New to Python

Peter Hansen peter at
Mon Sep 27 18:11:29 CEST 2004

Erik Heneryd wrote:
[about the Smart Questions essay]
> Uhm...  sure.  The point is that it *is* intimidating and that you'll 
> have to be pretty darn dedicated to asking/answering to consider it 
> worth the time.

I would really hope that people asking *are* dedicated enough to
read it at least once before asking, especially people who are
very new to online fora and Usenet and computing... to do less is
potentially to disrespect those whom you are asking for help.

Those responding a lot don't really have to read it, but doing so
would probably help them in several ways.  Their choice.

> Also, It's often used as an answer to dumb questions, without even a 
> hint of what's stupid about it.  That's simply counterproductive. Simply 
> stating "That's a stupid questiong, think about it, use common sense" 
> would be more helpful.

And that kind of response is *exactly* the rude kind of response
that is given in many places, and the reason Eric wrote the essay
(channeling Eric here...).  The essay says that in much kinder
words, provides very helpful advice to get the newbie past that
stage, and gives the rationale behind it all, rather than pretending
that "common sense" is really all that common, let alone obvious.
It's very unlikely, IMHO, that anyone who actually reads the essay
after posting a "dumb question" (your words) will post such a poor
question again the next time.  With the useless "think about it"
response, you'll start a flame war _and_ not help the OP, and
where's the fun in that?

> And note that I wasn't talking about it's use in this thread or even 
> c.l.p, but in general.

And our replies could be interpreted in like manner, except maybe
mine in this post. ;-)


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