Dear All,
I have been off sick the last 2 weeks with even more sick children. I look
forward to reading this mailing list.....usually...!!

I am a "newbie" and am learning a lot from the many courteous and generous
people who answer questions and discuss issues. Particular thanks to the
JPEG discussion contributors recently! Now that was how this list should

Let's all just take the recent flare up as a sign of great passion we all
have for such a worthwhile project as GIMP. Perhaps this is a timely
reminder to review our local email etiquette and stay patient with the
global and cultural melting pot that is the world of GIMP.

My first request would be that all personal replies be sent to the person
concerned only and not to the main list. 

Take care are all doing great work!

Michaela "the newbie"
PS Quote of the day "When reason and emotion meet, reason always loses".

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Robert L
Sent: Tuesday, 19 January 2010 2:17 AM
To: gimp-user@lists.XCF.Berkeley.EDU
Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] Fwd: Re: Completely off every imaginable topic;)

I fix computers for a large number of people and a lot of these are 
interested in using Photoshop or lighter-weight versions of the same, 
but they want all the hard work of "fixing up" a photo to be done for 
them instantly in software and they do not want a learning curve with 
this. They want a magic solution. Let the computer and the software do 
the heavy lifting is their motto.

With some of these people -- the ones who are more willing to learn new 
stuff -- I suggest they use Gimp. I download the Windows version for 
them and install it and make sure that they have Gimp help, too. I also 
recommend they buy Akkana Peck's book. I think she wrote the book in a 
very helpful spirit using a format, and with examples, that are exactly 
right for many of my customers.

But I never suggest that these same customers join this mailing list. If 
I do, most or all of them will instantly be burned at stake for the 
crime of their posting styles. These are often older retired people who 
are very sensitive and innocent. And they will not be able to accept 
being lectured for their posting styles. The customer may then associate 
their treatment on this list with me as a service provider, and they 
might just think of me as showing poor manners. I do not want to take 
that risk, because I sell my services. I go to these people's homes, and 
often meet their family members, and they are just ordinary people on 
limited budgets who want to use their computers and a concept that a 
computer can think for them.

I notice that the commercial product forums don't have this issue very 
much -- other list users don't flame based on posting styles, and the 
list moderators try hard to get the question being asked answered. They 
really do welcome new users and beginners. They really want use of their 
product to expand. A user forum for a commercial, paid product is often 
a much more pleasant experience for the user for that reason.

This very thing is one of the biggest roadblocks I see with adoption of 
open source software. Given the choice of a user forum for a paid 
product that treats the customer with respect and courtesy, and a 
similar forum for open source software that often severely punishes 
participation if you don't conform to a set of stylistic conventions, 
where do you think the customer is going to head? That's right, the paid 
product and the courtesy and respect.

In the same way, suppose a customer is given the choice of a polite, 
respectful, smiling me as a technician and a different technician who 
makes often rude and biting remarks and requires conformity to a 
particular style. Which technician is likely to make more money? Me. The 
other tech can stay rude, and without business, too.

Increasing your product adoption is all about providing top service and 
support to go with it -- and with a smile.


On 01/18/2010 09:53 AM, Robert L Cochran wrote:
> I top post.
> I don't think it helps to beat on people for their posting styles. It
> helps simply to respond to the issue under discussion.
> Bob
> On 01/17/2010 11:13 PM, Patrick Horgan wrote:
>> Have you ever noticed that people's progress in using, supporting,
>> writing bug reports for, and sometimes even developing for, writing
>> documentation for, or translating for open source software is paralleled
>> by their progress from top-posting to bottom posting to interlinear
>> posting, to intelligent elision with interlinear posting?  I see it on
>> the gimp, and on other lists all the time.
>> Beginners don't know what top posting is.  They don't understand that
>> there's no business to bitch too about open source software.  They don't
>> understand how few people keep open software going.  They're completely
>> ignorant about our culture.  They don't know how happy people will be if
>> they write intelligent bugs, or offer to make documentation better.
>> They don't understand that the people providing support for them are
>> potentially them.
>> I guess the point is that it's easy to be annoyed by an ignorant
>> beginner, (definitely speaking from experience), and they make
>> themselves even more annoying by top posting when responding to
>> messages, not knowing that it looks like they are deliberately making it
>> harder to follow the conversation.  If we kindly educate them instead of
>> attacking them, (and when appropriate, privately, instead of
>> embarrassing them publicly on the list), we might over time convert some
>> of them to useful human beings.
>> I really like the way Sven invites people to contribute.  For people not
>> used to open source it's startling, and sometimes his invitation to be
>> part of the solution is mistaken for an unwillingness to help.  They've
>> got this strange sense of learned helplessness.  Even though few of
>> those invited will ever contribute, some do, and some of those who don't
>> contribute right away, have been started thinking about it by Sven and
>> eventually will contribute.  On the lilypond list, it's Graham the
>> curmudgeon that keeps inviting people.  It works.
>> If instead we attack them, we make of ourselves boors, and drive away
>> people that might have been of great help eventually.  Some of those
>> driven away are lurkers not even involved in the communication.  I know
>> that some have more patience than others, but if you can't stand
>> beginners acting like beginners, it's only necessary to ignore them.
>> One of my favorite proverbs is, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace,
>> is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of
>> understanding", or the more modern proverb "Better to be thought a fool
>> than to open your mouth and remove all doubt";)
>> People that are going to insist on being idiots go away pretty quickly
>> if ignored.  I know people that have been around for years already know
>> all this, but there might be one or two on this list who need a gentle
>> reminder.
>> Best regards,
>> Patrick
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