[Samba] Re: roaming profiles problem for new users

John H Terpstra jht at PrimaStasys.Com
Sat May 7 20:32:18 GMT 2005

On Saturday 07 May 2005 06:51, Michal Kurowski wrote:
> Eric Hines [eehines at comcast.net] wrote:
> > This isn't entirely fair.  There are three kinds of newbies, and I'll say
> > for the purposes of this thread that newbies also may be new to
> > Linux/UNIX, not just to Samba
> [snipped]
> > For all that, we in this third kind of newbie, get lumped in with the
> > first kind, and our problems get utterly ignored.
> Beautiful ;-)
> Seems there's no hope for people "new" to standard unix command switches

Those new to anything more complex than a simple knife find the early days of 
exploration more daunting than the searches of maturity, yet the quest for 
answers in maturity can take longer and require greater effort. The breaking 
of new ground is usually a vexing trial.

Every master had a tutor or two. Some tutors are blunt objects, others are 
silky-smooth in their methodology. Some trainees learn best under severe 
tutilage, while others progress best under the gentle guidance of a silken 

I appreciate Eric Hines reminder that we are not all the same. I guess that 
variety makes life more interesting.

Hopelessness is a state of mind, typically put into practice as a consequence 
of surrender to too many disappointments. We feel with those who are in pain, 
and would much like to be able to solve everyone's problems.

Those of us who help on the Samba mailing list, and those who document Samba, 
very much care about our community. The sad truth is that at times we also 
get tired answering the same questions over and over. Sometimes we answer out 
of disappointment - that usually causes the greatest reactions. I hope that 
we can be forgiven for those times when we fail to meet the expectations 
and/or needs of those who seek earnest help, and have tried to find answers 
from available resources.

My motive in referring subscribers to the books is the hope of receiving 
step-by-step details of what has failed, so that I can fix it. As bad as the 
documentation may be, your help and feedback (no matter how vitriolic) is 
essential for the improvement in the quality of the documentation, and is a 
way of creating greater awareness that it exists. The past 18 months of 
writing has taught me just how difficult it is to write clear, concise, and 
ultimately useful documentation.

For almost 10 years I have answered questions on this mailing list. No matter 
how well intended an answer may be, the wrong tone, or the wrong inflection 
will get out sometimes. To continue the work requires that we turn the other 
cheek and keep working - the feedback (often in anguish) is a just reward for 
not meeting a users' needs in an appropriate manner.

My hope is that with enough feedback, and its integration into the 
documentation, the work will eventually become easier. Everyone on this list 
can play an essential part in making life better for Samba users.

Many of us receive a large volume of direct emails requesting personal 
assistance. Several of us who answer emails on this list are known to 
telephone someone who is desperate for an answer. More than a few of you are 
aware of this.

As offensive as our responses (mine in particular) may seem, please be assured 
that we do care. Where in the proprietary software world does one find a more 
user-caring solution environment? How many for-profit software providers 
share their experience and knowledge as generously as those who contribute on 
this list?

So for those who feel totally ignored, I wish there was some way that we could 
be of greater value to you. Answering the questions raised on this list takes 
more time than the current group who do offer help can give. There is plenty 
of room for more volunteers.

To those who feel ignored, let me close with the challenge: How can you entice 
more people to volunteer their time to help you? What can you offer them that 
will be more important than their work, their families, and their time? 
Somehow, I suspect that when you find the answer to this question your 
problems will be solved.

- John T.

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