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Old 12-28-2014, 03:58 PM   #61
jlinkels
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This is a very, very, I would almost say overly constructive, thread to push people very, very friendly into the direction of asking a question in the right way.

Now I don't know what the average age / skill level of the contributors of this thread is, but I assume it is 20+ years.

And I fear the average age / skill level of the first time, one line, posters is iPhone generation.

This means they won't read such long paragraphs of text which were kindly put together by Jeremy and were contributed by others.

Really, the posts "Please provide detailed instructions on how to implement foo protocol in ns-3.13" do not deserve a "warm welcome" and a spoon fed LQ education. The experts here are willing to provide help and information. I think it is not sufficient to ask to show the effort they have done.

For example, I am often reading the Latex questions on StackExchange. StackExchange has very rigid rules about how questions are asked and how answers are provided. Without a Minimum Working Example (MWE) in Latex members don't even try to understand what the question is. http://tex.stackexchange.com/questio...created-by-ipe

I would not oppose if members on this forum try less to pry the information from posters, and lean back more saying: "I need this and this information, then I might look into you problem". Just one sentence, because like I said, I don't expect these fellows to read more that 140 characters. They should not just show that they put in some effort, no, they should put in every effort to make their question answerable. Their question, their effort.

Also I would be in favor of sentences like "When you enter the line just posted Google will provide you the answer. Once you carried out those instructions come back here with detailed error information and exactly where you are stuck, and we might be willing to help you" (Although the sentence is a bit long, preferably it is more concise)

Generally I like TBone's attitude in correcting the questions of those people, but he is answering on a case-by-case basis as it seems and it might cost a lost of time.

Obviously, people who mistakenly ask questions the wrong way because they are really new or inexperienced or old(!) can be welcomed in the friendly way. But we all recognize those questions and distinguish them from the "Urgent help needed!!!!" questions.

jlinkels

Last edited by jlinkels; 12-28-2014 at 04:03 PM.
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-29-2014, 04:38 AM   #62
business_kid
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Everything you say, jinkels, points to the efficient use of time. Right for programmers.
Some of the most interesting threads here would never get started at all if LQ took the approach you suggest.

Agreed about long paragraphs. 140 characters is a bit harsh, however. It's easy enough to fill 140 characters onto a command line, if your file names are long.
 
Old 12-29-2014, 08:11 AM   #63
sundialsvcs
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I'm reluctant to change anything. By and large, even though there's a fair share of "dumb questions" and/or "questions that are too imprecise to be answered" ... as we, the potential responders, see it ... I usually don't think that the authors of those questions meant that to be the case. Even if we see them as "annoying," the authors didn't write them "to annoy." They simply didn't know what to write ... because they didn't already know the answer, etc.

If we "freeze them out," it will hurt far more than any of them will ever let-on: they have just been vilified in a very public place, as the only response that they received in response to an (ill-formed) ask for help. I just don't think that we want to do that. We want "that certain human dynamic," rough-edged though it may sometimes be. We want people to feel welcome here, even as we show them how to ask questions more effectively. Because, the more welcome they are, and the more free they feel to ask the questions that are on their mind without fear of retribution or reprisal, the better (more honest ...) the questions they ask will be, and the more valuable the replies (and thus, the site) will become. So, "whether hand-'up' or hand-'out,'" and without outright doing someone's homework for them ... ... "lend a helping hand." (Or, be silent, as the case may be.)

JM2CW™ ...

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 12-29-2014 at 08:12 AM.
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-29-2014, 08:51 AM   #64
jlinkels
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@business_kid and @sundialscvs

I am only talking about this type of first-time posters, posting one-liners: "Help urgent!! What is the difference between RH6 and Rh7???"

Either I did not express myself well in my previous post, or the opinion is that those people should be welcomed here.

Frankly, I think LQ is a better place without them.

jlinkels
 
Old 12-29-2014, 11:01 AM   #65
jeremy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
This is a very, very, I would almost say overly constructive, thread to push people very, very friendly into the direction of asking a question in the right way.
I disagree. It's a thread that is attempting to address an issue that many long time LQ members agree exists, in a way that is congruent with and will preserve the culture that we've worked very hard to build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
And I fear the average age / skill level of the first time, one line, posters is iPhone generation.

This means they won't read such long paragraphs of text which were kindly put together by Jeremy and were contributed by others.
LQ is a long form technical community site. If a someone who is asking for help is unwilling to read a very short paragraph and follow a few very simple and reasonable guidelines, it is unlikely they will ever become a participating member of the site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
For example, I am often reading the Latex questions on StackExchange. StackExchange has very rigid rules about how questions are asked and how answers are provided. Without a Minimum Working Example (MWE) in Latex members don't even try to understand what the question is. http://tex.stackexchange.com/questio...created-by-ipe
SE is a VERY different site, with a very different culture and a very different paradigm. Making comparisons between LQ and SE is almost never useful. For those who prefer the QA format, we have built LinuxExchange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Generally I like TBone's attitude in correcting the questions of those people, but he is answering on a case-by-case basis as it seems and it might cost a lost of time.
While TBone can be extremely helpful at times, it's demonstrable that his attitude at times can have a negative impact on new members. What we're trying to do here is solve the issue by coming up with a friendly, constructive and REUSABLE bit of text that is meant to educate new members to the way things are done here at LQ, while also backing it up with a policy that has clear repercussions (up to and including loss of posting privileges). This should serve to lessen the burden on long time members who are the lifeblood of LQ, while also working to turn more new members into long time members.

--jeremy
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-29-2014, 11:03 AM   #66
jeremy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
@business_kid and @sundialscvs

I am only talking about this type of first-time posters, posting one-liners: "Help urgent!! What is the difference between RH6 and Rh7???"

Either I did not express myself well in my previous post, or the opinion is that those people should be welcomed here.

Frankly, I think LQ is a better place without them.
LQ will be a better place if we can weed out the ones who are truly not interested in participating, while educating and welcoming the ones who do.

--jeremy
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-29-2014, 12:43 PM   #67
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
LQ will be a better place if we can weed out the ones who are truly not interested in participating, while educating and welcoming the ones who do.
I agree totally, and that was my intent when I opened this very thread.

And I freely admit that many times I can be...'terse'...with folks, but I do hold people to a standard that isn't hard to live up to. I try to perform due-diligence in my professional life, and can't ever understand those who don't. It wouldn't ever occur to me to NOT try find an answer on my own first, before asking someone else, so the "how install ns2? It's urgent" postings baffle me, as do the "where to get RHEL ISO image?" type posts. I don't feel that asking people to show a TINY bit of effort of their own is asking too much. Especially considering they probably found THIS site with a Google search, I can't understand why they can't use that same Google search engine to find a download site, or instructions.

Having the block of text to re-use and point people to (I've already put it in my posting signature), is the best answer, as Jeremy said. There are SO MANY posters who may have hundreds of posts, that STILL provide no details when asking a question. The one-liner posts will, in my opinion, RARELY ever post back with ANYTHING, no matter how pleasantly they're dealt with.
 
Old 02-07-2015, 04:00 PM   #68
curtvaughan
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Linux growing pains - a symptom of its vastly increasing popularity as an OS alternative

Reading through these posts, perusing the various topics of queries and responses, I note an overall trend: Linux is having growing pains. It began some 25 to 30 years ago as an OS alternative for the technologically competent who wanted to develop and offer a software alternative to the proprietary Unix, VMS, IBM, Microsoft, and Apple systems in prevalence at the time. It remained in that box until the last 7 or 8 years, during which Microsoft tanked due to bloatware and security issues, DEC and IBM went bankrupt or downsized, and now even Apple, after a resurrection by Steve Jobs, is now following the same path as did Microsoft in offering buggy software and proprietary prices since his death. Guess what, Linux, partially due to incredible progress in desktop frontends by distro developers, but also due to user frustration with overpriced Apple hardware/software, Microsoft bloatware and licensing, as well as corporate need to bypass proprietary Unix systems in favor of cheaper Linux server alternatives, is now having a really revolutionary growth. Yes, Linux/Unix gurus, your systems are now finally breaking the threshold needed for major adoption by even unsophisticated "end-user/noob's". Surf the new waves, Linux afficionados. Your time is here, and you need to adapt. Figure out how to help and inspire the noob's to follow the paths you have trod. Enjoy the sun while it shines.

Just my opinion.

Last edited by curtvaughan; 02-07-2015 at 04:02 PM.
 
Old 02-08-2015, 02:07 PM   #69
Miati
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtvaughan View Post
Reading through these posts, perusing the various topics of queries and responses, I note an overall trend: Linux is having growing pains. It began some 25 to 30 years ago as an OS alternative for the technologically competent who wanted to develop and offer a software alternative to the proprietary Unix, VMS, IBM, Microsoft, and Apple systems in prevalence at the time. It remained in that box until the last 7 or 8 years, during which Microsoft tanked due to bloatware and security issues, DEC and IBM went bankrupt or downsized, and now even Apple, after a resurrection by Steve Jobs, is now following the same path as did Microsoft in offering buggy software and proprietary prices since his death. Guess what, Linux, partially due to incredible progress in desktop frontends by distro developers, but also due to user frustration with overpriced Apple hardware/software, Microsoft bloatware and licensing, as well as corporate need to bypass proprietary Unix systems in favor of cheaper Linux server alternatives, is now having a really revolutionary growth. Yes, Linux/Unix gurus, your systems are now finally breaking the threshold needed for major adoption by even unsophisticated "end-user/noob's". Surf the new waves, Linux afficionados. Your time is here, and you need to adapt. Figure out how to help and inspire the noob's to follow the paths you have trod. Enjoy the sun while it shines.

Just my opinion.
I only speak for myself, but I always find this comparison interesting.
In windows and apple, there is a really easy way to determine a "good" user.
More users on apple/windows = More $

However.. I have had this impression for awhile now that the number of users makes little difference in Linux or BSD
If the entire world adopted linux tomorrow, and didn't contribute back (answering questions on forums, bug reports, patches, discussions, etc)
would the Linux community actually benefit in any way?

Users have some leverage on windows/apple, they have paid money and expect a good product. They expect to complain loudly when things go wrong and as such, get those issues fixed. Microsoft and Apple do not want bad press,
I presume something like that will lower sales. So they are subject to the political game. They must maintain a positive image regardless of how angry or embarrassed they are by recent events.

Linux is largely not subject to this. More users don't mean much. Fewer users don't mean much. There is no official spokeperson for bad press, and good press is largely through third parties. In fact, most bad press comes within the internal workings of linux (open/libreoffice, ffmpeg/avconv). In a infamous video, the creator of the linux kernel (linus) flips off and curses nvidia. Nvidia for its part, gives a very politically appropriate response.
The point I am trying to drive here is linux is not windows, in way more then the obvious "you can't run the same programs".

So back to forum posts.. if linux is to be flooded with users with one-line posts that simply want without actually trying, tell them to find the relevant information with some clues and leave it at that. Some will be enraged (I expect more! This is 21st century, no man pages!) some will simply leave, some will try.

What I care about is not cutting off those who try because more and more are doing the first two.
I don't intend to adapt to users who don't try. They will not benefit linux (IMO), and they are not worth the trouble. If they go back to Windows or Apple, so be it. They will likely be better served there.
Again, this is my opinion, so if other users wish to explain for the nth time that there is no best linux distro, they are free to do so.

Last edited by Miati; 02-09-2015 at 12:19 AM. Reason: broken link
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-08-2015, 03:00 PM   #70
curtvaughan
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The future of Linux with an influx of new users

Miati, I largely agree with your assessment of the market having minimal, or at least relatively minimal affect on Linux, as it has largely been non-commercial, both in software development and support. You may be correct that the current model of forums and blogs devoted to mostly developers and fairly knowledgeable users is largely incompatible with users of Windows and Apple products who expect to be heard due to their financial investments in those systems and products. I think that one thing that may change, and in some aspects has already changed, is that you will see an increase in 3rd party commercial support for users of Linux who aren't able to install or solve hardware/software problems on their own. There are already a number of companies out there offering packaged distros and support for installation. Corporations using Linux for servers and desktops generally either buy this form of 3rd party support, or hire Linux experts as consultants. If Microsoft and Apple lose user base to Linux they will also downsize in such a manner that a new population of unemployed software developers and system administrators will be seeking employment elsewhere. What other motivation can there be for getting "Linux Certified" than to seek employment with said expertise? How such changes might affect the current largely volunteer oriented community remains to be seen. I hope that the GNU/FSF oriented user/developer base will remain.

Last edited by curtvaughan; 02-08-2015 at 03:03 PM. Reason: punctuation
 
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:04 AM   #71
cynwulf
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Having more users - market share - is the wild goose that many Linux users have been chasing for years. Ultimately Linux did not succeed on the desktop but in embedded systems. Linux users often can only think one dimensionally - e.g. their needs, the desktop, their favourite distribution, the pointless and mythical competition with MS, etc.

If people are better served by using a different OS, then they are better off sticking with it. Despite all of the "user friendly" Linux distributions (mostly respins of Debian) out there, one can still find numerous threads on forums such as this one where people fail to get past even the simplest obstacles and just give up, where their hardware is not supported and where the so called "easy distribution" is using bleeding edge software...

The disingenuous approach to pulling in new users, where certain users make such false claims as "you will never need to use the terminal" actually damages the reputation of Linux based systems.

Honesty is the best policy: It's a learning curve, it may not be for you, yes you will have to read man pages, yes you will have to use the terminal, in fact you should learn to use the terminal, no your top favourite windows/apple software may not be available.
 
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:30 AM   #72
Siljrath
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yep, shared concerns. good threads/replies on this matter (not read all yet (come to think of it, i've probably read this before, a while back, n wouldnt be surprised if i come across a reply from me already, lol)).

seems to me two aspects here could help leverage remedy here.

1, proliferation of the awareness of the nice way to teach someone to fish, so that one gets out of conflating feedfish=nice & teachfish=nasty.

2, more convenience/automation in presenting a help-leach with a friendly education pack on how to better help yourself, and how to better get help, by better helping yourself first. maybe as simple as a button at the bottom of posts (e.g. just next to the useful post link) that ... idk, just takes them to such a page, or also includes, um, making some kind of mark on their post... nothing hostile, something padded around any neutrality that could be perceived as negativity against them, especially since they're likely stressed by their problem. like, uhh... (idk, this is a first stab, likely needs refining, esp to evade any perception of passive aggression)... "Thankyou for your question. It could use some more information to help answer it, or maybe there are simple answers you can find from another websearch. Here's some more tips to help you get better help: *link*" idk, something like that?
(2b(?)) and/or maybe a button that can parse their question into a websearch for them? that'd b pretty cool. it likely would be a janky noisey imperfect (or empty results) search, but might be enough to help inspire/encourage/entice peeps into the habbit of searching the pertinents they have in any question they may form.

Last edited by Siljrath; 08-16-2017 at 07:33 AM.
 
Old 08-18-2017, 03:45 PM   #73
Habitual
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Personally, I have somewhat concluded that "help" here at LQ means FIX.
There is no motivation for them to learn under such conditions.

I am trying to be nicer, but I tell ya, it is not encouraging.
When you give them the fix, then it becomes moot for the learning because the motivation is gone.
If you try to encourage them to fish, Naw. Too easy to come here and toss out rote questions.

They don't care to learn. They just want it fixed.
That is my opinion.

and it seems, I am not alone in this recent sentiment.

Last edited by Habitual; 08-18-2017 at 03:48 PM.
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-18-2017, 07:46 PM   #74
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

I like to provide queries with some direct information and let them decide how to solve the issue. I will not hold someone's hand and if they do not wish to put some sweat into the solution then I will leave things alone.

Everyone wants the quick fix but I feel nothing is gained if I just put a direct answer to their query. I have students who would try this mode and I would lead to a point then leave them to make the final decisions. If not then they would just fail to gain from the experience(s).
Quote:
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We Know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."- Samuel Johnson
Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
Old 08-18-2017, 09:08 PM   #75
curtvaughan
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The give and take of help

I sort of like the model of the http://ifixit.comweb site. Users of the site vary from clueless to master, but even the "clueless" only visit that site in order to try to fix something on their own, the old DIY paradigm. To get help fixing something new to you, you have to at least provide an adequate description of the thing that needs fixing. No one on the site is going to come fix it for you, but they generally will provide links and suggestions on how to proceed. Posters and contributors are awarded reputation points based upon quality of questions, feedback (both photos and descriptions) on how the repair went, and on how helpful their helpers were in addressing their questions. I've made some real nice connections with people who work on their own computer hardware on that site. Attempts are made to award similar "reputation/expertise" points on Linux forums, but the threshold for newbie usage tends to be lower. I guess it's a difference between software and hardware issues. If you need to fix hardware, you either take it to a shop or do it yourself, and you don't go to an "ifixit" site unless you plan to try doing it yourself. If you need to get software working, you either pay for assistance from a software company, or try to get "free" help on a software forum. The folks looking for "freebies" as newbies have very little invested, at least at the beginning, in contributing back to the community. Anyway, sorry for the TL;DR.
 
  


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