I'm placing this thread in the hope it may be useful to the FLOSS, in case it gets due attention and interest.
In a recent Distro review, made in the Washington Post, the author concluded in this way:
"And that's an important thing to remember when talking about glitches in Linux: Yes, they exist, but they can crop up in Windows, too. In Linux, they don't cost you anything -- at least in terms of money. Time is another thing ... especially if you're not accustomed to the vocabulary and grammar of Linux."
In good truth, Linux information for newcomers is too disperse, diffuse and deprecated. I remember that when I arrived to Linux, one year ago, I posted at LinuxQuestions, to present myself there. Following my post, another new comer, as lost as I was, asked where he could start reading, to get involved with Linux. Nobody was able to give an acceptable answer.
I think that the Linux desktop distro world, would have all to gain by creating a task force, dedicated to a specifically massive action, targeting windows new comers, by creating a very clear, succinct, well done, and attractive kind of Wiki, to facilitate the adaptation of those users to our way of speak and do things.
This project must be top quality, above all. It may require a multidisciplinary venture, involving some marketing, sociology, advertising, art work and of course, technical skills.
After the Wiky and all related work is completed, it should be centralized somewhere and kept updated. It will allow to be linked to every FLOSS and Distro sites who would want to adhere, placing it at a very visible place, and in a very attractive way.
This could be done with some kind of a standard banner, the like of:
"We welcome all Windows users. Please follow this link to learn all the advantages to adopt Linux, how Linux works, our terminology and other useful information for newcomers"
In case of Distro sites, some parts of the standard text, should be allowed to be changed, to meet the specifics of each distro.
I have all the pleasure to leave this project to the consideration of this forum community.
Note that I'm not looking for credit for myself, in any way, and I cannot even cooperate in the execution of this idea due to my lack of Linux skills. I just feel that the community hasn't been growing as fast as it deserves and we need to get together and become more aggressive on finding new ways to achieve that purpose. This is especially relevant after recent news in the net pointing out that our greatest developers are getting now quite old, and new blood is needed.
Everyone may be able to cooperate, even that just by spreading the word.
Now, one example, regarding the utility of the intention behind the idea I placed.
I know the question "do linux need more market share?" could lead to a never ending discussion, so I may not massacre you people with my rants on that, but only this, for a termination.
Most computer users, but not all, are the so named average joe/jane. Many are older people that found and are using Linux. They may stay, or leave earlier or later. Most will not bother to learn, unless the most basics of their PC. They may never become a value added to the community. Others may find Linux interesting enough to invest it's time on it. Some of these, may learn enough to become the future geeks. This means that more people coming, will increase the chance to gain useful people to the community.
Now, lets look at the reality of modern life. At some cities in Europe, there is people who take 2 hours to arrive to their job, and the same time, in the way back. They have dinner with their family. Then they seat on his/her pc to look about Linux, because one friend said it was a fantastic thing. He starts googling and what does he see? grub (what a hell is this) distro (...?) live cd ( ... ?) i386, i586, amd64 ( .....?), kernel ( ...?) gnu (...?), gnome (...?), kde (...? ) xfce (...?), partition my disk (...?) gparted (...?) windows manager (....?), DE (...?) brasero (...?) 3b (...?) gftp (...?), terminal (..?), ... CLI (...?) you name it. But only those common to all distros.
At 4 am, the poor man is tired, frustrated, lost, didn''t have a word all night to his family and will be blaming the "stupid" friend who told him about the great Linux.. For him, ***o** Linux. for ever. This is not for me... geek stuff (?). And yes, the community may loose here a future great geek. Only because all sites he visited, didn't have a nice (standard) wiky, (or a link to it, in a centralized point) who would have though him all that vocabulary and grammar (common to all distros) in a mere 1/2 hour.
This is my point.
Thanks for all who read.