Ripping CDs

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Mon Nov 2 09:06:34 GMT 2009

Anne Wilson posted on Mon, 02 Nov 2009 08:06:02 +0000 as excerpted:

> On Sunday 01 November 2009 22:29:15 James Tyrer wrote:
>> You totally missed my point which is that I need to documentation to
>> configure my system.
> No configuration is required to make this work, so I assume that it is
> some change you have already made to your system that is stopping it
> working.

You guys are using the same words... but mean different things by them.
=:^(  (FWIW, from my observation, fortunately or unfortunately, this is 
the base problem in at least 2/3 of differing viewpoint discussions, too 
bad there's no magical way to suddenly understand the base definitions 
the other side is using, or that proportion of the arguments would pretty 
much solve themselves!)

The system does indeed need to be properly configured for this to work.  
On distributions of any size, there's at least one person tasked with 
learning all this stuff in whatever depth is necessary (including reading 
the sources to groke it, if necessary) to properly configure the system 
to have it all "just work", which is why it appears to Anne that "No 
configuration is required."  But where that gets broken for whatever 
reason, or where the system doesn't fit the norm so the standard 
distribution config doesn't work, or for those building more from scratch 
(not from a distribution, or from a distribution designed to be built 
from scratch) and thus relying directly on the upstream packages and 
whatever documentation they can find, this doesn't work the way it does 
for what is hopefully the majority of normal distribution users.

The problem in this case is that there's no basic user level 
documentation on the configuration available, and the configuration 
itself is incredibly obtuse and "brittle", resulting in an all but 
unconfigurable (from the viewpoint of a normal user) system that either 
works or doesn't, with no user-level documented way to get from the 
"broken" to the "working config" state.

As I said, KDE's exposure of the underlying hal config is actually 
surprisingly good and as simple as I can imagine it being, but 
unfortunately, that doesn't change the underlying fact that the base 
functionality is not designed with user configuration in mind at all, so 
the KDE abstraction of the config is necessarily rather more advanced 
than the ordinary user should or can reasonably be expected to 
understand.  This one's certainly not KDE's fault at all, except in their 
choice to go with the "automagic" technology in the first place, with no 
fallback to more traditional methods as used on kde3, for instance, but 
it does remain a fact that if the user finds himself with this element of 
the system non-functional, it's all but impossible to get it back to a 
functional state, without simply reinstalling.  And that's the situation 
MS has been rightly criticized for being in for years, and a step back 
for Linux, which had to this point been know for at least being 
configurable to functional, even if it didn't simply "automagically" work 
for most people out of the box, as one must assume is the goal with the 
changes that leave us at the current situation.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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