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Newer users PLEASE READ

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  • Scott
    ... Hash: SHA1 Howdy folks, As a list moderator, lately, I ve noticed a pattern in the questions and postings of newer members. Many of you, judging from email
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2005
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      Howdy folks,

      As a list moderator, lately, I've noticed a pattern in the questions and
      postings of newer members.

      Many of you, judging from email addresses and names, don't have English
      as your first language, however, please try to understand this.

      When you sign up for this group, there is a list faq at


      Please take a look at it.

      There are certain rules of netiquette mentioned there--many people don't
      know about them, but they are fairly standard on most Unix or Linux
      based lists.

      This list is aimed more towards the newcomer, however, following some of
      the rules in the faq are a way to avoid getting flamed or having your
      questions ignored by the more experienced list members.

      Top posting is one thing that annoys a lot of people. Top posting is
      when you reply to a message and put your answer above the message. Then
      people have to scroll down to see what you are talking in your email.
      Many of the more experienced users belong to several higher level tech
      support mailing lists and receive, literally, hundreds of emails a
      day--they'll see something is top posted and simply not bother to answer

      Thread hijacking is another thing. Many people don't realize it, but if
      you take an email message, just change the subject line and hit reply,
      this is a thread hijack. For those who have email readers, like mutt
      and others, that thread messages, your message appears as if it were
      part of another thread. If a more experienced user (again, please
      remember, many of them are extremely busy) thinks it's part of another
      thread that they aren't following, your message will be ignored.
      (Again, please look at the faq, there is a screenshot of how a hijacked
      thread appears to mail reader configured to follow threads.)

      The faq also has links to a few good pages, such as how to ask questions
      the smart way, and how to get the most out of FreeBSD-questions--take a
      look at those pages, they are useful.

      This list is here to help, but we do expect you to try on your own
      first. There is a big difference in writing, How do I set up postfix,
      and writing, I've looked at the docs on postfix and I'm a bit confused.
      I've done this and this, but it's not working. Would someone point me to
      a clearer tutorial, or tell me what to check to see why my aliases file
      isn't working?

      Although others would disagree, I would also find something like the
      following an acceptable question.

      I would like to switch from Windows to Linux and I'm not sure where to
      start looking. I've installed RedHat, but I can't get connected to the
      Internet. In Windows, it was automatic, would someone tell me where I
      should begin?

      For the more experienced members--while we do find these questions
      aggravating, I think that for the beginner, the man pages are often not
      terribly helpful. The well-known Rute book commented that you should
      expect to read a man page 3 times before understanding it. I wonder how
      people would react to software where you were told, "You have to run it
      three times before it begins to work. If it doesn't work then, it's
      your fault."

      Windows documentation used to be horrible as well, and didn't become
      helpful to the end user till Windows 2000. Although this may be heresy,
      I consider many of the docs at ldp to be pretty poor for the beginner as

      The more experienced users, aggravating as the neophyte's questions
      might be, should try to point the beginners to more specific guides, and
      if you simply feel too aggravated to give a helpful response, not
      respond at all. It's like fighting with a spouse--when you get angry,
      someone once told me, you lose your power. If someone asks a question
      about apache that shows they've made no effort so far, rather than
      giving them a search the web response, let's make this list a place
      where we can teach them, and explain to them, nicely, why their question
      would aggravate the more experienced user.

      Anyway, all of this is simply my opinion--although I'm a moderator
      (hrrm, I'm co-owner of this list too, right?) this is not an official
      statement, simply a request, or perhaps, an opinion offered for

      Thanks for reading this far (if you did) [1]

      [1] And, if you didn't, you don't get the thank you. :)

      - --

      Scott Robbins

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