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

Glen Wheeler wheelege@tsn.cc
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 09:57:34 +1000

From: "Danny Yoo" <dyoo@hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu>
> [Warning: no programming content again.  This is more of a meta-question
> thing.  We'll probably stop this thread soon.]

  Nah, don't do that - I think this thread is great :)

> That magic person would either be Deirdre, Wesley, or me.  *grin* I
> haven't hear from Deirdre or Wesley for a while, so it looks like I'm
> holding down the fort.  I must apologize as well for being preachy in the
> last message.

  No need - preachiness is great when it comes from an intelligent and
correct preacher.  Here in Australia what you are saying is very true.
Children in primary school are given maths 'tests' which consist only of 100
multiple choice questions, with no emphasis on proofs or any neccessity of

> About getting your messages held: Mailman has some rules about filtering
> messages that are sometimes a little oversensitive.  At the same time,
> they do appear to work most of the time: Spam flies at Tutor every day,
> but the manager intercepts before it hits the rest of the list.  I try to
> laugh it off, but it's a little depressing to see how much automation goes
> into attacking a community of volunteers.

  I guess it's pointless here to suggest trying to stop the automation, with
perhaps automation of our own (like letters to the spam companies,
individuals) ?  Most probably has already been attempted.

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

  You bet.  I think that the language he uses may scare people even more
than not getting an answer to their question.  By the same token should we
block any mail which has html in it?  I don't think so.  It's not fair to
the people who simply don't know, and can't know the standards which we
would like.
  I think it would be a very poor turn for the worse to block e-mail which
only has the word 'help' in it.  They are usually the ones who need the help