*countable infinities only

Peter Jones pjones at redhat.com
Tue Jun 12 13:58:13 UTC 2012

On 06/12/2012 08:10 AM, Orcan Ogetbil wrote:

> Due to my respect to your request, I thought about it for nearly 72
> hours. I still stand behind what I said: People who are incapable of
> switching a BIOS setting, which might involve doing a simple web
> search beforehand, should better not touch any electric equipment.
> Fellow contributors assert that such people are not in Fedora's target
> base, as per the statement of the Board. Of course they are right. I
> am just claiming the set of BIOS-capable people is not limited to
> target Fedora user base, but extends to all electric equipment users.

I find it pretty hard to believe this position. Through my role working
on our bootloaders at Red Hat, I've seen a fair amount of pre-production
hardware, and I've spent a lot of time looking at hardware that implements
Secure Boot, and how it does so. I've seen the firmware interfaces so far.
They've gotten a lot better than when they initially started shipping, but
there are still plenty of them where /I/ can't figure out what the firmware
options mean.

There are still plenty of other firmware options for other features that have
some acronym that only a subject matter expert will ever figure out what mean.
This is not merely common, but it's true on nearly all machines I've ever
encountered. On all but the most painfully limiting firmwares, there is an
option the name of which I can't decode, much less establish a meaning for.
A meeting of the minds between the user and the firmware developer is clearly
not a high priority, and is basically never achieved.

It's pretty disingenuous to think that our users are going to be able to
figure this out. Even if we provide the best instructions we can, there are
going to be users - reasonably smart people who are using computers and
Fedora to solve real problems - who aren't going to be able to figure out
how what we say maps to their firmware. It's pretty hurtful to say they
shouldn't be using computers, much less /all/ electric equipment.

Just because somebody doesn't have a high level of technical expertise
doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't use the tools available to accomplish
their goals, and it's pretty rude to treat people this way. Above that,
when you make statements that denigrate a plurality of human beings, it
becomes very difficult to take your point in any way seriously.


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