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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 5:55 am 
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I am sorry Solar left. And I think that someone who demands courtesy, should show some.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:26 am 
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@brine32: Can we quit it with the drama already? I'm disappointed Solar left, he's a good guy, but far from stricken with grief. The excessive hyperbole is already stale at this point. I haven't seen anyone here take an "Anti-Growth" position, I've seen them favor smart growth over raw volume and desire to keep the forums focused to their previous goals. That is the issue here, it's not that people are "Anti-growth" but standards for it. But at any rate I don't want to debate it with you personally because I do not believe you're really here for that purpose and are already trying to nudge me into leaving (not going to happen).

@Hobbes: Look I think this is a great example of the divide in philosophy that surrounds this issue. It's not so much how new someone is but their approaches and expectations. It's possible to ask good newbie questions, there's absolutely things that use improvement in the wiki and there probably should be a beginner focused area of the forums or some other solution like using StackOverflow. However I do think there's a point where someone just shouldn't post until they're ready to approach the topic on some level (maturity, knowledge, etc.). There seems to be two camps, one that believes in essentially any post being valid and thus courtesy should be shown regardless. In my view the other camp is that you show respect to get respect, those who don't have the basic respect to follow the forum guidelines tend not to get any in return. I'm generally of the opinion that a simple link to a resource is effective enough and there isn't a real need to "grill" someone from the offset. But there's also extreme cases where that doesn't work and people flat out demonstrate a desire not to come here for knowledge but for a customized fix to a problem they have no desire of ever understanding, or in rare cases trolling. Moderators need to step in and take care of those posters, period.

Regarding brine32 specifically, the guy is trolling, he's not the first one to do it (anyone remember lollynoob?). I don't think there's any way to have a civil conversation with someone who views this whole issue as requiring "revolution" and the removal of anyone with opposing views on the issue. I can't even draw a good parallel to that mentality without break Godwin's law. That viewpoint strikes me as a hell of a lot more intolerant then someone simply demanding that requisite amount of knowledge is demonstrated or a post formatted in a way that makes assistance and troubleshooting easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Hi Guys,

I've been a bit AWOL recently so haven't been around to do my stint as moderator much, but here is my humble opinion for those that want to hear it.

I hate noobs. I really do. I spot a "noob" thread from twenty paces and avoid it like the plague. They really wind me up. "Newbies" and "noobs" are not synonymous. The former is someone who is "unenlightened", so to speak. The second is someone who in addition is completely unwilling or unable to help his/herself and needs spoon feeding.

I am really sorry Solar has left, at least for the time being. I hope he will reconsider and come back. But the thread brine32 posted was honestly disgusting. That OP had been badgered by Combuster for no reason whatsoever. I've even gone and unlocked the post and posted a reply in the form I believe is proper, in case the user is still around.

Helpful answers are always better than unhelpful ones. The replies by Combuster were rude beyond belief, especially considering how eloquently and politely worded the original post was, how it included all the information required to debug all problems in a good format.

Knowledge grows with time. I don't know about you (the reader), but when I learn something new I like to start by getting something running. Now. Which usually involves following a tutorial to the letter or copying pieces of code/commands verbatim from some source, without really knowing what each parameter does.

I then, once I have a working skeleton setup, expand my knowledge as to what all the parameters are, and what their purpose is. I can't be the only person that does this, surely?

As a final point, I don't agree that people shouldn't start OS developing just because they want to learn about operating systems. That's what I did, when I started. I'd landed a good work placement job at a place coding dynamic binary translators in C++, and I realised that I really didn't know much about low level development.

I asked myself what sort of thing I could do, and the answer I decided on was to just jump in and code something low level. So I found Bran's tutorial, followed it (running on a testbed computer with network-enabled grub - I didn't even know emulators existed), and rewrote my code many times as I gradually discovered what OS development is all about.

I loved it, and made it my primary hobby. I am not unique, there are others like me; we are not retarded - hell, you've made me moderator! - don't push people like me away.

Rant over.

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Bare with me, this is a long thread, I know. But I think it may actually be important, and since I spent a lot of time writing this, I hope is is read by at least a few people.

I really like the idea of having a forum designed strictly for newbies. Where the whole point is to have "Why don't this w0rk" questions asked. Of course, this makes it possible for people to simply ignore that forum if they wish, or look at the questions if they want.

The other thing is to moderate the posts of new users...several options below:
A. They cannot post for x amount of time.
B. They can only post in the beginner forum for x amount of time, or they can appeal to moderators to lift the 'ban' if they are already experienced.
C. Some other restriction.

There could be a progression on their "ability to post" as time goes on, and as they show better skills. This would, of course, require moderators to be more involved with the new users. Many options exist. I do not believe that they should pass a test or anything, because (for example) when I started there would be no way I could pass a test for OSdev. The new users should be monitored strictly and restricted for an amount of time, however, their posts should not be locked until:
A. The problem is solved.
B. They are too stupid to figure it out (in which case we tell the politely to research, and lock the thread.
C. Their question is about the rules of the forum.

To elaborate on point C: They will soon realize that their posting is restricted. They will either attempt to ask in the beginner forum (in which case the thread is deleted) or they send a PM to a mod (who refers them to the rules).

The problems are, of course, that this probably wont work. Simply because people are to ignorant to deal with the reality that this place is for people who know what they are talking about. Also, the moderators would have to be more involved, and their job would be much more stressful dealing with idiots all the time...

I like the idea of restriction with chance for appeal. And a new subforum for beginner questions. I also realize that this has been suggested before, and some of the things I've said are already occurring or are in place! I simply wanted to lay it out like that.

And now for something completely different.

I am sad to see Solar go. I hope he comes back. I also (while skimming this thread) noticed talk of "revolution". Come on. Really? All thats going on is people talking about what they don't like. If nothing happens, we are back to the start again, and probably damaged this forum even more than noobs. If something does happen, it wont be a revolution. It will be a change. Revolution is too dramatic.

Seriously, everyone is a bit too angry. Look at yourselves. You are arguing over the organization of 1's and 0's, controlled by people you will never see, who you don't know. Ah computers - badly designed methods of yelling at others over badly designed protocols accessed by badly designed machines. Gotta love it.

Normally, I would request a thread lock. I'm not going to do that here, because it seems like this thread may actually go somewhere instead of derailing like a train as the past threads like this did.

In regards to the wiki: Yes, it is good. Yes, it needs more. There is so much to know about OSdev that it will never be complete. But we can try, we can try. The wiki is not designed for beginner programmers to understand, which is why we get so many RTFM threads. The other reason is that noobs don't read the rules. How do we get them to read the rules better and follow them?

@JamesM: While I agree with your reopening that GPF thread, I believe that Combuster's responses were (while rude), acceptable, Simply because they encouraged the OP to think for himself a little. Whether that failed or not, I will not say here, because it is irrelevant. What is important is that the thread still went nowhere. It doesn't mean that it failed - for all I know, the OP may have solved the problem. However, because it didn't go anywhere, I don't see any reason for it to be in the main OS Development forum. It should be in a subforum dedicated to posts like that; the ones that are noobish questions should be b themselves. Please, both of you, stop fighting, we wont get anywhere like that. Combuster: Your responses were in place, and fine. JamesM: Reopening that thread was fine, and your response was good, and probably helpful to the OP.

I suppose my problem is that I agree with most everyone while hating everything. I hate noobs. But they should be given a chance (subforum). I hate RTFM responses off-the-bat, but they do have their place. This could be solved with posting restrictions. Banning users doesn't condone learning, but it does have it's place.

Now, this is a long post, and my hand hurts. I know that I rarely reply to posts in the OS Dev forum, and I want to apologize for not being more useful in that regard. I simply don't see many threads that I want to reply to. So why do I keep coming back? It's because of the community and the interesting threads. Unfortunately, if we don't do something fast to keep the community together, it will split, and I will loose a reason for being here. If we don't do something soon to fix the noobish questions, and they take over the majority of posts, there goes the second reason. As much as I like this forum, if those two things go, what is left?

I also realize that there are members where who's voices carry much more weight than my own. I do not consider myself to be an experienced programmer. I believe that I am good at it, but not nearly experienced enough for OSdev. Yet, I still do it? And, incidentally, OSdev is what taught me to program well. In many regards I should not be programming an OS - I barely know asm, I've been programming C for only a couple years, I have had my past problems on these forums, I have made an @$$ of myself several times. But I keep coming back because I enjoy it. I really hope that those who do have the weight associated with their status (unfortunately, we lost one - Solar) think about this place, and make it better for those who deserve the great diversity and interestingness of these forums (and yes, I am saying that there are people who should be here, and people who don't. But not for simply skill reasons - I think I deserve to be here, though others may disagree, mostly because of how much I like to do OSdev [and yes, I can program...heh]).

They are the ones who will have the final say. I hope they make good decisions.

-JL

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:48 pm 
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as for solar, he has left before, and returned, i hope he will do so again

i do have to agree that some (particularly some of the older, more experienced ones, unfortunately) people have become quite rude the last couple years

i would like to thank JamesM for his post, i very much agree with most of his points (especially the ones about not being so rude, even when replying to someone who might 'deserve it')
unfortunately, even amongst the mod team, it seems JamesM and i are alone sometimes, i try to believe its because those that prefer being rude tend to be much more vocal, i dont want to think we actually are alone

truthfully, despite what people frequently say, the number of 'noob' posts is not any higher than it was 5 years ago... in fact, its probably much lower (as a percentage, anyway, the forums today have a higher posts-per-day than the old MT and osdev.org combined) but the responses to them, do tend to be much less understanding -- and more rude... i dont remember any posts from chris guise (im sure im misspelling his name, but its been so long...) or tim robinson or pype.clicker of such unforgiving and rude tone, and if they had been, i suggest that many of the current 'experienced users' may not have ever obtained that experience, nor would they be here to serve as our current experienced group -- we should be trying to develop the next generation to take our places when we are gone, not flaming them off the forums because we dont like the way they are posting -- there is a point where it must be understood that someone hasnt, and wont, learn their lesson, and must be removed from the community, however, i think what must come first is long and patient understanding

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 5:05 pm 
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@piranha: I like your enthusiasm, but I feel it might be too much like having an adviser. And to have an adviser, you must first have advisers. And, to have advisers you must have folks willing to be advisers. And, not just folks, Moderators, and I feel they already have enough to deal with. Let's not make their burdens any worse or that's the end of this conversation. Whatever you do, it will need to be automatic.

It would be simple to place restrictions, even automatically. Each new member could be placed at registration into a group that can only make posts in the beginners area and after making so many posts then he is allowed to post anywhere. These posts could be obtained from both asking and answering questions. This would force new recruits with knowledge to contribute to the beginners section and also force those without to hangout where they belong and are safe. I like that idea. And, it requires little to no moderator assistance.

Now I would like to stay away from locking a thread due to a malformed question as much as possible. It is possible that the user just doesn't know how to put it, or maybe he doesn't speak perfect English, so I don't think anyone should be triple faulted simply because of how intelligent he has formed his question. Only when the user defects and has become unreachable, should he be ignored. And, only when he takes his grief outside that thread to place it on others should he be banned. Because, it is easy enough to ignore a thread, and by locking the thread, we prevent the chance for someone to answer it. It isn't as important for the OP to have his answer as it is for the community to have one to offer future OPs. This is how you build your knowledge base, by answering questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 7:31 pm 
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brine32 wrote:
@piranha: I like your enthusiasm, but I feel it might be too much like having an adviser. And to have an adviser, you must first have advisers. And, to have advisers you must have folks willing to be advisers. And, not just folks, Moderators, and I feel they already have enough to deal with. Let's not make their burdens any worse or that's the end of this conversation. Whatever you do, it will need to be automatic.

It would be simple to place restrictions, even automatically. Each new member could be placed at registration into a group that can only make posts in the beginners area and after making so many posts then he is allowed to post anywhere. These posts could be obtained from both asking and answering questions. This would force new recruits with knowledge to contribute to the beginners section and also force those without to hangout where they belong and are safe. I like that idea. And, it requires little to no moderator assistance.


...yeah. Thats pretty much exactly what I said.

The problems: We need people to oversee it. And what if an experienced developer comes in? They should be able to appeal the restrictions.

-JL

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:42 pm 
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piranha wrote:
brine32 wrote:
@piranha: I like your enthusiasm, but I feel it might be too much like having an adviser. And to have an adviser, you must first have advisers. And, to have advisers you must have folks willing to be advisers. And, not just folks, Moderators, and I feel they already have enough to deal with. Let's not make their burdens any worse or that's the end of this conversation. Whatever you do, it will need to be automatic.

It would be simple to place restrictions, even automatically. Each new member could be placed at registration into a group that can only make posts in the beginners area and after making so many posts then he is allowed to post anywhere. These posts could be obtained from both asking and answering questions. This would force new recruits with knowledge to contribute to the beginners section and also force those without to hangout where they belong and are safe. I like that idea. And, it requires little to no moderator assistance.


...yeah. Thats pretty much exactly what I said.


Actually, that wasn't what you said. You suggested that someone follow the new member around and to judge his progression, like an adviser. And, to allow for a chance to appeal his beginners status. I told you that wouldn't work. But, I liked your premise and I think it is worth building upon, minus the fat.

piranha wrote:
The problems: We need people to oversee it.


The process is automatic.

piranha wrote:
And what if an experienced developer comes in? They should be able to appeal the restrictions.


The he will have to earn his status by contributing to the beginners area. There should be no other way to appeal this status.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:52 pm 
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brine32 wrote:
piranha wrote:
brine32 wrote:
@piranha: I like your enthusiasm, but I feel it might be too much like having an adviser. And to have an adviser, you must first have advisers. And, to have advisers you must have folks willing to be advisers. And, not just folks, Moderators, and I feel they already have enough to deal with. Let's not make their burdens any worse or that's the end of this conversation. Whatever you do, it will need to be automatic.

It would be simple to place restrictions, even automatically. Each new member could be placed at registration into a group that can only make posts in the beginners area and after making so many posts then he is allowed to post anywhere. These posts could be obtained from both asking and answering questions. This would force new recruits with knowledge to contribute to the beginners section and also force those without to hangout where they belong and are safe. I like that idea. And, it requires little to no moderator assistance.


...yeah. Thats pretty much exactly what I said.


Actually, that wasn't what you said. You suggested that someone follow the new member around and to judge his progression, like an adviser. And, to allow for a chance to appeal his beginners status. I told you that wouldn't work. But, I liked your premise and I think it is worth building upon, minus the fat.

piranha wrote:
The problems: We need people to oversee it.


The process is automatic.

piranha wrote:
And what if an experienced developer comes in? They should be able to appeal the restrictions.


The he will have to earn his status by contributing to the beginners area. There should be no other way to appeal this status.


Thats pointless and annoying. And yes, I did say that. Read my post. It's in there. Indirectly, of course, but it is there. I only listed options, not what I think should happen. Either way, whether or not I said it is not important. The thing is, if there is no way to appeal it, then we would be treating experienced programmers and noobs the same way, which is not right. They should be treated differently. As much as people like to believe everyone is the same and should deserve the same treatment, that isn't how it works.

-JL

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 11:21 pm 
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piranha wrote:
And yes, I did say that. Read my post. It's in there. Indirectly, of course, but it is there. I only listed options, not what I think should happen. Either way, whether or not I said it is not important.


Agreed. But, you did make a point (for whatever reason) to make it seem as if I was echoing "exactly" what you said, which is of course, false. So as you could possibly imagine, I was taken by surprise. Moving on.

piranha wrote:
The thing is, if there is no way to appeal it, then we would be treating experienced programmers and noobs the same way, which is not right. They should be treated differently.


I don't like the way you are submitting your opinion. You don't attach with it any reason for why you think this way. Would you care to explain why you feel that it is unfair?

piranha wrote:
As much as people like to believe everyone is the same and should deserve the same treatment, that isn't how it works.


There is no harm in forcing anyone with knowledge to contribute to the beginners area in order to remove themselves of a beginners status, thus allowing them to post in the advanced forums. It is helpful to the beginners, it is helpful to the community as it will help to improve and grow the knowledge base, and it is helpful to the outside world who will come across those threads, because they will have been answered clearly, basically, and most of all, friendly. Treating everyone equally, with the exact same respect and regarding only those who have proven themselves is how it works, how it should work, and how it will work.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:55 am 
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Cognition wrote:
In my view the other camp is that you show respect to get respect, those who don't have the basic respect to follow the forum guidelines tend not to get any in return.
I have a problem with that. What forum demands its members to be smart? Why would the forum rules include more than the basic netiquette? And why would rudeness be permitted if it is aimed at a noob?

Cognition wrote:
I'm generally of the opinion that a simple link to a resource is effective enough and there isn't a real need to "grill" someone from the offset.
I wholeheartedly agree with that. I think RTFM is one of the rudest acronyms ever invented.

Look at how much time and energy is wasted on the subject. The easiest for all is to simply ignore any post one doesn't like.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:15 am 
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JAAman wrote:
truthfully, despite what people frequently say, the number of 'noob' posts is not any higher than it was 5 years ago... in fact, its probably much lower (as a percentage, anyway, the forums today have a higher posts-per-day than the old MT and osdev.org combined)
Proof wanted - I did my research regarding intolerant behaviour and found a post of ~3 years ago (after the merger) stating the observation that two days would fill the entire first page of OS development with unread threads. If you observe that now, it takes two weeks to fill up the same first page. The past doesn't start "before the merger".

Also, the interval between this subject of threads have been decreasing from infinite, to a year, to 4 months over the past years. I leave extrapolating that as an exercise to the reader.



Also, it seems a law of physics that if a large mass is going one side, you have to move a small mass a long distance to centre the balance again. On the cultural plane, the same happens - it shifts around in the most weird directions to re-establish the norm. There's a ton of examples of this on Wikipedia. The question to you: would osdev.org die out without these kinds of threads (and the corresponding heated debates)?

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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:23 am 
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Combuster wrote:
The past doesn't start "before the merger".


I don't agree with that. Why not? New members are not going to know the history of your merger. And, they will see these ancient threads and notice a huge difference in attitude and wonder what the heck happened to this place. And, since these threads are left as a reminder of a time much better than now, I think they are very much relevant in this debate and should be permitted as evidence.

Combuster wrote:
Also, the interval between this subject of threads have been decreasing from infinite, to a year, to 4 months over the past years. I leave extrapolating that as an exercise to the reader.


To me, this reads as proof that your society is on the decline. You see this decline in demanding change a sign of improvement, but the truth is quite the opposite. What's happening is that these newer members are too afraid to stand up for themselves (decline in demands for change) and they are afraid to ask questions (decline in participation) due to an overwhelming fear of being humiliated or losing one's status. Those that stick around, see this behavior as the "norm" and they begin mimicking the same behavior, perhaps to fit in. This is certainly not a sign of improvement. It's a sign of desperation. The old phrase, "If you can't beat 'em, then join 'em." seems to come to mind.

Combuster wrote:
The question to you: would osdev.org die out without these kinds of threads (and the corresponding heated debates)?


Not in the least. On the contrary, it would eventually die if they don't go away.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 4:56 am 
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brine32 wrote:
To me, this reads as proof that your society is on the decline. You see this decline in demanding change a sign of improvement, but the truth is quite the opposite. What's happening is that these newer members are too afraid to stand up for themselves (decline in demands for change) and they are afraid to ask questions (decline in participation) due to an overwhelming fear of being humiliated or losing one's status. Those that stick around, see this behavior as the "norm" and they begin mimicking the same behavior, perhaps to fit in. This is certainly not a sign of improvement. It's a sign of desperation. The old phrase, "If you can't beat 'em, then join 'em." seems to come to mind.


Or, maybe, the newcomers respect that there needs to be a baseline level of knowledge before entering these forums and asking the same questions over and over. See proof of what happens when people actually do respect the rules.

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.


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 Post subject: Re: Newcomer Shield
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:08 am 
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Hobbes wrote:
I have a problem with that. What forum demands its members to be smart? Why would the forum rules include more than the basic netiquette? And why would rudeness be permitted if it is aimed at a noob?


It depend show you define "smart", in all honesty I think this revolves more around the concept of due diligence than raw intellect. There's going to be some requisite knowledge before hoping to approach the subject of OSDev, and there are other resources out there and places where people can inquire about them or learn certain concepts. 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.

Regarding RTFM in general and it's rudeness. I don't consider this statement overly rude, if it is rude it's because of one letter in the acronym and perhaps the perceived tone of it. In general I think there should be a "read the manual first" rule at the top of the page, at a minimum it should be a poster better articulate their question and once again falls under the umbrella of due diligence. 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.

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).

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.

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.

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