[web-team] Re: [svlug] How to ask for help?

Marc MERLIN marc_news at valinux.com
Sun Sep 2 11:34:02 PDT 2001

On Sun, Sep 02, 2001 at 12:31:56AM -0700, Rafael Skodlar wrote:
> Marc,
> Did we get a single usable answer to the email in question? None. Why?
> List members don't care because the person did not bother to do a simple
> search on http://www.google.com/linux?q=dual+boot&num=10 (a link from
> SVLUG page) with tons of answers. But that's not the main issue I want to
> address.
I know and  I'm not discussing this. I'm saying don't  flame the person.  An
answer along the lines of:
"You  have to  ask the  question  right if  you  want quality  help, in  the
meantime, try google" would have been enough.
> What's bothering me is the ignorance and lack of respect for the mailing
> list in general. To provide a good answer we need to know more about the
> problem than a simple "help" on the Subject line and nondescriptive body
> of the message.
Agreed. Again, I'm not discussing your point, I'm discussing the flame. If
you have to critisize half negatively, at least do it by private mail.
> It's my belief that the quality of mailing list went down since some time
> in 1999. We used to get more questions that made sense and together we
> usually found the answer. Lately we have increased number of people that

I remember quality of usenet in 1993, and your point is? :-)

> That kind of threads become useless because they mostly keep the same, yes
> "STUPID" unsearchable Subject line that provides no information about the
> real subject. Who is ever going to look in there to find the answer to a
> problem?
Agreed,  again, so  make a  short contructive  critism. Your message  wasn't
that. Also, I hardly ever search archives by subject anymore, I use a search
engine that's going to search the body of the message.
> Finaly: To improve communication on the list it makes me wonder if it's a
> good idea to have a web page which explains what is expected from people
> before they ask questions. Something like "in order to get serious Linux
> related help from the group please provide the following information:
> - descriptive Subject line
> - Hardware description including type of CPU, memory size, disk size and
> type (ATA, SCSI), peripherals (CD ROM, DVD, floppy, USB), etc.
> - Linux distribution in question (have it, or plan to acquire,...)
> - other OS versions (installed or planing to install)
> - actions taken before the problem
> - actions taken to try to fix the problem (including search the net)
> - whatever else is relevant to the question"
Yes it  is. Our web team  has been meaning  to restore a  posting guidelines
page for more than a year :-)
Anyone  who  has  time and  wants  to  chip  in  is welcome  to  help. Email
web-team at svlug.org
> That is basic information needed to help solve the problem. Is that too
> much to ask or is it ahead of time like:
> 2020-August:  [ Thread ] [ Subject ] [ Author ] [ Date ]
> 2003-May:  [ Thread ] [ Subject ] [ Author ] [ Date ] [ Gzip'd Text 368 bytes ]

Mailman's default is to trust the date provided by the poster's MUA.
Sucks, agreed.

Microsoft is to operating systems & security ....
                                      .... what McDonalds is to gourmet cooking
Home page: http://marc.merlins.org/   |   Finger marc_f at merlins.org for PGP key

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