Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

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Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Peter Matulis-5
Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the trouble.

Preliminary poll:

<< Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>

If so, we can distribute links to the questionnaire in all the usual places.

peter matulis

[1]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MeetingLogs/DocTeam

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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Mauricio Tavares
On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
> surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
> readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
> Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
> development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the trouble.
>
> Preliminary poll:
>
> << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>
      I think that is a worthwhile pool. Personally I rely more on man
pages and the online docs. But that has to do with bad experiences
with the in-computer doc facilities; things can change.

> If so, we can distribute links to the questionnaire in all the usual places.
>
> peter matulis
>
> [1]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MeetingLogs/DocTeam
>
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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Penelope Stowe
In reply to this post by Peter Matulis-5
On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis <[hidden email]> wrote:
Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the trouble.

Preliminary poll:

<< Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>


Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road. I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone. 

My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.

~Penelope


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Peter Matulis-5
On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:

> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
> <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
>     surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>     readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>     Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>     development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>     trouble.
>
>     Preliminary poll:
>
>     << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>
>
> Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
> Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
> you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
> Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
> I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
> and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
> Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
> who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
> Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>
> My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
> would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
> and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
> decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.

Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.

I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
*know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.

I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".

Thoughts?

peter matulis


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Jim Byrnes-4
On 05/09/2014 03:14 PM, Peter Matulis wrote:

> On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
>> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
>> <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>
>>      Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
>>      surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>>      readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>>      Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>>      development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>>      trouble.
>>
>>      Preliminary poll:
>>
>>      << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>>
>>
>> Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
>> Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
>> you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
>> Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
>> I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
>> and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
>> Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
>> who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
>> Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>>
>> My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
>> would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
>> and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
>> decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.
>
> Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.
>
> I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
> Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
> we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
> My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
> *know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.
>
> I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
> Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".
>
> Thoughts?
>
> peter matulis
>
>

Interesting question.  Until I read this thread I had forgotten about in
computer help, so I went looking for it.  I am running 12.04 and there
is no help icon on the top bar or the launcher.  It's possible that
there was one on the launcher and I removed it, but I don't remember
doing so.  I clicked the little gear at the top right corner of the top
bar and didn't see any help there.  Finally I typed help into the dash
search bar then I was able to access the in computer help.

In 10.04 as I think there was a help item in the menus on the top bar.
I guess what I am saying is if you want people to use it, it should be
more accessible.

I was new to linux when I started using 10.04 so I remember reading the
in computer help at that time.  Now I usually google first and then come
here with questions.  I guess I am saying that the more experience a
user has the less they use the in computer help.

Regards,  Jim


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Pete Smout-2


On May 9, 2014 10:13 PM, "Jim Byrnes" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 05/09/2014 03:14 PM, Peter Matulis wrote:
>>
>> On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
>>>
>>> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
>>> <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>>
>>>      Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
>>>      surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>>>      readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>>>      Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>>>      development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>>>      trouble.
>>>
>>>      Preliminary poll:
>>>
>>>      << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>>>
>>>
>>> Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
>>> Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
>>> you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
>>> Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
>>> I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
>>> and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
>>> Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
>>> who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
>>> Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>>>
>>> My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
>>> would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
>>> and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
>>> decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.
>>
>>
>> Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.
>>
>> I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
>> Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
>> we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
>> My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
>> *know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.
>>
>> I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
>> Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".
>>
>> Thoughts?
>>
>> peter matulis
>>
>>
>
> Interesting question.  Until I read this thread I had forgotten about in computer help, so I went looking for it.  I am running 12.04 and there is no help icon on the top bar or the launcher.  It's possible that there was one on the launcher and I removed it, but I don't remember doing so.  I clicked the little gear at the top right corner of the top bar and didn't see any help there.  Finally I typed help into the dash search bar then I was able to access the in computer help.
>
> In 10.04 as I think there was a help item in the menus on the top bar. I guess what I am saying is if you want people to use it, it should be more accessible.
>
> I was new to linux when I started using 10.04 so I remember reading the in computer help at that time.  Now I usually google first and then come here with questions.  I guess I am saying that the more experience a user has the less they use the in computer help.

I agree totally, I started using Ubuntu as my first Linux experience @ 8.10, and the help.icon on the top bar (Gnome2 at.the time) was invaluable as a newbie. Now I.am a bit more experienced I will google for problems, or read the 'man' page to refresh my memory of the syntax of a command or check my recall of the command (does it do what I think it does!)
So make it visible for first time users, but make it removable for us 'more advanced' (or big headed) users

Pete s

> Regards,  Jim
>
>
>
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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

mh-dixon
In reply to this post by Peter Matulis-5
My penny worth (as one who does not always think clearly) - I have used the in-computer help occasionally from day one and those I have "helped" have also - it has the advantage of being easily accessible, clearly organised and relatively universally applicable.  But that may only be another way of saying if alternatives were equally accessible and clearly organised and provided more information they might be more applicable.


From: Peter Matulis <[hidden email]>
To: Penelope Stowe <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]; Ubuntu <[hidden email]>; Ubuntu Doc <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, 9 May 2014, 21:14
Subject: Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:

> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
> <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>    Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
>    surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>    readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>    Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>    development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>    trouble.
>
>    Preliminary poll:
>
>    << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>
>
> Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
> Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
> you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
> Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
> I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
> and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
> Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
> who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
> Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>
> My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
> would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
> and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
> decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.

Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.

I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
*know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.

I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".

Thoughts?

peter matulis


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Jonathan Aquilina
In reply to this post by Peter Matulis-5
I will be honest as a kubuntu desktop user, I will be honest I never turned to the in built help as it usually pointed to online help anyway. I just skip wasting time wiht the in built help and go directly and google what I am having a problem with.


On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:14 PM, Peter Matulis <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
> <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
>     surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>     readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>     Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>     development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>     trouble.
>
>     Preliminary poll:
>
>     << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>
>
> Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
> Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
> you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
> Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
> I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
> and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
> Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
> who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
> Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>
> My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
> would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
> and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
> decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.

Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.

I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
*know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.

I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".

Thoughts?

peter matulis


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Jared Norris
In reply to this post by Jim Byrnes-4
On 10 May 2014 07:11, Jim Byrnes <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 05/09/2014 03:14 PM, Peter Matulis wrote:
On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
<[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:

     Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an idea
     surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
     readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
     Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
     development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
     trouble.

     Preliminary poll:

     << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>


Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.

My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.

Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.

I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
*know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.

I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".

Thoughts?

peter matulis



Interesting question.  Until I read this thread I had forgotten about in computer help, so I went looking for it.  I am running 12.04 and there is no help icon on the top bar or the launcher.  It's possible that there was one on the launcher and I removed it, but I don't remember doing so.  I clicked the little gear at the top right corner of the top bar and didn't see any help there.  Finally I typed help into the dash search bar then I was able to access the in computer help.

In 10.04 as I think there was a help item in the menus on the top bar. I guess what I am saying is if you want people to use it, it should be more accessible.

I was new to linux when I started using 10.04 so I remember reading the in computer help at that time.  Now I usually google first and then come here with questions.  I guess I am saying that the more experience a user has the less they use the in computer help.

Regards,  Jim



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I guess the real issue is for those who either:
* don't have reasonable access to the internet for whatever reason
* have a problem with their system that prevents accessing the internet

I think at times we (and I include myself) tend to assume that everyone is faced with the same challenges but when in reality, it can be significantly different.


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Colin Law
In reply to this post by Jonathan Aquilina
On 10 May 2014 07:39, Jonathan Aquilina <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I will be honest as a kubuntu desktop user, I will be honest I never turned
> to the in built help as it usually pointed to online help anyway. I just
> skip wasting time wiht the in built help and go directly and google what I
> am having a problem with.

Just a note that google is not nearly as useful for less experienced
users as good Help can be.  They do not have the experience to filter
the google results to find the useful stuff.

Colin

>
>
> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:14 PM, Peter Matulis <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>>
>> On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
>> > On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
>> > <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >     Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting [1] and an
>> > idea
>> >     surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the general level of
>> >     readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu (Desktop).
>> >     Including this facility involves participation in a rigid set of
>> >     development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be worth the
>> >     trouble.
>> >
>> >     Preliminary poll:
>> >
>> >     << Do people think conducting such a poll is worthwhile? >>
>> >
>> >
>> > Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only poll current
>> > Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different answer than if
>> > you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from current
>> > Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu down the road.
>> > I've done informal polling of this exact question among people I know
>> > and there's definitely a difference between the people I know who use
>> > Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy) and those
>> > who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of making
>> > Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>> >
>> > My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on knowing who
>> > would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get non-technical
>> > and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If there's no
>> > decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my thoughts.
>>
>> Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.
>>
>> I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
>> Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
>> we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
>> My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
>> *know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.
>>
>> I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you were an
>> Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".
>>
>> Thoughts?
>>
>> peter matulis
>>
>>
>> --
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>
>
>
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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Karl Auer
On Sat, 2014-05-10 at 09:27 +0100, Colin Law wrote:
> Just a note that google is not nearly as useful for less experienced
> users as good Help can be.

There are two quite different ckasses of in-bult help. The first is help
for what you might call known things - "how do I use this thing to do
such-and-such". In-built help is often quite useful for this -
LibreOffice's GUI help system for example, or pretty much any man page.
This sort of help is fairly easy to incrementally improve, by adding
sections, rewording, adding more explanation, improving the indexing and
so on.

The second kind of help, though, is for unknown things - help when
things go wrong or do not behave as expected. In-built help for these
situations is far less effective. Certainly Windows users have been
trained for decades not to bother with Microsoft's insultingly useless
in-built troubleshooting.

The experience of many decades of computing has shown that the very best
means of providing the second sort of help is to establish a user
community.

>   They do not have the experience to filter the google results to find the useful stuff.

A community provides help with that meta-problem too. "Try searching
for...", "the keyword you are looking for is..." and so on.

Regards, K.

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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Douglas Pollard-3

On 05/10/2014 04:40 AM, Karl Auer wrote:

> On Sat, 2014-05-10 at 09:27 +0100, Colin Law wrote:
>> Just a note that google is not nearly as useful for less experienced
>> users as good Help can be.
> There are two quite different ckasses of in-bult help. The first is help
> for what you might call known things - "how do I use this thing to do
> such-and-such". In-built help is often quite useful for this -
> LibreOffice's GUI help system for example, or pretty much any man page.
> This sort of help is fairly easy to incrementally improve, by adding
> sections, rewording, adding more explanation, improving the indexing and
> so on.
>
> The second kind of help, though, is for unknown things - help when
> things go wrong or do not behave as expected. In-built help for these
> situations is far less effective. Certainly Windows users have been
> trained for decades not to bother with Microsoft's insultingly useless
> in-built troubleshooting.
>
> The experience of many decades of computing has shown that the very best
> means of providing the second sort of help is to establish a user
> community.
>
>>    They do not have the experience to filter the google results to find the useful stuff.
> A community provides help with that meta-problem too. "Try searching
> for...", "the keyword you are looking for is..." and so on.
>
> Regards, K.
>
I started with an on line course that the  Debian guys had on line. I
learned a lot there but as I progressed in knowledge also used Help to
solve specific problems. Still Debian was a struggle for a Windows user.
Along came Ubuntu and it was easier to use with my mostly Windows
skills.  I hated the name and it put me off to the point where it was a
year before I tried it. I think it was the documentation, help and on
line information that really made me a user. Back in the early years
some of the on line geeks did much to keep windows users from Linux with
their arrogance toward windows converts but that changed.  Even to day  
there are some wise cracks about windows that tend to turn away
Microsoft users who come to Ubuntu to try it. They see us smart mouthing
their choice of software. They go back to Windows where they feel
welcome. When talking to Microsoft users I compliment them on their
choice of software and only after that, ease into telling them of the
advantages of Ubuntu over Windows.  I have made some converts.  We need
to remember that windows is their chosen desktop until they finally
become Ubuntu users who will be loyal.    Dual booting back then was
what I did, as I was using Video programs on Windows to make videos but
when Linux video programs finally got usable enough to do video in
Ubuntu I never went back to Microsoft. I think new users and us older
ones use the help programs when starting out and to solve user problems
after years of use.  I think that without good help and good
documentation Ubuntu will slip into being a thing of the past.  A lost
opportunity! I am afraid Linux would  be a none Geek nightmare as it was
in the early years without  really good on line help.

--
      Doug Pollard
Albin Vega Sea Legs 2225
          KK4YGO


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Re: Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

John R. Sowden
In reply to this post by Jared Norris
On 05/10/2014 01:21 AM, Jared Norris wrote:

> On 10 May 2014 07:11, Jim Byrnes <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     On 05/09/2014 03:14 PM, Peter Matulis wrote:
>
>         On 05/09/2014 01:51 PM, Penelope Stowe wrote:
>
>             On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM, Peter Matulis
>             <[hidden email]
>             <mailto:[hidden email]>
>             <mailto:[hidden email]
>             <mailto:[hidden email]>>> wrote:
>
>                   Last Wednesday (May 7) we there was a Doc team meeting
>             [1] and an idea
>                   surfaced that an attempt be made to determine the
>             general level of
>                   readership/usage of the help/doc facility in Ubuntu
>             (Desktop).
>                   Including this facility involves participation in a
>             rigid set of
>                   development/packaging rules & schedule that may not be
>             worth the
>                   trouble.
>
>                   Preliminary poll:
>
>                   << Do people think conducting such a poll is
>             worthwhile? >>
>
>
>             Who would targeted as responders to said poll? If you only
>             poll current
>             Ubuntu users, you're probably going to get a different
>             answer than if
>             you poll current users as well as trying to get answers from
>             current
>             Windows and MacOS users who could potentially use Ubuntu
>             down the road.
>             I've done informal polling of this exact question among
>             people I know
>             and there's definitely a difference between the people I
>             know who use
>             Ubuntu (who tend to be slightly more technologically savvy)
>             and those
>             who use Windows/MacOS, but are part of the stated target of
>             making
>             Ubuntu friendly to/usable by everyone.
>
>             My opinion on whether a poll would be useful does depend on
>             knowing who
>             would be the target of such a poll. There are ways to get
>             non-technical
>             and non-Ubuntu users to answer a poll on this question. If
>             there's no
>             decided target, then I will give a longer explanation of my
>             thoughts.
>
>
>         Thanks for your thoughts Penelope.
>
>         I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
>         Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting
>         point:  do
>         we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer
>         help?
>         My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
>         *know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.
>
>         I would rather avoid a hypothetical question such as: "If you
>         were an
>         Ubuntu user would you look for in-computer help?".
>
>         Thoughts?
>
>         peter matulis
>
>
>
>     Interesting question.  Until I read this thread I had forgotten
>     about in computer help, so I went looking for it.  I am running
>     12.04 and there is no help icon on the top bar or the launcher.
>       It's possible that there was one on the launcher and I removed it,
>     but I don't remember doing so.  I clicked the little gear at the top
>     right corner of the top bar and didn't see any help there.  Finally
>     I typed help into the dash search bar then I was able to access the
>     in computer help.
>
>     In 10.04 as I think there was a help item in the menus on the top
>     bar. I guess what I am saying is if you want people to use it, it
>     should be more accessible.
>
>     I was new to linux when I started using 10.04 so I remember reading
>     the in computer help at that time.  Now I usually google first and
>     then come here with questions.  I guess I am saying that the more
>     experience a user has the less they use the in computer help.
>
>     Regards,  Jim
>
>
>
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>
>
>
> I guess the real issue is for those who either:
> * don't have reasonable access to the internet for whatever reason
> * have a problem with their system that prevents accessing the internet
>
> I think at times we (and I include myself) tend to assume that everyone
> is faced with the same challenges but when in reality, it can be
> significantly different.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jared Norris
> https://www.linkedin.com/in/jarednorris
>
>
I think a poll is a great idea.  Re: different "groups" of users, I
would suggest that you have questions to establish the group of the
respondent.  Then, using foxpro/dos, or your favorite poison, find out
the different interests/requests by group.  This might bring out more
data.  There is another side effect.  This will give the users
"ownership" in the program.  They will feel more involved because they
are participating.  Finally, requests might come from this that were not
considered.  The request ideas should be categorized by sub-program
(calc, etc.) and idea category.  This will make it easier to tabulate,
remove duplicates, etc.

Thanks for asking,
John



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