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Old 08-18-2004, 11:22 AM   #1
quentusrex
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 101

Rep: Reputation: 15
Experts:read. Newbies:learn.


Generally I haven't seen much to be upset about on this board. I have actually seen a lot to be proud of. Those of us here in this Debian section of Linuxquestions.org who have been answering questions have been doing a good job so far. But I believe we can make improvements. Please read the following suggestions and feel free to add, subtract and modify how ever you see fit. Just don't take offense i'm not here to point fingers.

1. No Flaming. This has never helped anyone. If it is an obvious question that could have been answered by the first link returned from Google.com then simply tell them that. Tell the asker that they should have Google'ed it. Then give them the Google search phrase that you used. Then give them the address that you found the answer upon. Lastly, write out the solution as best you can in a step by step manner for others to easily find and follow.

2. If you learn something new or common about Debian please by all means post it here. Let us all know what you found. What could be better for this site than to have a very detailed, user friendly, and when possible technical source for all things Debian(and Linux for that matter.)

3. As advanced users don't fall into the mind set that we already know enough and that we don't need to keep searching for new articles and papers to read. None of us are perfect. If you think you are, then from memory please recite the entire source code for the newest Linux Kernel. You can't can you? (Don't worry I can't either, but that'd be freaky if someone could.)

4. For new comers to Debian(and linux for that matter, and even to computers.) The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to read everything you can get your hands and eyes on. If you want a starting point then read the two websites at the end of this post. The first will give you what general mind set you should have when dealing with any form of electronics in todays world. The second will give you an excellent source for Linux information(if you don't understand a section, then reread it. if you still don't understand then go back a section and reread both. if you still don't understand then read the next section, then go back to the one you didn't understand. if after all this you still don't get it, ask.)

5. We all need to read and understand the following. "In the essentials,
unity. In the unessentials, charity." The topics that are essential for Debian(and linux, and computers, and anything else for that matter) we need to get along, help out those who don't quite get it yet, and come together to find a solution. Hey, if possible find multiple solutions. You never know when one route will be blocked. The non-essentials like who is a 'hacker' those of us who are knowledgeable in computers, or the people who port scan the pentagon and get sent to federal prison for X number of years, my response is we need more charity. We need to agree to disagree, rather than fight about it. It's a waste of energy and brain power that could be better spent on developing and advancing our technological fields to the next respective level.

I hope this was helpful not only to the guru's, the 'experienced' ones, but also to those who are new, those who are referred to as newbies, and those who one day want to be like that one guru who helped them out when they were brand new.

Here are the sites I promised you:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
 
Old 08-18-2004, 12:38 PM   #2
Dead Parrot
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
Posts: 1,597

Rep: Reputation: 46
Good links! Here are some more useful links:

http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Debian
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/re...erence.en.html
http://www.dsl.org/cookbook/cookbook_toc.html
http://newbiedoc.sourceforge.net/tut...-help-sys.html
 
Old 08-18-2004, 12:53 PM   #3
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475
I would have to agree with all you wrote: flaming people or being unhelpful is unnecessary and not a welcome action on LQ. We Mods will usually make a comment when we see them. Incidentally, if anyone feels they are being answered with a flame or inappropriately, click the "Report this post to a moderator" link - we are only human and don't see all of them.

But it is also a 2-way street - if a question is not clear, is inflammatory or just doesn't give us any useful troubleshooting information our responses will probably not be that helpful. We now have over a million posts on LQ and the ones with no information may well be ignored in favour of ones with good information.

To that end, I present How to Ask Questions the Smart Way - some parts may be out of date, but the information and advice is still useful. Also, read the LQ Rules and the LQ FAQs.
 
Old 08-18-2004, 01:50 PM   #4
macondo
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,017

Rep: Reputation: 52
I think there should be a sticky at the top of the list of questions, telling posters to specify what version of Debian they are using and what kernel, also what errors they are receiving. I think Dead Parrot has mentioned this before.
 
Old 08-18-2004, 02:06 PM   #5
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475
Stickies are useful, but only if people read them. And, unfortunately, in the rush to post most people don't even look for them.
 
Old 08-18-2004, 02:10 PM   #6
quentusrex
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 101

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
i was in the middle of posting the same thing XavierP. when people have a problem so bad that they resort to looking and searching through forums, normally they skip the looking and searching after about 5 minutes and go right into posting. besides, the search feature wouldn't return a sticky 'Read This Before Posting!!' post. soo, it's a good idea, but somewhere along the line it wouldn't help much.

but here's an idea. maybe you could change the posting screen to say at the top or somewhere near the reply box that if you are starting a thread that you need to post your OS version, Kernel, etc. anyone have any thoughts?
 
Old 08-18-2004, 02:17 PM   #7
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475
It is already there:
Subject:
Please try to be as descriptive as possible. A subject that accurately describes your problem will make your thread much more likely to get a quick response.

Bad: "Help Me!!" or "URGENT"
Good: "Why is my mouse pointer wrong?"
Best: "Mouse pointer distorted on XFree86 4.3 with Geforce FX 5200"

Message:
You should include as much detail as possible in your message, including exact error messages (where applicable) and what you have done so far. The more detail you include the more we can help. You should also use the boards search feature to ensure that the question has not already been asked.

These are next to the boxes in the "New Thread" window. Also there is a "Has this question been asked" button to press and next to the Message window there is a link to the search feature.

Jeremy prefers to keep it all as unobtrusive as possible, if there are too many steps or warning messages to go through, there is the possibility that members will just say "forget it" and go elsewhere.

I am moving this to Website Questions and Suggestions as it really fits better there.
 
Old 08-18-2004, 03:50 PM   #8
Dead Parrot
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
Posts: 1,597

Rep: Reputation: 46
This thread started as a Debian thread so I'll continue to discuss Debian specific settings, even though this thread has been moved to a more general forum. IMO, sticky threads in the LQ Debian forum would be a good idea -- just as long as there aren't more than half a dozen sticky threads and as long as the sticky threads are given descriptive titles, such as "How To Configure X in Debian" so that they'll catch new users' interest.

IMO, the most needed sticky tread in the Debian forum would be a HOWTO that points out the usual steps that are needed to take in configuring X in Debian. I've seen this issue come up again and again in the LQ Debian forum. If someone pointed out the general procedure of configuring X in Debian, then perhaps we could concentrate on troubleshooting the unusual cases where the usual procedure doesn't work (not that I mind much parroting myself ).

Such a sticky thread for configuring X should point out how to see (dpkg -l [packagename]) if the packages "discover", "hotplug", "read-edid", and "mdetect" are installed in Debian. Also some alternative methods for auto-detection could be mentioned -- like "hwinfo" (ported from SuSE to Debian) and perhaps also how to use the RedHat ports to Debian that Morphix developer Alex de Landgraaf has compiled: http://www.morphix.org/debian/readme

Such a sticky thread should point out that the proper Debian way to configure X is to use (as root) the command "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86" (or perhaps "dpkg-reconfigure -plow xserver-xfree86" to set the DebConf value to "low" so that it asks all the questions even if DebConf is configured to pass all but critical questions).

Such a sticky thread should point out that a common PS/2 mouse with kernel 2.6.x should be configured to use the device /dev/input/mice and that currently it's useful to add "psmouse" to /etc/modules (and also "mousedev" if you're using a USB mouse).

Such a sticky thread should point out that you need to know the brand and type of your graphics card plus the horizontal and vertical refresh values of your monitor to configure X successfully in Debian. Also ways to find out these details (dmesg && google.com) should be pointed out.

I don't happen to have an nvidia card but many people seem to have, so instructions for installing nvidia support in Debian should be mentioned in such a sticky thread.

Also such a sticky thread should mention that the X configuration file is /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and that the X log file is /var/log/XFree86.0.log -- and that the important lines for troubleshooting in this log file start with (EE).

Possibly some other things could be mentioned in addition, but the main point is that the existence of such a sticky thread would save us from giving the same advices over and over again. My memory often fails when I try to give other users advices on troubleshooting their Debian problems but a permanent and well-written point of reference, such as a sticky thread, would be a very welcome resource in pointing new Debian users towards the correct direction.

Other common issues (ALSA sound, mounting devices, CUPS printing, etc.) may as well need their own sticky thread but I think that configuring X is the most usual cause of trouble for new Debian users.
 
  


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