A couple of things that are sort of about Linux

First and foremost, I have no idea what scrollkeeper is or does, but whatever it’s doing: it’s doing it wrong.

I installed a couple of boxes yesterday that had modest hardware and they each spent several minutes running scrollkeeper-update at the end of the install and then they both got to run it again when I installed updates. And in case you’re unfamiliar, this is a process that consumes all of the CPU it can get. How can anyone find this acceptable?

Actually, I lied. I do know what it’s for and that’s the saddest part. It’s for indexing help documents. I guess since most people don’t like man pages, someone felt the need to write this system-crushing utility to index some help documents I’ll never ever read.

Wait, I’m wrong, that’s not the saddest part. The saddest part is that every distributions packaging of GNOME (I guess, based soley on the things that threaten to be removed if I try to uninstall scrollkeeper) make binary packages depend on this awful piece of software. If you want to use gnome-terminal (or whatever,) you’re stuck with scrollkeeper. What’s wrong with having a gnome-doc package or something?

I could guess about why it’s slow… I see those horrible letters “XML” some of the dependencies, so I could easily point at that, but of course it would only be speculation. While I’m speculating, I’ll go ahead and offer that I can only imagine that were I to use these help documents sans the helpful indexing of scrollkeeper, I’d actually spend less time waiting on my computer than I do with the help of scrollkeeper.

To establish some “cred” before my next amazing feat… er complaint, I’ll inform you that I’ve been using Linux since 1994. I’ve been a professional admin for 8 year or so. To top it off, I think I have a fairly good sense of humor. In fact, on more than one occasion I’ve had friends and even total strangers describe me as “hilarious.”

With that said, I feel fully qualified to say that User Friendly is about as funny as Sinbad which is to say: not. I’ve never laughed. I’ve never smiled. In fact the most positive response I’ve ever had was mild annoyance. I can only imagine that this comic has a following because people feel that they need to laugh to be part of some community that only exists in their own minds.

Linux magazines, hear my prayer. Stop syndicating this crap.

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