Most discussion on comp.lang.python is about developing with Python

Antoon Pardon antoon.pardon at
Thu Nov 14 09:33:31 CET 2013

Op 14-11-13 00:48, Steven D'Aprano schreef:
> On Wed, 13 Nov 2013 15:35:56 -0500, bob gailer wrote:
>> Is there a moderator for this list?
> Sadly no.
>> Is there some other place for discussions that are completely OT and
>> also full of flames?
> Yes, there is private email. Unfortunately private email doesn't give the 
> culprits the audience that they desire.
>> Or would you be willing to stop the bashing? I don't see that it helps
>> anyone, and could be very offputting to other newbies.
> That's what I have been saying for a long time. I believe that whatever 
> negative effect Nikos the help-vampire is having, it is long ago 
> overwhelmed by the negative of the anti-Nikos vigilantes.

But the spoon feeders refuse to acknowledge their own role in this.

> Fortunately, Nikos appears to pay absolutely no attention to any thread 
> which isn't about him. So if you avoid threads started by him, you'll 
> miss the worst of it.
> As a community, it is difficult to balance the conflicting needs here. If 
> we ignore Nikos completely, we appear unfriendly and indifferent to those 
> asking for help. If we answer his questions, we encourage him to post. It 
> is hard to find the right balance, if there even is a right balance, and 
> people can have differing ideas of what that right balance is.

This balance is less hard as you seem to think. Anyone who has been in
the care sector has probably been in contact with the difference between
helping someone and saving someone. The first is trying to empower
someone so that he can handle as many situations as posibible himself.
The second is that you make the problems of the other person your own
problems and you try to solve them for him.

The purpose is to help, not to save. And those that try to save
generally are not very popular because they effectively sabotage
the attempts to help and set the expectations of the client too

> But it is clear from the last few months that abusive, aggressive posts 
> don't help anyone -- they don't set a good tone for the group, they put 
> off newcomers, and they do absolutely nothing to discourage Nikos. Please 
> consider this a request to the community, ignore Nikos if you like, 
> answer his questions if you must, but please keep the abusive posts off-
> list. They aren't helping.

If you care for the community and want to avoid frustrating others as
much as possible then don't spoon feed Nikos. It is equally clear from
the last few month they don't help anyone either. They frustrate a
significant number of members because it encourages Nikos in his
destructive behaviour. Continuing to spoon feed Nikos will only make
the frustration levels rise until they reach a level where someone
will feel the need to vent.

So if you can't resist wanting to help.

Don't answer or do his work for him. Give him the information he needs
to work it out himself, preferably refer him to the documentation.

Antoon Pardon

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