Please refrain from top posting.  It makes quoting your email in context
very difficult when replying.  It is also very difficult to follow which
points your email responded to specifically.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Theodoropoulos [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 12:31 PM
> Subject: Re: [vchkpw] qmail-inject Error
> This would all be fine and dandy - if your construct were
> correct. I draw
> your attention to the word "insist" before your bullet points
> below.  "Bullet points" is perhaps ironically apropos -
> because the fact
> is, nobody has a gun to your head. Nobody can compel someone else to
> educate them/read documentation for them/etc via email to a
> mailing list.
> It's your choice to respond.

Yet people write email after email to technical mailing lists asking for
just that type of handholding.  There's a reason why people are
constantly told to RTFM, it's because in so many cases it is dreadfully
obvious that they haven't.

> I understand where you are coming from with your rant, but I
> also believe
> we should err on the side of compassion and humanity when
> dealing with
> ignorance (ignorance in the specific form, 'lack of knowledge on the
> subject at hand'.) Asking questions is the first step towards
> learning.

I disagree.  It is incumbent upon the person asking for help on a free
mailing list to actually show that they've gone to some length to find
an answer on their own.  Not making an effort before asking for help
abuses both the time and bandwidth of those who do make an effort as
well as those who offer support.  To boot, there are a number of
applications, especially internet connected, that if a person cannot
show the slightest inclination to help themselves, they should not be
running in the first place.

> Yes, it is frustrating when the same questions get asked over
> and over by
> different people. I've lost count of the times on the
> sqwebmail list that
> someone has asked a short or long question about something,
> and Mister Sam
> replies simply "See INSTALL".

Possibly because if they had read the INSTALL before installing as they
were supposed to do, the answer would have been obvious. Since you bring
up the Sqwebmail list, of which I'm also a member, how many times have
you seen in the last month alone people asking about the "Invalid User
ID or Password" issue that relates to having vpopmail installed?  It
gets asked over and over because people refuse to do some research
beforehand.  Spoonfeeding people is not helping the situation.

> In my early days learning UNIX systems administration (nine
> years ago), I
> posted to comp.unix.solaris a few times. My questions were not newbie
> questions, but compared with what some of the seasoned
> experts there knew,
> the questions were trivial. However, I didn't get flamed for asking a
> question that in relative terms to their expertise was a
> newbie question.
> For that I'm thankful. And i've reciprocated many, many times
> with others,
> by sharing my knowledge without judgement. True - if someone
> comes to me
> with the same question three separate times, I'll probably
> become reticent.

Newbies are by definition ignorant.  That's why they are newbies.  It is
possible to ask a newbie question that won't be universally flamed by
the gurus.  But in order to do that, one must show that they made some
kind of effort to understand what's going on.

> bottom line: answer or don't answer or redirect the questioner to the
> appropriate place. But ultimately, it's all your choice.
> Nobody is forcing
> you or anyone else to reply to this person's question.
> and that's _my_ rant for the day!   ;^)

> Paul Theodoropoulos
> Help Cure Alzheimer's with your PC's spare time:

Robert Kropiewnicki
Network Administrator
StructuredWeb Inc.
Phone: 201-325-3146

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