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I'm still here. Honest!
I posted to a thread at yesterday, and was surprised to cause a bit of a stir. Not by my content (which was fairly uncontroversial) but by the fact that I posted at all. I hadn’t realised that it’s been so long since I posted! Or that people thought I had left. I have been dropping in and reading a few threads every couple of days. Honest!

Anyway, I thought I’d get down on paper... errr... screen why I’ve been around less. In the hope it might help people reflecting on the State of Maemo/Meego. This is why you’ve seen less of me.

1) The personal stuff. This is easy. I just finished a research MSc (and I passed... Yay!) which took a lot of time. I’m in the throes of eye surgery, and I’ve managed to break my finger. As a non-typist, it’s the finger I use most on the keyboard. Add to that the life-time battle with the Black Dog which means that I have patches when I’m less emotionally resilient than normal, and there have been reasons for being online less generally.

2) Feeling useless. Ever since Meego was announced, I’ve had questions about whether the ignorant enthusiast is of any value. I read threads in the forum there, and seldom find anything of value I can contribute. A lot of what happens there is very high-powered, high-tech. With the n900 well established, I feel of less value at, too. I haven’t had time for basic things like trawling the wiki for grammatical errors and no longer have anything useful to say in most threads.

3) Feeling stupid. This is closely allied to the useless feeling. These days most of what happens at either maemo or meego goes over my head.

Signing up for the mailing lists didn’t help. Someone said that anyone who was serious should at the very least be signed to the community lists. So I’m on the maemo and meego community mailings, and have over 1200 emails in my inbox of which I don’t understand about 90%. And I don’t even know the proper protocols for using mailing lists – I daren’t comment even if I had anything to say as I’d certainly use the wrong etiquette.

I was reading a thread on t.m.o. recently where a poster asked a question. It was the sort of question I might have asked myself just a few weeks previously (I only knew the answer because I still read a lot there!) The response they got was “Man you shouldn’t even OWN this device!” And I thought “If they shouldn’t, neither should I. Perhaps I’ll just stay quiet and not admit to having a phone that’s too clever for me.” Part of me wants to believe that that attitude is not common or prevalent among maemo-ites, and my experience has been that the long-time devs are happy to welcome people who want to learn, but statements like that go unchallenged. And it helps no-one.

4) Trolls. We’ve acquired a few people who have an Agenda. Which they will introduce into every thread they post in. Loudly. And angrily. I served nearly a decade at TrekBBS where it was my role to read and deal with that sort of stuff – these days I feel my ire rising and just close the browser. Luxury. But it means that of late my browsing sessions have been shorter than I might have liked. Life is too short for that stuff. So I’m pleased to see the mods and Reggie clarifying a code of conduct for the place, with some sanctions for persistent offenders. Hopefully it will become a nicer environment.

So that’s why I’ve been less noticeable at t.m.o. I still chat to the maemo-folks on twitter, and have even shown my face in IRC a couple of times (most notably the day I did my first ever genuine reflash and wanted to boast. I was so touched to see someone retweet that, celebrating my nascent geekhood.) I’m still around, still reading. And if you ever find what I’m supposed to be doing there, let me know!
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users ? what users ?

2-4 sounds like

Re: users ? what users ?

I hadn't read that, honest! But yes, I guess I'm feeling what some others are feeling to. Where does the ignorant but enthusiastic end-user sit these days?

Sounds like you need to unwrap your mod-stick from your TrekBBS days and lay about you. Those folk need to be taught some manners!

Congrats on the MSc, hope the recovery from your eye surgery and broken finger goes quickly :o)

Hey TD! How's life with you? I gather I stirred trouble at TrekBBS this weekend so am Staying Away.

I sometimes think what t.m.o. needs is a regular fireside chat. ;)

Thanks for the congrats and other good wishes.

*peeks in and hugs Kathy.*

If you ever have a rough patch and need an ear of a shoulder then you know where to find me. :)

As for the phone stuff, the most modern phone/pda device I have is a 2005 vintage MDA III so guess how well I know all that phone stuff. ;)

Feeling useless? why? I can't do many things other can but at some other stuff I rule, the same applies to everyone else too. :)

Feeling stupid? since I've visited you and have a pretty good idea of who and what you are I only can say that you're damn bright, intelligent and very inventive. :)

MSc+pass= WIN! congrats :D *hugs* :) (see you can't be stupid, more proof HA! ;))

As for the eye surgery, I'm crossing my fingers for you, may it be quick and painless and have the desired effect. :)

Thanks Santa! The eye surgery is awkward - have had one done and so far not got the desired result. They say it's 'still healing' but it's scary having iffy sight in one eye with the other one pending.

For the other, 'stupid' is context dependent. I know an awful lot about some things, but in this particular context, I'm an ignoramus. And I feel it!

Hugs back atcha.

I can help you with growing some more knowledge on maemo/meego/etc when I'm back from vacations end-of-)uly. I work for it and know at least core things since 770 era :)

Hi Kathy,

Firstly: congrats on passing the MSc. :-)

Secondly: I keep saying this to you, but I figure this is the proper place to do it.

Please, don't give up.

There's a lot of us around who count you as a friend and highly value your unique and bright perspective on things.

Things on MeeGo aren't exactly the friendliest right now, but please do try understand that things there are in a very early stage. That doesn't mean that you're not welcome (by far) - it just means that no matter where you go in the project you're going to run into a lot of geeks. It being bigger than Maemo (not just Nokia, for starters) also means you're going to run into a lot *more* of them. This is, though, in the longer run - a good thing. As it will hopefully mean a platform with more attention and more polish.

The time to pitch in and help shape things is now, and you're incredibly valuable to help do that - even if you don't know your RAM from your ROM and your bits from your bytes - you're uniquely human, and that is a characteristic that the project can sorely afford to lose.

If there's anything I can do (above or beyond what I am already doing) to help persuade you to stay put and feel welcome - try me.

Aye, I'll echo the sentiment here (although I'm more burnt out and less enthusiastic about things than w00t). I think it's going to take time (and real devices) to grow a community that's as vivid as, and it's going to require people like you, Kathy, to help push for it (as the people in charge don't feel particularly inclined towards supporting that sort of diversity. . . .).

Don't worry, I'm not the giving up sort. Think I'd have lasted nearly a decade modding one of the more challenging environments if I were? The guys there will testify that when things got really rough I would start asking 'What am i doing here?' but a break usually brought me back. I have a terrier streak which never quite gives up (I still visit at TBBS.)

That's pretty well what I've done: not sure where I should be or what I should be doing, I've taken a back seat. I just didn't realise how much it had been noticed till I actually found a thread I had something to say in and discovered people had missed me. So I thought you all deserved and explanation about where I'd gone.

I'm not giving up. *Someone* is organising beginners training in coding, and I still want to make my row counter! Having finished the MSc, I'm asking 'what shall I learn next?' and I don't have a PhD in me (well, not yet, anyway!)

Thanks to both you guys. ;-)
I think the problem I have with meego is more about the feel of it being a corporate environment than the geeks. At the moment, I don't think they see the corporate, bottom-line advantages to having a diverse community, and so far, I don't think we've found a way to convince them.

I'm not gone. Honest!

Remember that geeks of any stripe (phone geeks or Trek geeks) are often accompanied by a lack of ability to interact properly socially. So don't take it personally and don't let it get your goat. Help the ones who need help and ignore the pinheads.

You're certainly not stupid. One person cannot know everything on every subject. Those who seem so smart on the Maemo/Meego, remember, once they were beginners who didn't know squat. It's a pity that some have forgotten that and are so insecure they can only validate their worth by tearing down newcomers. That's just daft.

Hope the eye and finger heal quickly. How the Sam Hill did you break your finger?

It's not the veterans tearing down newcomers, it's the newcomers who only /think/ they know something doing so. :)

That I believe - it certainly fits with my experience.

Hey Bon,

I said to someone above, 'stupid is context dependent'. In this environment I'm stupid. I can tell you what disease McCoy had in 'For the world is hollow...' and have the recipe for Plomik soup, but that's not needed here! It's about finding a place in a community where I *am* stupid!

The finger is a long story involving landing upside down in a bramble bush, unable to right myself like a sheep on its back. Looking back, it must have been a very funny sight! If I hadn't put my hands down, I'd have got my face into the brambles, so it was the lesser of two evils!

congratulations on the MSc! and hope you recover from the eye surgery and broken finger quickly. {{{{ hugs }}}}

As for feeling stupid, as long as you keep learning, there's nothing wrong with not knowing something, even things that some people thinks should be absolute basic knowledge. Just ignore those people, they seem to forget when they first started learning about something.

I think (as GA said above) the problem is the relative new-comers who know a little and like to use it to put down people who know less. The people who know most and have been around longest are brilliant with ignorami.

What about MaeSheep?

So what will happen with MaeSheep, the project you have initiated there?
I wish you all the best anyway! :D

Re: What about MaeSheep?

Uh, forgot my nick at t.m.o -> it's me, DaSilva (okay, maybe nobody knows but better than anonymous ;))

Re: What about MaeSheep?

Hey Da Silva,

MaeSheep are mostly in Hopbeat's capable paws now. I will give him a nudge about promoting to extras now that we have PR1.2 stable. Thanks for reminding me.

Besides, as I say, I'm still here. Just less noticiable as I find I have less to contribute. :-)

be selective...

Hi, I had also noticed your absense from t.m.o, though I confess that I read much less of it now than I did. I find that the only way I can enjoy tmo these days is to be very selective about what I read. As soon as I start to see comments dragging a thread downhill I just leave it.
Definite feeling that the signal to noise is not ideal.

But good to know you persevere, don't feel stupid, I develop for maemo and find that 'I don't know how' is my response to most requests :-) Just takes a little patience to read and experiment and learn.

Re: be selective...

damn forgot, this is dwould from tmo

Hi dwould,

Thanks for the comment. I guess the point where you are ahead of me is knowing where to go to read and learn. I have no previous experience of Open Source, let alone Maemo/meego. I'm really looking forward to w00t getting his Code-school going, as I want to learn. Though right now with my eyesight that might have to wait a few weeks.

You're right about the noise. When I signed up I thought "How wonderful! an almost moderation-free community where people self-regulate." And it was. Except we now have people who don't have the skill - or the motivation to use it. I leave when I feel myself getting irked, but I tend to leave for several hours or days. ;-)

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