Newer users PLEASE READ
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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
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
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
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
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) 
 And, if you didn't, you don't get the thank you. :)
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Xander: Isn't that what they called The Slayer?
Willow: Buffy, ohh scary.
Xander: Someone has to talk to her people. That name is striking
fear in nobody's hearts.
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