FAQ vs. Immediate Answer?

Bill's LFS Login lfsbill at wlmcs.com
Wed Jan 15 08:30:11 PST 2003


On 15 Jan 2003, Ken Dyke wrote:

> On Wed, 2003-01-15 at 05:58, Bill's LFS Login wrote:
> > In this recent exchange, an admonishment to *not* directly post answers
I see nothing below which discusses posting of answers to FAQs.-----|||||||

> > 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've read that before. I am not addressing the posting of FAQs,
content of questions requesting help or any similar. I am addressing
*only* whether or not *answering* a FAQ on *this* list-set is to be
considered bad-form. My interests are only that one who answers a FAQ by
other than reference is not unfairly "chastised" if it is not a
"standard" by which this community lives, and that folks who have a
*long* history of being helpful (in sometimes difficult circumstances)
are not driven off by a (possibly) misguided chastisement.

If I have left anything unclear, I'll be glad to try again. If I am
out-of-line, just let me know.

Bill Maltby
lfsbill at wlmcs.com

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