Often I see, read or hear some one talking about how things should be done on a computer. Because I am a Linux user I see it most when I am in an IRC channel or looking at a How-To or something of that manner. I think the general idea is a very good one. Share the information as best as you can if you have it. I have a pretty big issue with how it is done at time however and that issue is growing with time.
What the hell am I talking about? Well my main point is simple. I do not care who you are or what you are doing odds are the re is more than one way to do just about everything on a computer. The method being passed on is not my issue. The fact that many say “This is the right way” or “This is the only way to do it right”. Well the fact is odds are there is another way to do it and it is just as right.
So why is this a issue for me? Well since there are many ways to do those things you pretty much step in a person’s innovation when you tell them there is only one way. How are we to see major steps forward or new techniques when we drive out the information with the lines one way or the right way? We can’t. When a person looks at accomplishing something on a computer they ask how can I get this done. Odds are they will go online or ask some one they know for a way to do it. The method will likely get the task completed as desired. No harm done at first. But if the person offering the advice opens with “The only way to do this is” they have killed that persons desire to look for another way.
A simple solution is to offer the information as a method only. Don’t specify “Right” or “Only” or anything else. Odds are the person will ask if there is another way. Tell them yes and either encourage them to find it if they wish or leave it at that.
My whole point here is there is not one way. We should never say there is only one way. We should encourage others and strive ourselves to find the other ways and share those. This type of innovation is what drives improvement in the field. It has been getting put down for a long time and is only getting put down more as time moves on.