FAQ vs. Immediate Answer?

Ken Dyke ken_i_m at elegantinnovations.net
Wed Jan 15 08:12:35 PST 2003


On Wed, 2003-01-15 at 05:58, Bill's LFS Login wrote:
> In this recent exchange, an admonishment to *not* directly post answers
> that are contained in the FAQ is posted. I believe this "policy" is open
> for discussion, based on previous activity on this list.

This is actually pretty standard practice dating to early times on
Usenet.
FAQ == frequently asked questions
This also means that the community has read and answered these questions
many times.  It is considered rude of a person to ask a question that is
in the FAQ.  Consider that a mailing list is a large number of people. 
A post asking a FAQ is sent to each one of them (wasted bandwidth) and
each one of them must handle it (wasted man hours).  The FAQ should be
read no later then when there is a problem a person can not solve but
before they post to the mailing list.  A post to the mailing list is in
fact a post to the community that is formed by that list.  Asking a FAQ
is an insult to effort the community has gone to in solving a problem
and then directing its attention to problems that have not yet made it
into the FAQ.

For additional discussion of these points please see
http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

-- 
I think, therefore, ken_i_m
Chief Gadgeteer,
Elegant Innovations
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