Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2010 Archives by date, by thread · List index

Le 2010-11-25 18:54, Robert Holtzman a écrit :

One of the best ways to help them out would be to (gently, if that makes
you feel better) instruct them that it is customary to do a modicum of
research and try what's found before posting a question to a list. Also,
the post should include the standard information, s/w version, OS, etc.
If you have been participating in mail lists for very long, I'm
surprised you don't recommend this yourself.

This usually happens as a normal course of discussion with people who need help. The initial contact may not have enough information and we usually as for more. This is pretty standard. I believe it is asking too much from a new user to expect this knowledge prior to posting. Otherwise, if we had that attitude, we would constantly be berating these people and making them feel like our help list is not really helpful.

This might be true if the contributors to the list were paid employees
or if the posters were paying for help. In that case pandering to lazy
users with an infuriating sense of entitlement might be excused because
one does not piss off a paying customer. The truth is, however, that the
contributors are unpaid volunteers who hang here from altruistic
motives and as such are entitled to the respect of not having their time
wasted trying to guess the problem from incomplete questions.

How can you be altruistic and still feel like you are entitled to respect from others? These seem like opposing concepts. If you are altruistic, then you don't care if people do not give you your "entitled" respect. You actually have to earn respect. People do not owe you respect. Otherwise, IMO, this would not make you a good candidate for a help list.

This may have little to do with installation instructions but it
addresses the flavor I'm getting from some of the messages that *all*
users should be catered to and the clueless ones not be guided into the
right way to ask questions but be tolerated and spoon fed. I have
nothing against clueless users. That's how everyone starts out but, I
remember being guided (sometimes not so gently) in how to ask questions.
I'm not advocating *all* noobs become proficient sysadmins but running a
few simple searches and trying a few things is a far cry from that.

So if you were guided "sometimes not so gently" when you started off this makes it right to continue with this technique? Remember, that people are here for help and not to be judged. The just want help. Again, there are simply too many unknown variables that may make a person understand "accepted guidelines" for help lists. A helping and friendly help list always wins over a condescending and patronising help list.

As far as I'm concerned there is too much of what I call the servant
mentality on this list. I don't find nearly as much on any of the other
lists I'm involved with, including the ubuntu-users and firefox-support
lists which get their share of newly minted users who barely know how to
turn their computer on.

Unfortunately, a help list/desk by definition are exactly that a service (from where the word "servant" comes from) to people who need help. If serving people in need frustrates particular people, then they should not be on the help list.


Unsubscribe instructions: E-mail to
*** All posts to this list are publicly archived for eternity ***


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.