Is the Garuda forum newbie friendly?

Or, is the Garuda forum unfriendly towards newcomers?

Up until the end of this summer Garuda was a relatively unknown distro, and there was not a lot of support issues to deal with on a daily basis. This allowed the Garuda Devs and forum moderators to respond to, and provide in depth extended support on almost every help request.

Fast forward to today. The Garuda user base has expanded by exponential proportions, but we still have relatively few forum support volunteers. This has forced us to reevaluate our support methods and prioritize where we allocate our limited support resources.

While we attempt to help everyone who requests assistance, your likelihood of receiving assistance drops dramatically if:

  • It is obvious that you have made little or no attempt to research your issue prior to opening a help request.

  • You provide little or no information in your original post, as helpers resent having to repeatedly pry information from a user requesting help.

  • You ignore questions put to you, and refuse to provide answers to those questions when repeatedly asked.

  • You do not post textual logs or terminal outputs when requested to do so.

  • You create multiple help requests on identical issues, perform empty bumps for attention, or beg for help with all uppercase thread titles.

  • You do not follow suggestions from forum helpers, or provide little or no feedback to their suggestions.

  • You come off as being impolite, or display an attitude of entitlement towards receiving assistance from forum volunteers.

  • You repeatedly post help requests of a simplistic nature that could be easily solved with minimal search effort.

This last category tends to get you labeled as a help vampire (if you post frivolous help requests very frequently). Help vampires quickly burn out forum help volunteers and they are not in the least welcome on our forum. If you are a black hole for forum support resources you'd be best to look for another distro (or quickly change your ways) as our forum strongly discourages this type of behavior.

The Help Vampire: A Spotter’s Guide

With our limited support resources, those users who are unwilling to help themselves tend to receive the least assistance. However, If you demonstrate that you don't expect to be spoon fed every answer you will likely receive plenty of assistance on our forum. We attempt to help all users within our capabilities, realizing that we do have support limitations.

This does not mean we are unfriendly towards newcomers, far from it. We simply expect new users to actively participate in solving their own issues. Our philosophy is to help new users solve their issues by encouraging them to learn problem solving techniques.

This may mean we simply post a link to a relevant section of the Archwiki where the user may find the answer to their issue. Some may think this is being rude or unwelcoming to new users. However, we prefer to teach new users self sufficiency (while assisting them to find their answer). In the long term this creates a far more viable distro as knowledgeable users are far more likely to assist with helping out on the forum and with distro development.

We try to be welcoming to all new users, but at the same time we have the expectation that new users attempt to do some work for themselves. Some may think this type of attitude elitist, but we don't see it this way. We simply feel you need to give a little to get a little on our forum (as in life in general).

Comments are welcome, as feedback promotes a healthy community.

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Changed header from newbie to newcomer, a friendlier welcome. :smiley:

(Anyone else consider 'newbie' as slightly pejorative?)

EDITED. See below.

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Absolutely this. There's sometimes I see answers in some threads I can swear sound passive-aggressive, but I'm not that sure, considering english isn't my first language, neither some of the devs and mods, but I can totally understand the team's frustration sometimes.

Having to answer the same questions of people who still didn't get how to use the search option, or having absolutely no information to work with when being asked for help can get really frustrating sometimes, specially when the issue isn't even that complicated in the end.

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Not an issue on my end, but your viewpoint is duly noted. I personally don't think it has a negative connotation, but I will revise a couple of portions of my OP if you think that's a consideration.

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hab leider deinen text nicht gelesen bin zu faul zum lesen

aber ich versuche auf die frage zu antworten

definitiv ja

ich will dir auch sagen warum

ihr habt mich meinen thread eröffnen lassen und ausdiskutiert ohne ihn sofort zu blocken

ihr seid sehr offen und habt eine menge geduld und lasst leute auch erklären und aussprechen

ich finde hier wird teilweise sehr schnell versucht anfängern weiter zu helfen

und auch eine angenehme atmosphäre herrscht hier

was ich nicht leiden kann sind standart antworten wie gib uns ein komplettes log was dem anfänger überfordern kann der ja nie damit in berührung kam klar ist es für euch wichtig
aber es kommt sehr fordern vielleicht euer anspruch aber überfordernd für anfänger

auch eure plattform fĂĽr das forum ist sehr gut und ĂĽbersichtlich

unfortunately have not read your text am too lazy to read

but I try to answer the question

definitely yes

I also want to tell you why

you let me open my thread and discuss it without blocking it immediately

you are very open and have a lot of patience and also let people explain and talk it out

I find here is partly very quickly tried to help beginners further

and also a pleasant atmosphere prevails here

what I can not stand are standard answers like give us a complete log which can overwhelm the beginner who never came into contact with it of course it is important to you
but it comes very demanding maybe your demand but overwhelming for beginners

also your platform for the forum is very good and clear

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Pejorative? Like "help vampire"? Not at all. Noob, newbie, novice, beginner, normie, etc., don't offend me a bit. Of course I'm from the generation that understands that speech isn't violence and facts aren't hate.

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After doing immense intarwebs research, I believe I may have been over-sensitive on this matter, and have re-revised your header to the original. As it turns out, 'newbie' has been in use in, primarily, Linux for longer than I care to think:

Beginner, newcomer, learner--all seem more professional but I'm old so whadda I know. :wink:

regards

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Since you welcomed comments, I will!

I bought my first PC in 1984 but I didn't discover Linux until 2018, and Garuda a couple of weeks ago. Therefore, I have the dubious distinction of being an old, grumpy, mostly white-haired noob on this forum. Having overshared all that, I have found the forum to be welcoming to newcomers. Community members are for the most part very helpful and engaging. I have never felt unwelcome here. Likewise in my daily browsing of new posts I have not seen anyone being mocked. The tone seems mostly to reflect a genuine interest in resolving problems. I'm also surprised at the level of involvement by the developers. Does any other operating system provide direct, free access to it's creators & maintainers? If one is just beginning his/her Linux journey I can't think of a better place to get started.

Gotta go now. I'm getting sore from all the sunshine coming out of my ass.

Happy New Year.

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Nah, Help Vampire isn't a pejorative--except maybe to other Help Vampires. I think of that term as descriptive.

Hey, sticks and stones don't even break my bones, but sarcasm means "to tear flesh" so I try to stop myself before reaching that point.

If you really knew me you'd know I've lately been trying to be a better person than just being yet another off-his-meds old-man yard-shouter.

The implementation can be more difficult than the conception, however. :wink:

regards

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From times past

sarcasm

image843

verkäufer

there are people who are still angry with me for this :smiley: :wink: :slight_smile:

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I am glad to hear that positive feedback. The main reason I created this thread was that someone posted a review on Distrowatch recently that claimed the forum was unfriendly towards newbies.

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As long as we are on the subject of newbies and friendliness, what did this noob do wrong?

He posted it in the "requests" part of the forum. He didn't seem pushy or demanding. He punctuated his request with 'Thank you". If you don't want people to suggest new/better/different features, then why ask the question? Why accuse a stranger of rudeness when you don't even know him? He might be forgiven for thinking the devs really are fishing for ideas, since the "requests" category is on the forum. I'm not trying to start a fight. I'm genuinely curious.

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es gibt ein sprichwort
sarkasmus muss erstmal beim empfänger ankommen

wenn es nicht verstanden wird oder sogar fehl am platze ist nutzt es keinem was

ich nehme jedes problem und frage erstmal ernst

und ihr könnt auch nicht davon ausgehen das jeder gleich das system mit dem einstellen von threads versteht und es euch dann etwas rude vorkommt

there is a saying
sarcasm must first reach the recipient

if it is not understood or even out of place it is of no use to anyone

I take every problem and question seriously first

and you can also not assume that everyone immediately understands the system with the setting of threads and it seems to you then something rude

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People here are from all over the world, and many will use translators which can create misunderstandings.

This happens quite often, but there's no easy way to prevent it... :pensive:

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I haven't read that thread yet, but I tend to agree with you. I don't think we should have a requests section. Now that so many people are using Garuda it tends to suggest that the Devs have time to implement every off the wall suggestion that pops into new users heads. Generally, the Devs don't have the spare time, so I think that category only invites creating friction with new users when most requests will never be implemented.

Especially, when many people are a little less than tactful about how they word requests. Many come off more like demands than requests. Many others carry on about how Ubuntu has this, or Mint has that etc etc. Well in that case use Ubuntu or Mint if you insist those features are essential is my feeling.

It's kind of like inviting a visitor into your home and they start carrying on about how your furniture is outdated and your color scheme is all wrong. I personally think that category on the forum should really be eliminated. The Devs have a vision of how they want Garuda to be, but most new users can't accept that as an answer.

The problem is, if you eliminate the category on the forum most of the tactless users will continue to post about how you're doing it all wrong with endless demands for changes anyways.

Basically you can't win for losing, because for every decent request that the Devs might want to implement you get 50 rediculous suggestions that would never even be considered. Then it simply turns into a big argument from a disgruntled 2 day user why some app or feature they feel is essential isn't included by default.

Some users just won't accept no as an answer, and things tend to go straight downhill from there. I think it would just be better to get rid of that section is my opinion. Unfortunately, that won't stop those kinds of posts, so there's not much difference in the end.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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There are still ways of handling these sorts of requests tactfully.

It also needs a bit of practice to differentiate between feature requests which are valid requests, those which are actually help requests, those issues which are misunderstandings of how things work, and those requests which are good-natured but misdirected (e.g. would need to be implemented by the upstream software developers).

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I just read that thread now. I tend to agree that online translators lead to big problems in many cases (including this one).

To me both sides here could have been more tactful. The user requesting the feature resorting to using expletives when he didn't like the answer is pretty common with these type of posts.

Generally, unless you agree to implement the users feature request they often go off on an expletive filled rant culminating with, "this distro is rubbish I'm going back to... (fill in the blank)".

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One lousy word. For want of a nail... :frowning:

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Nobody appreciates you guys more than me. (See my review on distrowatch, the one that starts with "My review is for the "Lite" cinnamon edition.") You put a ton of work into the distro, a lot of time into the forum, and you're doing it all for free. I can admire from afar but I don't do code, I suck at art, and I lack the technical expertise to moderate. If you had a "donate" button I would press it, but you don't. It's easy to get salty when you're being treated like a doormat for NO pay. I did phone tech support for 3 years so I feel your pain--but I was getting paid! I still say if you don't want people to "request" things, then either take down the channel or just don't reply to them. This isn't going to get easier. Garuda has moved from 30th place to 28th place on distrowatch in a week's time. At this pace Garuda will be in the top 10 by Spring. Prepare to be drowned in noobs. If they want to be accused of being dumb, lazy, rude, or entitled, they can get that on the arch forum.

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