On Saturday 04 November 2006 15:27, Darryl Gregorash
You cannot expect someone who has little or no experience with the
Unix-like environment to know, by any means, how best to ask a
*nix-related question. The differences with what they are used to
using are simply far too great.
Wrong. The how-tos of good question-asking are unrelated to the topic
area. The context is:
- There's a specific domain (in this case, SuSE Linux, but it could be
anything). The question must regard this domain.
- There's an existing body of readily accessible information (man pages,
books & magazines, the Internet, etc.). The questioner should make some
attempt to discover the answer independently.
- There are conventions on how to use the medium--email--to interact
with the community to which you're directing your inquiry. Proper
juxtaposition of quoted material and added response should be
respected. Quoted material should be trimmed. Etc.
The only thing in this set-up that is domain-specific is the domain
itself. A well-formed question submitted here after the proper homework
is done is a well-formed question that is about SuSE Linux. Period.
It's basically a matter of formality. If you go to a court of law and
speak in some non-legalistic vernacular, you'll be reprimanded. If you
submit an article for publication in a magazine on Astronomy and use
the argot of the surfing community (even though the article's topic is
something astronomical), it'll be rejected. And so on.
For those interested and not already familiar, Eric Raymond has written
the long form of these guidelines:
This is an excerpt from the link you posted, Randall.
"How To Answer Questions in a Helpful Way
/Be gentle./ Problem-related stress can make people seem rude or stupid
even when they're not.
/Reply to a first offender off-line./ There is no need of public
humiliation for someone who may have made an honest mistake. A real
newbie may not know how to search archives or where the FAQ is stored or