[Meta] Same old conundrum (was Re: telnet & ftp client)

Michael Schroeder Schroeder.Micha at t-online.de
Mon Sep 23 15:00:44 PDT 2002

OK, time to speak up

Bill Maltby LFS Related wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Sep 2002, Matthias Benkmann wrote:
>>On Sun, 22 Sep 2002 12:27:47 -0600 Rob Park <rbpark at ualberta.ca> wrote:
>>>What happened to your crusade against "lazy people"? I mean, the blfs
>>I'm not on a crusade and I do not promote and have never promoted personal
>>attacks. I suggested changes to the book to motivate more self education

For me the "lazy people" thread was a little bit annoying.
Matthias, if you want to avoid these kind of *Fettnäpfchen* (german 
idiom for putting one's foot on a piece of dogs**t), it might have been 
better to use another punctation. IMHO itwas not the best decision to 
use brackets for nearer explanation when you wrote "Getting rid of 
(information for) lazy people", because in this case you can leave out 
the words between the brackets.
And "Getting rid of lazy people" is offending to nearly each of us. ;-)
So I think, it would have been better to write "Getting rid of 
*information* *for* lazy people" or "Getting rid of _information_ _for_ 
lazy people" but not "Getting rid of (information for) lazy people".

>>and keep people away who refuse to read for themselves. But as the book
>>currently is, we can't really blame people for posting FAQs. We have to
>>blame the book.


Even logical it is not right. You can write on the book whatever you 
want to, you will never find the right words to keep people away who 
refuse to read for themselves.

BTW IMHO it is a pitfall to think, that you can control the FAQs by the 
formulation of the book. The book is not a bash script with a well 
formed FAQ as an output. Thats why it can not be debugged this way. And 
that is better so. The book is been read by people of different nation, 
different color, different knowledge, different experiences, different 
native language, different culture and so on.
Happy debugging :-)

But, wait a minute...
new messages...
whats that?
subscription quiz?

Ok, forget about all this stuff.
I will never finish this message.
And I will never post it, prommised.


Micha, sleeping very well tonight

> I agree the book is to blame to *some* degree. But I also understand the
> inclusion of additional information to help ease the way for
> "intermediate-to-advanced" users. These are *very* imprecise terms and
> the drawing the lines of demarcation is not an easy task when the goal
> is (partly/mostly/somewhat) educational in nature.

I do not interfere in here. That's not my toppic for today.

> Having said that, the list itself must bear some of the responsibility.
> And, from what I've heard, with some pride IMO. Several folks have
> commented about the speed of response, the (mostly) friendly and helpful
> attitude and some have commented on the knowldgeability of the list.
Full Ack, Bill

> Those attributes, in and of themselves, will tend to draw less experienced
> users as well as more knowledgeable ones (hopefully) *regardless* of the
> contents of the book(s). And it seems to me that we don't want to discour-
> age that, even just for our own interests. The "bad" things brought by
> less-experienced users may be offset by the good things brought by some
> percentage of them as their experience matures. This is good for all of
> us.
> The problem with the list is the same as the problem with the book - where
> is the line drawn. And it has another that the book possesses in only a
> semi-static way - how is the line enforced.
> The book can enforce whatever line it draws by the fact that it is not
> interactive. The list, being interactive, has a more difficult time of
> doing that job if it wishes to remain courteous, helpful, friendly and
> gain new members. And that is assuming that a "line" can be drawn!
> If you are not "expert" in shell scripting, are you too ignorant to be
> accepted and supported by the list? No? Well, if you don't know what the
> bash construct $(AB##[][agh]*]) means, are you too new? If you don't have
> a basic perl scripting ability... you can see where this goes. At *any*
> level of experience in some area of Linux/GNU use, I can find another area
> touched upon by the LFS activities in which an individual may not have
> "enough" experience. Maybe lilo, maybe CDs, maybe SCSI, maybe modules and
> on and on. I myself am *very* ignorant in *many* areas. But I take *great*
> pride in "doing my homework" before asking for help even though that costs
> me time, effort and aggravation. Not everbody has that same attitude. And
> I do not *expect* everyone to have the same attitude, although I wish they
> would. Anyway, before enforcement of a line can be considered, there must
> be a line. And it needs to be fairly *unambiguous* (that statement is
> itself ambiguous).
> And *then* one must decide how it is enforced and at what cost and if it
> really ought to be enforced at all, considering the costs (whatever they
> are).
> There have been many suggestions as to new sub-groups (newbies), higher-
> level book content, dynamically generated books and so forth. But we
> always come bumping into the same darn wall - it is apparently *not* the
> basic nature of most of us to *not* be helpful to others! And for that we
> pay the price until we can discover a solution that minimizes the bad
> effects of all the good attributes of the list and maximizes the good ef-
> fects.
> BTW: I consider one of the bad effects to be that people are constantly
> addressing this topic and *not* solving it. *That* is against my nature
> much more than helping people who are too new, lazy or just plain ...?
> You would think that with all this brain power, somebody would have
> started a working group or something to come up with some good analysis of
> the problem, several good solutions... oh well.
> As for me, I will continue doing what I do most of the time. Helping where
> I might, *trying* to be considerate in all cases and suggesting,
> suggesting, suggesting references to docs. And sometimes, I just shut up.
> Awright - quit that laughing out there!  :)
>>In any case, posting misinformation is the wrong way to
>>deal with these people. If you want to be impolite, simply reply with
>>"RTFM". If you want to be more helpful, provide a URL. But don't simply
>>post junk. You're making the problem of redundancy on (b)lfs-support worse
>>not better.
> Essentially, I agree. But I took it as humor that I felt would be easily
> recognizable. So my reaction was considerably different than yours. How-
> ever, in the non-humorous intellectual sense, I think you are right. What
> I would be interested in hearing is how the OP took it. That seems to me
> to be more significant.

First of all I thik it's time to speak of an Etiquette for the 
experienced ones of us. I mean an etiquette for those, who answers 

> Bill Maltby
> billm at wlmcs.com

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