.   There are good support forums with
>developer participation, but the developers shouldn't be investing time
>helping users learn some basic linux command-line concepts like "current
>directory", permissions for files and directories, etc.   When I was
>involved in
>workshops on remote sensing we found it important to spend an afternoon
>focusing on linux basics.  We also used a "buddy system" where we paired
>users with little linux experience with more experienced users.

*** I am thankful there are people who help in that way. Especially Gerard when
he was most burdened with my growing pains two decades ago. ;^)

>One of the most common trouble areas is over-use of "sudo".  New users try
>something and get "permission denied".  The google the error or ask in a
>linux user forum and are told to use "sudo", which results in a
>so badly broken that it is impossible to sort out in a user forum (because
>software does on-demand downloads, using sudo puts some downloads
>in root's directory or creates files in a user's directory that the user

*** For this situation, I would suggest a "best-practices" regarding remote 
sensing, which would include config-file templates that aim to dodge major
pitfalls, with some comments to explain that choice (as that choice could
extrapolate to edge-cases not otherwise thought of).

>There are many new applications for remote sensing, including uses the
>developers never considered, so it has become impossible for a small
>group of developers to keep up.    I think user forums need much broader
>participation to deal with the complexities and reduce the workloads of
>developers, but there is a risk that developers will lose contact with the

*** I plan to provide Linux tutorials in video format, at some point. I don't
want to overlap too much with what Luke Smith (lukesmith.xyz) or Chris Titus
(christitus.com) already does (for example). I see more of a gap in typical
computer use (like how most people don't know a Ctrl+Enter in Word Processors
is a page break, and page breaks in general are important to remember). If I
ever get around to this[*], I will link the list in on it. As it is currently
planned, I will write up the scripts as articles that I will post on a website.
I would then pick a portion to walk through in a video.

[*] has been put on the back burner do to various projects around the house 
since last Demember - leaving me reluctant to sit in a chair for intense 
periods of time.

-- Regards, Joel.

>I expect other application areas share these problems.
>George N. White III

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