[TAG] TAG list etc
Benjamin A. Okopnik
ben at linuxgazette.net
Mon Jan 23 19:00:54 MSK 2006
On Mon, Jan 23, 2006 at 06:50:40AM +0000, Thomas Adam wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 22, 2006 at 06:59:20PM -0800, Mike Orr wrote:
> > Regarding the Makefile question, I did think both Thomas and Ben
> > were a little harsh initially. But when the querent turned nasty and
> > essentially said, "Fuck you Unix heads and all your children," I
> > thought, maybe Thomas and Ben are better at recognizing those kind of
> > people than I am.
> Heh. Maybe. It depends how many mailing lists you're on, and the sorts
> of people that post to them. :) Maybe I was a little brash with our
> querent friend.
Just a tad, Thomas. :) I find the "dipshit, you fucked up!" approach a
little _too_ harsh if someone is indeed well-meaning but mistaken - note
that we've had some people in here who *did* take it well and did The
Right Thing after being rebuked for their misbehavior. It's a question
of finding a reasonable middle-ground.
> Truth is, it was an experiment on my part to see what
> would happen. Most people, if their first offense is use a meaningless,
> one-word subject line, is either because of:
> 1. They're not really technically-minded, and so are not sure of the
> process or effectiveness that e-mail can be used to help their
> 2. They know full well how email works, and they're just being lazy.
> Invariably, it's usually both.
Really? In my experience, it's either the first case that you describe
or an aggressive "somebody *owes* me because I took the time and trouble
to try this Linux thing", usually backed by a fear of looking stupid.
The first kind can be dealt with; the second kind require a large
clue-by-four once identified.
> My approach to (1) has changed. It used to be I would bend over
> backwards to accommodate them. The problem with that though is some
> will exploit that beyond what is resonable; attaching themselves to you
> and generally becoming bothersome.
At which point, they just need another mild smack on the nose to get
them back on track ("Please CC the list on all further communications; I
charge ?XXX per hour for private tutoring.") I'm not saying that you
have to take that kind of trouble if you don't feel like it, but it
makes sense if you're trying to build a community - which I believe you
are, along with the rest of us here.
> Of course, the same approach can be used in (2), but then you're wasting
> your time. I used to feel guilty about offending these people. Now I
> don't care.
For either version of the 2nd category above, feed'em to the horses for
all I'd care. The point I'm making is that a properly-formulated warning
shot across their bows separates the wheat from the chaff - and there's
definitely a benefit to us and the community at large in doing so.
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://linuxgazette.net *
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