LinuxQuestions.org
Register a domain and help support LQ
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 06-29-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
Thorkyl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Suse 9.0
Posts: 20

Rep: Reputation: 0
A rant


A Rant

First - This is not aimed at everyone or anyone in particular
Second - If you are offended then you may be part of the problem
Third - If you are part of the problem please take this as constructive.
Fourth - This is my opinion and only my opinion
Fith - If you feel I am off basis state so and explain why

Now for the rant

One thing I have noticed about the open source community is as follows:

Someone asks a question:

Every one assumes they have NOT read the man pages or the manual.
or
They assume that they have not read the source code.

Here is the Issue I have with this train of thought.

I am new to open source
I am not a c developer (I'm a SQL seveloper)
The c language is jibberish to me, but I am learning it.

The best way to describe reading a manual or man page would be to give a computer manual
to a person in the 14th centry and ask them to read it and then turn on the PC and start
xyz program from the shell (without telling them they have to be root - evry one knows you must be root to run that program)

Manuals and man pages take the assumption that I know where the file "somthing.conf" is
did a search on on of those one time and found 7 different ones.

Manuals and man pages take the assumption that I know how to us VI or some other editor to change thier file
This is not that bad since editors all do the same basic thing - they edit the file

Installs

Dont wait till the very last last line in the instructions to state
"This only works on xyz distro"
State it at the start so I dont have to read it for abc distro
Or - and this is a pisser

"If this doesn't work go to http://asdfg.net" and it says that you must be running
unstable somthing on xyz distro
Now I have to clean up the machine to get rid of the trash


Questions answered in postings


You can try
abc service restart
from where? the shell? (figured that one out)
abc not found
where is it? /bin /usr where and do I have to su?
state somthing like this

You can try
su
/sbin/service restart

now I know I need to be su
also I know where it is


end of rant for now

select a.brain_cells, a.iq from population a where iq<100
0 records affected
 
Old 06-29-2004, 01:42 PM   #2
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
Quick solution to the problem: state what you have already done. If you have read the man pages, tell us. There have been a spate of posts recently where it takes 6 replies to find out the distro or10 to realise that the person has tried a number of sites/software versions and has read and understood the man pages.

Personally, I think it should be manadtory to read ESR's How to Ask a Smart Question. Help us to help you.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 01:43 PM   #3
witeshark
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Miami FL
Distribution: Mac OS X 10.4.11 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Posts: 429

Rep: Reputation: 30
I really hear that - some people after huge experience just seem to become oblivious to the difficulty of just starting out
 
Old 06-29-2004, 01:46 PM   #4
Mega Man X
Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: ~
Distribution: Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Solaris, DSL
Posts: 5,339

Rep: Reputation: 63
Well, it's always difficult to help peoples in forums, because it's difficult to know how much they know. Posts count does not mean anything, nor does the date they joined in the forum.

Many peoples does not know how to ask questions either, they don't complete their profile, nor mention hardware properly and the problems they are having with it.

No matter what, they will need to read at least the FAQ for their distro of choice. They give a very good idea of how the system works and basic configuration of things. Linux is like a new language: Without a good dictionary, you won't go very far...

As you see, it's not necessarily a Linux community related problem, it's much more a communication (or ratter saying, lack of it) among many new members who join the forum and give as less descriptions as possible and expect us to take their hand and help them to cross the street
 
Old 06-29-2004, 02:08 PM   #5
Thorkyl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Suse 9.0
Posts: 20

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I have to agree that for the posts not many people ask the question as clear as they could. I do a lot with the SQL boards and after two or three days of batting an issue around its a permissions problem on the OS not the DB - frustrating

Here is an example of a post I made in a vendors site fourm

ME:
Where can I locate the file that will allow me to tell the application where to save its data?
THEM <the vendor>:
filename.cfg

ME:
Searched unable to find it
THEM
/sbin/service restart -dflt-cfg

ME:
/sbin/service restart -dflt-cfg <=== What do you mean

THEM:
execute it

I gave up at that point and found a different package

This is the type of stuff we newbies deal with and you gurus hate about us

delete from human.race where user.os='microsoft'
 
Old 06-29-2004, 02:13 PM   #6
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
It is always worth mentioning your level of knowledge - unless we see something which says "I am quite new to this, please make any answer clear and newbie-friendly" or somesuch, we are likely to assume that you are an intermediate user who just needs a hint or prod in the right direction.

The likelihood is that many of the people that vendor had replied to that day would have understood what they were saying (and bear in mind that they have probably fielded a number of queries that day). The info was fine, the presentation was not
 
Old 06-29-2004, 02:17 PM   #7
Thorkyl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Suse 9.0
Posts: 20

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
My point exactly

the info was great
if and I should say IF
he knew I had no clue

but when I ask
What do you mean
and they answer execute it

sorry im a convert from ms
its not an exe file
how do you execute it
(I now know through the shell script as su for thier command)

truncate table stupidity
 
Old 06-29-2004, 05:55 PM   #8
furfurdemon666
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 171

Rep: Reputation: 30
Lightbulb

I like coffee.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 06:12 PM   #9
dscapuano
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Princeton Junction, NJ
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2 (yes, I lost my CDROM)
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up

I have been in this boat as well. Someone should put together a standard format for these things. I suggest the following:
1. Level of knowledge (some arbitrary number - I am a linux admin 3, linux/unix user 9 - something like 25 years), there are very few 10's unless you write core modules).

2. Level of programming knowledge - A lot of stuff in Linux is in C. Often scripts are in BASH, PERL, PYTHON, etc. - I don't know how to classify this stuff. I am real good at PERL and Shell but I have little knowledge of C - maybe I'm a 5 or 6, but it depends on the context.

3. Level of database knowledge - I have been working with RDBMS's for many years but MySql installation totally messed me up at first. This is a shot a manuals - for a while, the MySql manual was not up to date or maybe I had the wrong one.

4. Always state your distribution and version number.

5. Always state your hardware, even if it is a software problem (don't be embarassed, until two months ago I was using a hand-me-down piece of $&^* Compaq machine).

Finally, if anyone wants to add or subtract from this list, please ... and maybe clarify. When done, this should be made available to everyone on the list especially first-timers. This will make the list a much better source of info for all of us, even the more advanced folks.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 06:29 PM   #10
Lleb_KCir
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Orlando FL
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,765

Rep: Reputation: 45
nice clean rant, and i understand exactly were you are coming from.

it can be very frustrating to know you have attempted to read the man page and have serched for a fair amount of time on google, then come here and get pointed back to were you just spent the last few hours digging for informaiton you just are not comprehending.

one of the things i have take a step in cutting down on point go here type answere is to state were i have looked, in general, and that the man page is not clear to me and i am not understanding the instructions.

were possible ill also past the 'code' from my terminal so someone can take a short look at it and say, you did this, instead of this or you left X out, or what ever needs to be the short fix, or big fix as sometimes is the case.

i really appriciate the help i have gotten from this forum, its great. little slow at times to respond to some of the more odd ball questions ill come up with, but still if the first responce is such that i do not understand it, ill request clerification and more then not someone will teach me what it is i need to know.

*salute* dont give up on these guys, they are very skilled, and with enough info they can help you with wounders.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 07:08 PM   #11
Thorkyl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Suse 9.0
Posts: 20

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
One thing that I do feel can complicate things, is the code that gets posted.

I think some additional commenting would be helpfull in the code would be helpfull
Not in the source but in the posting.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 08:39 PM   #12
mikshaw
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Maine, USA
Distribution: Slackware/SuSE/DSL
Posts: 1,320

Rep: Reputation: 45
Quote:
You can try
abc service restart
from where? the shell? (figured that one out)
abc not found
where is it? /bin /usr where and do I have to su?
state somthing like this

You can try
su
/sbin/service restart
I agree with half of this. Anyone recommending a command specific to root should specify that root is necessary (and should assume the user is not already root, since logging in as root is, as we all know, one of the stupidest habits you can get into). However, the specific path to the command is not necessary, since once you've su'ed, sbin becomes part of your $PATH.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 08:47 PM   #13
Thorkyl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Suse 9.0
Posts: 20

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Well thats new new bit of education
Did not know sbin did that
 
Old 06-29-2004, 09:22 PM   #14
2damncommon
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Calif, USA
Distribution: Debian Wheezy
Posts: 2,839

Rep: Reputation: 48
Quote:
Someone asks a question:
Every one assumes they have NOT read the man pages or the manual.
Okay, here's the problem with that.
Say 20 or 30 people reply with RTFM posts. That is still far from everyone. Why are you blaming everyone.
This seems to be exactly what you are complaining about. Blaming someone incorrectly.

Remember, posting a question does not guarantee an answer any more than picking someone up in a bar guarantees a happy marriage. There is some luck involved and laying blame does not really improve anything.

I think that without reference to and discussion about a particular post, this subject becomes meaningless.
 
Old 06-29-2004, 11:33 PM   #15
Thorkyl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Suse 9.0
Posts: 20

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
You missed the first part of the post

First - This is not aimed at everyone or anyone in particular
Second - If you are offended then you may be part of the problem
Third - If you are part of the problem please take this as constructive.
Fourth - This is my opinion and only my opinion
Fith - If you feel I am off basis state so and explain why
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My rant. DDoS YourseLF General 2 08-04-2005 03:45 PM
My rant Joey.Dale General 10 09-28-2004 08:22 PM
Just a rant! cereal83 General 21 07-18-2004 12:19 AM
rant, rant, rant (dselect) fenderman11111 Debian 2 07-06-2004 07:03 PM
rant emetib General 4 04-16-2004 10:38 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:02 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration