We don’t have all the answers

People get tired of hearing me say this, but I’ll say it again anyway: The CrunchBang Forums contain a wealth of information accented by a community of knowledgable and friendly — in equal portions — people volunteering their time to answer questions. The forums and the community are one of the things that make CrunchBang the great distro it is.

Still, this may come as a shock to some, but we don’t have all the answers.

Oh, we might have most of the answers. But from time to time in the CrunchBang Forums, we get questions about software that is not CrunchBang specific. And when answers aren’t quickly forthcoming, sometimes the original poster may become impatient or find that the community is lacking in some way.

Let’s be clear about something: If you’re looking for CrunchBang-specific answers — answers to questions solely about the distro or the way things work in it — those answers are usually quick to be answered, if they haven’t been answered already. In fact, I have seen disagreements crop up about which solution to a question is best, which is somewhat entertaining.

However, if you have a question about software that is not native to CrunchBang, or even Debian, and you ask for solutions in the CrunchBang forums, you might get lucky and find someone on the forums who might also use that particular software, but it’s a shot in the dark. It’s probably better to ask in the forum of the software with which you’re having problems.

Here’s what I do when I have a problem with CrunchBang or software involved with CrunchBang (like Openbox, for example):

1. Curse (this, of course, is optional).
2. Look it up on the CrunchBang Forum using the looking glass icon in the upper right.
3. After entering related search terms, I look for the answer to my question/problem which may have been posted already.
4. If there is no answer in the CrunchBang Forums already, I go to the Debian Forums. It’s amazing how much information is in there.
5. If I don’t find the answer in the Debian Forums, Google.
6. If still nothing comes up, curse some more (again, optional).
7. Go back to the CrunchBang Forums and ask, providing as much detail as possible (for example, hardware, software versions, actions, solutions I tried that didn’t work, etc.).

It’s pretty simple.

If my problem is non-CrunchBang related — e.g., with software that’s either unrelated or not native to CrunchBang — I’ll go to that software’s forum first and repeat all the steps above (but instead of CrunchBang Forum, it’s $DANG_PROBLEMATIC_SOFTWARE Forum).

Now, any questions?

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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7 responses to “We don’t have all the answers

  1. I have it on good authority that the cursing is not optional in these situations. I know this because whenever I need the answer to something the cursing happens whether I want it to or not!

  2. Great post Larry. As a former #! user (I now use Debian + XFCE) I agree 100%. The #! forum rocks!

    And yes, swearing and cursing is mandatory!

  3. Pingback: Links 10/8/2013: Debian Celebrates 20 Years, Android Blobs Debated | Techrights

  4. Larry:

    When my laptop gave up the ghost 18 months ago I decided that 6 years of another
    distro was enough and that Gnome was growing entirely too bloated for my uses.
    The other distro and Gnome are excellently crafted pieces of software, they were
    no longer my cup of caffeine. I looked around, used distrowatch a bit, and decided
    to look at this thing called Crunchbang. Your blog, by the way, was the first
    that I went to (and haven’t stopped since).

    I started with debian on 3.5″ floppies more than a few years ago. I have used
    Slackware, Fedora, Suse, OpenBSD and Ubuntu. I’ve participated in the forums and IRC for most of those. The thing that struck me early on in my Crunchbang experience (and my experience has not changed) is that this is the nicest, most helpful bunch of people that I’ve encountered across those disparate groups. And it doesn’t matter if the topic in question is Crunchbang or not – people just jump in and try to help out. Maybe they don’t have all of the answers but they give 110% trying.

    Thank you and thank all of the Crunchbang faithful!!!

    BTW – Had hoped to help you out with the last SCALE using the excuse that my two
    youngest live in L.A. now but couldn’t make it work out – this time… ;)

    • Maurie — Well, maybe you should plan to make it for SCALE 12X on Feb. 21-23, 2014 because we WILL have a CrunchBang booth and we’re working on getting a special guest from England to staff the booth . . . . :-)

      • I will put a bug in my vacation planner’s (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed) ear. I would absolutely love to meet the special guest. ;)

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