Linux and developer resources

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Linux and developer resources

George N. White III
Linux has provided the foundations for Google android and the major cloud services.   Google and IBM contribute to kernel development.  

In Gartner's "Magic Quadrant" report on Cloud Infrastructure and Platform services:
"The company [Amazon] does not escape criticism, though. According to the analyst, “a broad range of AWS offerings have benefited from OSS, without material contribution in kind by AWS,” something which “risks alienating software developers.”"

If you spend time on any of the major distro forums you have probably encountered software whose developer is no longer active.

Ahead of the big Qt 6.0 release expected before the end of the year, Debian's current Qt package maintainers have decided to step down.  

Also:

I try to help users of the (remote sensing) software I use.  Many of the problems stem from users with a Windows background struggling to work with linux command-line tools.   These types of issues have become more common
as users are working from home due to COVID-19 and don't have access to
their coffee-time support groups.   There are good support forums with developer participation, but the developers shouldn't be investing time helping users learn some basic linux command-line concepts like "current working 
directory", permissions for files and directories, etc.   When I was involved in
workshops on remote sensing we found it important to spend an afternoon 
focusing on linux basics.  We also used a "buddy system" where we paired 
users with little linux experience with more experienced users.

One of the most common trouble areas is over-use of "sudo".  New users try
something and get "permission denied".  The google the error or ask in a 
linux user forum and are told to use "sudo", which results in a configuration 
so badly broken that it is impossible to sort out in a user forum (because the
software does on-demand downloads, using sudo puts some downloads
in root's directory or creates files in a user's directory that the user can't 
access).

There are many new applications for remote sensing, including uses the 
developers never considered, so it has become impossible for a small 
group of developers to keep up.    I think user forums need much broader
participation to deal with the complexities and reduce the workloads of
developers, but there is a risk that developers will lose contact with the 
users.   

I expect other application areas share these problems.

--
George N. White III


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Re: Linux and developer resources

Joel Maxwell
[SNIP]

*** Responding in-line ...

>
>I try to help users of the (remote sensing) software I use.  Many of the
>problems stem from users with a Windows background struggling to work with
>linux command-line tools.   These types of issues have become more common

*** I hear that. From my experience (particularly in being a maintainer in the
Android realm), users lack the desire to research anything: every problem is
a surprise, and requires someone to walk them through it (even though you could
run a search in the XDA Developers forum of the error message itself - where I
would get mentioned and private messaged in on these problems - and the first
dozen search results all have it answered). It gets tiring, fast.

>as users are working from home due to COVID-19 and don't have access to
>their coffee-time support groups.   There are good support forums with
>developer participation, but the developers shouldn't be investing time
>helping users learn some basic linux command-line concepts like "current
>working
>directory", permissions for files and directories, etc.   When I was
>involved in
>workshops on remote sensing we found it important to spend an afternoon
>focusing on linux basics.  We also used a "buddy system" where we paired
>users with little linux experience with more experienced users.

*** I am thankful there are people who help in that way. Especially Gerard when
he was most burdened with my growing pains two decades ago. ;^)

>
>One of the most common trouble areas is over-use of "sudo".  New users try
>something and get "permission denied".  The google the error or ask in a
>linux user forum and are told to use "sudo", which results in a
>configuration
>so badly broken that it is impossible to sort out in a user forum (because
>the
>software does on-demand downloads, using sudo puts some downloads
>in root's directory or creates files in a user's directory that the user
>can't
>access).
>

*** For this situation, I would suggest a "best-practices" regarding remote
sensing, which would include config-file templates that aim to dodge major
pitfalls, with some comments to explain that choice (as that choice could
extrapolate to edge-cases not otherwise thought of).

>There are many new applications for remote sensing, including uses the
>developers never considered, so it has become impossible for a small
>group of developers to keep up.    I think user forums need much broader
>participation to deal with the complexities and reduce the workloads of
>developers, but there is a risk that developers will lose contact with the
>users.
>

*** I plan to provide Linux tutorials in video format, at some point. I don't
want to overlap too much with what Luke Smith (lukesmith.xyz) or Chris Titus
(christitus.com) already does (for example). I see more of a gap in typical
computer use (like how most people don't know a Ctrl+Enter in Word Processors
is a page break, and page breaks in general are important to remember). If I
ever get around to this[*], I will link the list in on it. As it is currently
planned, I will write up the scripts as articles that I will post on a website.
I would then pick a portion to walk through in a video.

[*] has been put on the back burner do to various projects around the house
since last Demember - leaving me reluctant to sit in a chair for intense
periods of time.

-- Regards, Joel.

>I expect other application areas share these problems.
>
>--
>George N. White III
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