I am of the position that catering to these needs and building an extensive library of information on them would likely bring a lot of non-osdev related traffic to the site and change the focus as a whole, but I have no problem with a list of links to said sites and providing a link to it if someone inquires.
No one is talking about "catering" to anyone's needs. This discussion is about respect and showing it to everyone not just those people you like or respect for whatever reasons you may have.
Regarding RTFM in general and it's rudeness. I don't consider this statement overly rude
It is, regardless if you think so or not. And, it has nothing to do with the one letter or the tone. Sure, those are deciding factors, but what makes it most rude is that it is a lazy answer, it is a careless answer, and it shows the other person that you don't really give a crap about them. It's a terrible thing to say.
If someone doesn't take the time to do give a topic a lengthy read I don't feel that they necessarily deserve someone giving them a lengthy response(I know some people might disagree here). If someone refuses to I honestly don't believe they're entitled to any help, though there are some exceptions when it comes to language barriers. In general though I view it as a bit rude to burden other people with essentially doing your homework for you, as long someone isn't aggressive, demanding, or demeaning when inquiring I basically have no problem simply providing a link or ignoring them. By the same token I don't necessarily think a dumb question deserves to be mocked and ridiculed openly.
This whole thing is too back and forth. Why not pick a side and stick with it. You are like, "I think this is bad, but it might be OK if this or that happens", "I think RTFM isn't rude, but people who ask dumb questions shouldn't be mocked... OPENLY" I suppose this should be done privately, as in you would secretly humiliate them via a Private Message or E-mail of some sort. Perhaps it would be a good idea to prevent people like you from answering questions altogether. At least until you decide on a definite approach.
I think there's a bit too much fanfare over Combuster's response in the thread that was linked as well. It was a bit overbearing, but essentially all he was doing was asking the poster a lot of questions they should have asked themselves before posting. More then anything the length of it was the problem. If Combuster had made two posts with that format and then said "Look I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but these are really questions you should be asking yourself before posting" I doubt it would have been viewed in such a poor light. If he had clarified what he was doing a bit the poster would have learned something that isn't in many manuals and much harder to convey: a good thought process for troubleshooting. On a certain level I think that will do someone a lot more good then a simple link to relevant information (give a man a fish/teach a man to fish).
Again, with this teach a man to fish nonsense. Stop using this term until you understand the true meaning of it. If you think Combuster was at all trying to "teach a man to fish" then you have a lot to learn about fishing.
I don't know if that was Combuster's intention or not, but based on actual content about the only mean thing was dangling the proverbial carrot for too long. The OP might have felt a bit foolish or confused at the end of it, but he did actually learn something in the process. Again, I don't think that it's necessarily the best post but there were definitely some underrated constructive elements to it all.
Get off the fence!
On another note, I wouldn't mind seeing a footnote put under the resources section on the wiki's main page (regardless of what layout) that actually says "manuals, specifications, design documents, etc.". I do feel there's some ambiguity with the term resources alone and it's easy enough to clarify.
Wrong forum. Please post this in the proper place.
Coming in and demanding that this place with established members change on the whim of newcomers is silly. You don't join an organization or go into a business expecting to turn it on its head just because you believe it should work differently. You adapt to the culture, gain respect, and then respectfully propose ideas. What you're doing now is, at best, rude and slapping a lot of people in the face.
Welcome to the new world order.