Various debates

From: Barid Bel Medar (
Date: 05/09/96

Well, it seems that one thing this debate has caused is a massive 
increase in messages.  For example, I seem to have received some 64 
messages in well under 12 hours, every one from the mailing list.

So, let me suggest something.  We all should use private e-mail whenever 
possible.  When replying to a message that may be of interest to 
everyone, post it to the whole world.  However, if it's a question about 
the syntax of gdb, or a request for a previously posted message, send it 
privately.  This seems to be common sense, but a bunch of people are 
ignoring it.

One thing that kind of bothers me is the way people complain about how 
they've had to rewrite a message and resend it and do various other 
things which are all obviously personal attacks against them.  Well, I 
don't know about *your* mailer, but mine supports saving of messages and 
then an autoforward (or even bounce) from the saved-messages folder.  So 
if a newbie to the list wants something resent, just resend it and don't 
waste my time by making me read through the complaints to get to the 
stuff that's actually related to the list.

Here's another suggestion, one I should follow more strictly myself.  
Check to see if a question has been answered correctly before replying to 
it.  If it has, then leave it alone, we're not in a competition (at 
least, I don't think we are).

If someone asks a newbie-type question, don't flame them publicly.  Do it 
privately.  I've said this time and again, but flames waste the time of 
everyone else who has to read through them.  I'm on a disk quota here, 
and if I get 64 messages, some half of which are flames and 
counter-flames, I stop receiving mail which is actually useful.

If someone doesn't seem to understand C, either explain it to them or 
*privately* point them to a good book on C programming.  Or, if you still 
want to go with the separate-list idea, have one for C programming 
questions and one for CircleMUD.  Actually, you can safely point them to 
a C programming newsgroup.  Make it clear that this list is for 
CircleMUD-SPECIFIC questions.  So if it's some code that could be applied 
in a different circumstance, it shouldn't be here.

I also have a question:  what's the purpose of this list?  Apparently, 
not to answer C questions.  I've noticed that CircleMUD 
"give-me-your-code" questions have also been flamed viciously.  Plus, 
someone who asks a question because he (or she) is "too lazy" to look up 
the answer, those questions also receive flames.  So, what *can* we ask 
about?  Obviously, gaps in C knowledge are not permitted.  Gaps in 
CircleMUD knowledge due to laziness are not permitted.  Time-saving 
measures of code distribution are not permitted.

Of course, any CircleMUD question can be answered by a sufficiently 
talented C programmer.  Which means that any CircleMUD question is a C 
question, which means that anyone in off the street should be able to 
learn as much about CircleMUD as Jeremy Elson (I hope I got your name 
right, btw, Jeremy!) after looking it over.

The end result is: No questions.  This list seems to be a collection of 
flames and counterflames, plus numerous complaints about the stupidity of 
people you don't know and probably will never see again anyway.

So, let's all try to lighten up a bit and be a little easier on 
everyone.  I don't have a problem with newbie-type questions.  I think 
someone's suggestion that we have NEWBIE: etc header prefices is a good 
one.  So people like me can read the newbie questions, and everyone else 
can skip them immediately.  (Actually, I rather enjoy showing off my 
knowledge sometimes.)  The only people whom I agree should be shot dead 
are those who write saying "I NEED HELP PROGRAMMING CIRCLEMUD  I DONT 
KNOW WHAT A C IS SHOULD I" (from ;p).  But of course, I 
think I've only seen one of those on this list.

Well, here's my contribution to the continuing flow of completely 
unrelated non-CircleMUD messages.

Barid Bel Medar                     
Knights of the Cosmos            Shayol Ghul Resort and Health Spa
"I  am  returning  this otherwise good typing paper to you because
someone has printed gibberish all over it and  put  your  name  at
the top." - English Professor, Ohio University

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