[conspire] Dapper & Easyubuntu

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Dec 4 13:59:57 PST 2006

Quoting Adrien Lamothe (a_lamothe at yahoo.com):

> This thread is good context for bringing up something which has been
> bothering me for some time about Gnome and KDE.... hell, about X in
> general, but especially those two, since the purport to have
> "improved" things.
> What ever happened to the days when...
>  1) error messages were at least minimally pertinent, readable and
> understandable by end-users, and
>  2) error messages actually got DELIVERED to the end user, so they
> knew there was an error?
> Am I alone in being concerned? 


The issue is present there and in other areas, e.g., the majority of 
Linux distributions these days that go to some lengths to suppress
nearly all startup information, including errors.  This isn't malice,
but rather ineptitude / inadvertancy:  The intent is to avoid barraging
the user with infodumps about things that don't matter, but critical
data also gets hidden accidentally, along the way.  The more complexity
gets tucked away out of sight, the less diagnostic information remains
available when something fails.  

When that does happen, the novice user is screwed in several ways, with
bonus screwage if it happens to be within KDE or GNOME:  Meaningful 
diagnostic output gets suppressed, the user has (typically) no idea how
to un-hide it by forking the process from a shell prompt, _and_ (in the
case of GNOME/KDE apps), the user usually has not a clue what the
executable's actual name _is_.  From the user's perspective, it's just
the thing he/she gets to by clicking the big foot icon, then System,
then Sound, then Volume Control.  ("What, don't _you_ have BigFoot -> 
System -> Sound -> Volume Control?  I thought you were an experienced
Linux user.")

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