[clug] Why do we do what we do in Linux? [was Re: Text editor]

Bryan Kilgallin bryan at netspeed.com.au
Wed Oct 29 10:47:06 MDT 2014

Hi Scott:

> That's more an example of how a proficiency in one field (law) doesn't
> automatically translate into a proficiency in another (IT).

We're supposed to engage in lifelong learning!

> You limit your choices by choosing from a category
> e.g. shells - then make you decision on the basis of "fit for purpose" -
> only you can determine what weights to apply to that decision matrix.

Yes, I chose the fish shell.

> In your case one of the "fit for purpose" definitions you 'might' employ
> could be "how much support/guidance can I get" (which may rule out
> blackbox and xnest).

Yeah--otherwise I spend forever with shelved, half-built projects!

> This is a plus; I have mentioned that I have a Linux phone.
> Most people do, and TV, dishwasher, even washing machines and
> airconditioners etc. They just don't play sysadmin on them (well... most
> don't).

My immediate project there is my second-hand Openmoko phone. I think 
that "Upgrade Software" on the next page is what I want to do.

> Production to solve a personal need.

I understand that a great many published programs each consist of 
someone's pet project!

> Marketing is something generally done by commercial organisations do to
> drive sales.

That's promotion, or selling. More generally, identifying a need is what 
expands a market!

>>> That "Linux" exists is testimony to diverse needs not satisfied with a
>>> single offering - and it follows that "Linux" does not aim to provide a
>>> single offering (especially one that seeks to replace a single flavour
>>> offering which caters to the lowest common denominator).
>> So how does a user configure this beast
> You'd have to "define the beast" - "Linux" is a "hand-wavy" thing. ;p

My awareness of this situation is recent, and limited.

Whereas previously say I had a Mac desktop computer and a BlackBerry 
mobile phone. And I connected them together using the provided software. 
So synchronising everything on a regular basis.

Since then I have a PC running Ubuntu. And an Openmoko phone with its 
own cut-down Linux version. And thanks to help here, I have very 
recently got to see with command-line and GUI interfaces on the PC, 
what's in the phone.

>> --without dying of constipation? :-(
> I don't know how one leads to the other, it's not something I choose to
> ponder, and I sincerely hope you won't elaborate.

Although supposedly "free"--I have found that trying to compute the 
Linux way entails endless nights and a desk covered in scribbles on 
Post-it notes!

>>> Users don't drive development compel != impel (tail not wave dog).
>> Last Sunday at a graduates' party, I sat next to a user analyst. Who
>> gave the exact opposite view!
> A *commercial* point of view no doubt (and that person would hardly
> propose their job was meaningless). Did your "user analyst" "get" Linux,
> or were they distracted by market imperatives?

She had absolutely no idea how her agency's network operated!

>> Adults learn based on comparison with their vast prior experience.
> All humans do (abstraction and leverage).

By analogy.

> You /could/ add a USB video device - but ideally you'd add another video
> card or replace your existing one with a video card that provides
> multiple outputs.

My PC is a Dell Optiplex GX270. It has a gigabyte of RAM. The processor 
is an Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU at 2.8 GHz.

> They are fairly cheap and you'll often see people
> offering them for free on this list.

I have dismantled and recycled the parts of an old PC.

> I don't have any multiple outputs
> cards lying around - but I do have many older AGP single output cards
> which I give away.

I have put LCDs in two Arduino projects.

>>> Many perceived problems are xy problems - which is why it's often
>>> recommended when asking for assistance to clearly state "what you want
>>> to do" and "why you want to do it" - just in case the desired outcome
>>> can be achieved in an alternative manner.
>> Your analogy reminds me of school trigonometry.
> Thank you. I found trigonometry very useful - indispensable at times.
> Oh wait... you're being facetious!

I couldn't understand your mathematical idiom!

> Your printer doesn't need to do "landscape" - the print software on
> linux is perfectly capable of turning the print 90 degrees before
> sending to the printer (Orientation).

The Printing application communes with my Brother HL3150CDN LED printer. 
But I have been unable to get landscape orientation to work. Attempting 
to print landscape--yields right-truncated portrait output!

> With KDE that function is available in:-
> ;the print dialog (KPrinter)
> ;Kipi plug-ins (e.g. Gwenview)

I have Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

> I don't know anything about GNOME - but I'd be surprised if it didn't
> include that functionality.

My desktop environment is Unity (I think 2D).

> On the CLI - "convert"

Yes, I found that installed.

> And a third party app - PosteRazor

Thanks, I bookmarked that.

> Look for
> the _underscore_ in the _n_ame on button/menu - that's the hotkey.

Yes, I knew about those.

> If it has a "scroll-wheel" it /has/ a third-button (click on the
> scroll-wheel)

Yes, I can do that.

Thanks again,


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