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Tags: advice irc rant
This is probably not so useful to my audience directly, but maybe you can forward it on to people who would find it helpful. I've written my own version of How To Ask Questions, but without gravely insulting anybody who reads it. People who ask questions don't really care about fitting in or conforming or following the rules, they just want answers. This guide tells you how to get answers with a minimum of fuss. And so I present Getting Answers. Any comments you might have on it are most welcome.
its leads to the idea of being good samaritan..
and of being polite..
By stating exactly what is going wrong right away,”
Often times easier said than done…
” Question Guy got a useful answer from Answer Man instantly.”
Hmmm, interesting, I don’t find his answer very useful.
This may be optimal from the A-giver’s perspective, but in my experience isn’t necessarily so from the Q-giver’s perspective – often times, I find, the iterative give-and-take process is fundamental to figuring out just “what is wrong” from the Q-giver’s perspective.
“2. Provide everything up-front”
Upon being requested to do so by the person who referred me to this blog, I posted “everything” to the list on which I was asking the question; five minutes later I get an email back from the quarantine program stating my email awaits moderator approval because it’s too big – so much for “Getting Answers” speeding up the response time.
“3. Post your code ”
What if it’s proprietary?
“Asking for code takes time and effort”
You’re kidding, right?
Let’s see, I got over a hundred multiply defined symbol (linker) errors – am I supposed to include the code definitions for all of ‘em?
“9. Treat the list like people ”
I will if they will
Generally, despite all the praise here, I think this is rather one-sided and self-righteous. My attitude is, if you can’t provide help patiently, tolerantly, empathetically, amicably, and politely, please don’t bother.
“Hmmm, interesting, I dont find his answer very useful.” – I would be very interested to know what answer you would find useful for that question. Just for the record, that simulated conversation was pulled from a real one, and once we got to the point where he actually stated his problem, that answer was provided and he did indeed find it very helpful.
“Upon being requested to do so by the person who referred me to this blog, I posted ‘everything’ to the list on which I was asking the question; five minutes later I get an email back from the quarantine program stating my email awaits moderator approval because its too big so much for ‘Getting Answers’ speeding up the response time.” – If your code was of reasonable size then that’s the list operator being dumb, hardly my fault. If your code was huge (say, over ~500 lines) then it should probably have been posted to a web site somewhere for best results. Just like you don’t flood-paste 20 lines of code in IRC, it’s impolite to shove a gigantic amount of code into a mailing list post. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to show your code.
“What if its proprietary?” – Then you should probably be paying someone instead of trying to get free help. The least you can do is state up front that the code is proprietary and you are not able to show it, this way people can avoid wasting their time trying to get useful information out of you.
“Youre kidding, right?” – No, why would you think that?
“Lets see, I got over a hundred multiply defined symbol (linker) errors am I supposed to include the code definitions for all of em?” You should post the code when you have questions about your code. Linker errors are generally build questions. The equivalent here would be to actually post the exact text of your errors. Far too often people just summarize the errors, hiding critical information like the fact that they’re trying to use C++ linkage for C symbols.
“My attitude is, if you cant provide help patiently, tolerantly, empathetically, amicably, and politely, please dont bother.” – Don’t worry, I’m sure I wouldn’t bother providing help to someone with that attitude, so you should have nothing to fear. Seriously, we’re talking about free help. The helpee frequently gets valuable information from the exchange and sometimes saves many hours or days of effort, while the helper just gets warm fuzzies, problem-solving exercise, and community karma. If you can’t tolerate a bit of attitude from your free help then you might consider forking over cash instead.
i am getting the following error while running trac. could somebody please help me out
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/web/main.py", line 406, in dispatch_request
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/web/main.py", line 191, in dispatch
chosen_handler = self._pre_process_request(req, chosen_handler)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/web/main.py", line 263, in _pre_process_request
chosen_handler = f.pre_process_request(req, chosen_handler)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/versioncontrol/api.py", line 73, in pre_process_request
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/versioncontrol/api.py", line 104, in get_repository
repos = self._connector.get_repository(rtype, rdir, authname)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/versioncontrol/svn_fs.py", line 234, in get_repository
repos = SubversionRepository(dir, None, self.log)
File "/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/trac/versioncontrol/svn_fs.py", line 264, in __init__
raise TracError("%s does not appear to be a Subversion repository." \
TracError: /etc/project1 does not appear to be a Subversion repository.
I think DG is spot on here. Mike, you're obviously a smart guy.. but I've dealt with you on the lists and you definitely are guilty of your fair share of doling out abuse in this condescending way that's truly amazing. Even when your rules that *you* are arbitrarily defining are being followed. I mean really.. note this comment that you said above:
No one holds a gun to your head forcing you to interact or provide assistance to anyone who asks a question. Nor are you a god and are we required to grovel or make sacrifice or - more directly - kiss your backside. I've had a lot of people say you're actually a nice guy.. the thing is.. I haven't actually *seen* you be a nice guy. Polite? Sure.. self-righteous.. definitely.
I hope you're independently wealthy and just do this as a hobby because you can't actually *need* the work given your interaction style with the public at large.
Oh, and I have a fantastic job doing full-time Mac/Cocoa development and get along great with all my co-workers.
Then you have an obviously thin skin. And it's not "guys like me". Because I learned to ignore "guys like you" a long time ago. You think you're doing the world a favor just by being here.. Whaaatever...
Yes I'm sure they're all sterling examples of the Mac community just like you....
I tried to to be mindful and frankly I can not even go back to what I did wrong. So how can I rectify this. I would like my rights re-instated.
Its not like I spammed the site or anything. I asked a few questions. I had no idea I broke any rules. No second chances???
Even if you did - People make mistakes you know - They mistype they make mistakes especially when we work 20 hours a day!
If there is a way to to fix this I would appreciate the chance to do so.
Please advise! Forever is too long and takes too much diskspace frankly!
Because my posts are both thoughtful and researched and provide some useful facts to boot. No idea why I was banned.
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