[clug-talk] Mailing List Guidelines
bgcamroux at shaw.ca
Thu May 18 10:59:21 PDT 2006
On Thu, May 18, 2006 at 11:03:09AM -0600, bogi wrote:
> 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:
This is true. But there should be another requirement or two:
- Search for a possible solution before you post your question (use Google if you must,
search mailing list archives -- often the topic has been discussed before.
- If you can't find a solution from searching the Web, make sure that in your post you
list the steps you've taken to correct the problem -- what sites have you visited, what
possible solutions have you tried. This doesn't have to be an exhaustive list, just
enough to show that you've done some research before hand.
> 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.
This is quite common, and is a credit to the technical community in general. Most of us
techies can pick things up relatively quickly, learning from our mistakes.
> 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.
Again, this points back to doing research before posting the question on the (actually _any_)
user's mailing list or newsgroup. People are more inclined to help if they see you've done
some work on your own. It's the same idea used by many teachers and professors: they won't
be as likely to help you with a problem if you haven't shown some effort before going to them.
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