phayz's blog

…it's time for a new phayz of life

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Thankyou, but I don’t want touchscreen support for my PC

Recently, Frugalware developer Devil505 packaged libraries such as utouch-grail (Gesture Recognition And Instantiation Library) and utouch-geis (Implementation of the Gesture Engine Interface and Support interface). If I understand correctly, these provide underlying support for touchscreens. I appreciate Devil505’s efforts because providing support for touch screens for those who have them simply makes sense. However I won’t be installing them, even when I buy a touchscreen.

My wallpaper features Halle Berry but I had to promise my wife that while using the PC I would have any open window set to fullscreen mode. 😦 I am OK with that, because I get to see her (Halle) for at least a little while, every time I log in. If I had a touchscreen, how could I possibly explain to my wife why it is that I am stroking my wallpaper? Even if I took the time to explain the advantage of making touchscreen gestures instead of using a mouse, she simply wouldn’t allow it. Instead I would have to choose something else, maybe one which featured scenery. I don’t want to be without Halle, though, so sorry but I don’t want touchscreen support for my PC.

FLOSS and newcomers

After using Frugalware for some time there were some questions I wanted to ask and I thought the users’ IRC channel would be the best place to ask. I asked a few questions and got some good answers. There was just one problem, though, one annoying user. This user, named “mxw”, kept interrupting conversations saying “Stop using “…” it’s annoying”. I can’t remember the exact phrase, but it was something like that. Now I regularly used “…” to indicate my flow of thought(s), perhaps also to indicate a pause.

It may be difficult to believe, but although I had been a geek for many years and used Linux for at least 7 years, the Frugalware users’ IRC channel was my first entry in world of IRC. I knew nothing about IRC and assumed that everyone there was an actual person. What I didn’t know about mxw was that this was not a person but in fact an IRC channel bot which could automatically carry out simple tasks, including monitoring the usage of “…” in messages.

I was so annoyed at these rude messages that I seriously considered quitting from using IRC completely. Thankfully I continued and, several years later, am still a happy Frugalware user.

The point to this blog post is to demonstrate just how easy it can be for people to be turned away from the world of FLOSS. Responses like “RTFM” and “what a n00b!” can turn away people who, if they were welcomed, might make a fantastic contribution to FLOSS. Since you can’t know who are new users, the best approach is to ensure that you treat everyone with respect.