[clug-talk] Mailing List Guidelines

bogi khangyi at shaw.ca
Thu May 18 10:03:09 PDT 2006

In general there is a guideline as to how to ask a question. And it is not 
hard to follow, now given that the person asking the question can and is 
likely so new to Linux/Open Source/Free software that they dont know how to 
ask the question. So here is a short checklist:

	-Politely say Hi :-) 
	-state you Distro name and version (like ubuntu 5.10)
	-state what application is in question, say streamtuner if applicable.
	-state what the problem is, like (i cant do this,or how to i do this or that) 
	-is hardware in involved state hardware name and model number (this helps a 
lot ) like IBM 300PL built in soundcard or Nvidia Gforce2 if you can.
	-state is applicable (or needed) the hardware and / or software configuration 
of the system in question.
	-paste the error message  / or logfile portion pertaining.

	Now, you can not expect a total nube to do all the above as needed, for they 
might not know it is needed, and even if they did, they would not know how to 
get this information for you. And here starts a session of counter questions 
and instructions on how to answer them even before we can work on the real 

	And to the credit of many nubs on the list, they do pick this knowledge very 
fast, and their questions become well phrased and concentrated in a few days 
or weeks depending on the level of activity. 

	In my years at CLUG, i have not seen a single instance when a noob, with a 
malformed question got sent away inappropriately or got ignored or scorned. 
And i regard this fact very highly.

	Now when the question is finally answered, the problem solved. I helps the 
list to have the noob summaries the steps leading to the answer / solution 
and affirm to the group that that course of action did lead to named problem. 
I know, it is not easy at start, but it does help a great deal with repeat 
questions. It also tells the list, that that problem was indeed solved, so no 
further action is necessary.

	When doing the summery, do it your style, it gives it better chance of being 
found by another noob later searching. Mention the brandname distro and 
version / model number, they represent excellent search keywords.

So just a few ideas, lets get a discussion going on this, it does help us too, 
not just the noobs to get a good insight on what they think how they should 
be asking the questions.


On May 18, 2006 10:57, Kin Wong wrote:
> Shawn, that was a really good guideline on how we ought to behave on the
> mailing list.
> One thing that I would like the challenge the membership, if you have
> been helped and you have attained a level of comfort on a topic --
> consider documenting what you know and the process, either in a blog or
> success stories.  CLUG is community based and will only grow if we all
> try to give back a little to the community.
> On more than one occasion I have heard the comment that certain experts
> don't hang around the group any more and for good reason.  It is not
> their job to help us solve our problem -- there are a number of really
> knowledgeable people that are quite willing to share that knowledge, but
> they will get tired of answering the same questions over and over
> again.  As an organization, we need to learn what they have to offer and
> help leave a legacy.  We are not trying to make them redundant, but
> rather free them to further challenges.  The learners today need to step
> up and become the teachers of tomorrow -- only in this way will we grow
> our knowledge faster and have retention of our sage masters.
> The challenge to the CLUG membership, what legacy are you going to leave?

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