Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: crunchbang

The Shitlord in the Forum Problem image/svg+xml

For better or for worse, online communities are born out of like-mindedness. That’s different than our geographical-based communities. These communites grow and people on the fringe of this like-mindedness will no doubt arrive. The guiding principle begins to fall apart. This state is ideal for diversity of opinion, but it is only a matter of time until the Shitlord appears.

The Shitlord has a singular societal function: to provoke. Crass language and jokes, hostile opinions, contrarianism for controversy’s sake, even rape and death threats. They squelch the peacekeepers and embolden the extremists. Unmanaged, dissidence grows and grows. The traditional advice to “ignore the trolls” doesn’t work here. I say this from experience, it’s not easy to fix.

The CrunchBang forums had a few Shitlords and they were a proper PITA. I remember one in particular who was mentally unhinged on a level that I’ve not experienced before. I can confirm that “don’t feed the trolls” did not work for this Shitlord. Instead, I fed them courtesy and kindness, and over a period of months, the Shitlord lost interest and moved on. It was time consuming, frustrating, a little scary, but most annoyingly, it was a distraction.

Shitlords aside, the CrunchBang forums and community were totally awesome. I will always remember them with fond memories.

DistroWatch Review: BunsenLabs Linux image/svg+xml

When I first started using BunsenLabs Linux I did not enjoy the experience. At first, it felt like installing Debian with a depressing theme and fewer features. The initial installation and configuration steps felt overly long and complicated. The Openbox environment lacked the features of fuller desktop environments while, at the same time, offering unwanted distractions such as Conky and extra virtual desktops. It would be fair to say the first two or three hours with Bunsen were unpleasant for me.

For distro developers, DistroWatch is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it can help attract talent and interest in your distro. It’s a curse because you run the gauntlet with reviewers, who can sometimes totally miss the point.

At the end of my trial, I still had some mixed feelings. As much as Bunsen grew on me, I couldn’t help but feel the experience felt very much like installing Debian and adding the Openbox window manager as a session option. While Bunsen takes care of that step for us, it also adds several extra steps during the initial configuration that made me feel like going with plain Debian and installing Openbox might have been faster and easier.

Whilst I haven’t tried Bunsen yet, I can guarantee that simply installing Openbox in vanilla Debian would not be faster and easier. Seriously, have you tried doing that lately?

I’m thinking that I should fire-up a virtual machine and give Bunsen a try, before attempting to write a proper review that does it justice.