[Tutor] help ;-) [How to Ask Good Questions]

dman dsh8290@rit.edu
Wed, 17 Oct 2001 11:31:13 -0400

On Wed, Oct 17, 2001 at 01:08:29AM -0700, Danny Yoo wrote:
| I'd be happy to add a link here to ESR's essay, but I should wait for a
| consensus from the other tutor-admins before making the change to the
| welcome text.
| ESR's "How to Ask Questions The Smart Way" essay is a funny and
| informative guide for newcomers to read before posting to a newsgroup or
| mailing list.
|     http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
| I do agree with many of his points.  The biggest qualm I have about it,
| though, is that its language is really blunt.  For example, calling people
| "losers" for not knowing about the customs and habits of a community is
| not the way I'd prefer to welcome people.  *grin*

We don't want to scare people aways.

| However, I know he's using his language flamboyantly as a sort of "ha ha
| only serious" thing --- his writing wouldn't be so compelling if it wasn't
| so colorful.  Also, I'm a bit hypersensitive about language and the
| connotations of words, so perhaps I'm worrying about nothing.

Maybe adding a comment on it, something to the effect that they
shouldn't take his comments too seriously or personally and to ask
their questions anyways.

| About rejecting headers with the word "help" in them... er, I don't know
| about that one.  What do other people think about this?

I think if it has _only_ the word help, then you might want to do

If you don't do any filtering, that is fine by me too.  I can do it on
my end :-) (manually in my MUA).

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted much recently.  I've been
rather swamped in schoolwork and other stuff.  When I see a message
with the subject "help", I assume that the question may be poorly
asked, and/or a short eff-bot style answer will not suffice.  If I
have spare time, I really don't mind answering these at all, but
lately I've just deleted the message without reading it.

The moral of the story is that you are more likely to get answers if
you use a better subject, but we won't kill you if you don't.