Re: Newbie [OFF TOPIC] - flames

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 04/07/00

This is a long one. If you haven't the endurance just hit 'delete'.

> > building my MUD offline and trying to get as much knowledge as I
> > can before I start up and compile so I don't have to ask all of
> > you some simple FAQ's or WTFAQ's and get the mail back with a
> > "RTFM" or "RTFC" or even better "Try the link below".
> >
> It's pretty sad that many people feel the list is so hostile as to
> have to preamble everything with a "please don't beat me up".

        Actually, I think that's sort of positive.  It shows that people
realize that the information is there, even if they haven't seen
it/experience required to understand it.  The next step is for them to be
able to use it, as opposed to asking before they try it out.  I think this
person is doing it right, getting the info, and diving in.  I'd be glad to
help them, within reason.

now... about flaming...

        I've been around for a little bit, and least-a-ways as far as
circle goes, I was a newbie once.  Though I can't remember it, I'm sure I
asked some silly questions - but I also know I've never been quoted
"RTFFAQ", "RTFM", or even "RTFC".  This isn't because I have read the FAQ
(at the time, I had simply perused it - enough to know if what I was
posting was covered by it or not), or was some code-boy whizkid.  I lurked
on the list for a while, long enough to recoginize the major players, long
enough to know where the code repositories were, and long enough to
familiarize myself with the code so that if I asked a question then I'd
get back an answer that I could understand and apply.

        - I take it back, I know what the silly questions were -

        I had asked about 'how to patch'.  Well, actually I handpatched
from the start cause I couldn't get the patch program to work, my problem
was more 'making patches.'  In the end though, the problem was that I was
using HPs, and the patch program on standard-install HP is for binary
files, not GNU patches.  I did try everything though, before asking, and
after as well.

        - sorry, just had to show that I have asked stupid questions -

        It's not that the list changed, or is becoming eliteist.  It's not
even that we're treating people with less-than-perfect english language
skills poorly (I don't feel we are, but we do point out that we can't
understand them when we can't actually, understand them - we do the same
thing to people who post and are apparently english/american to start!).
The thing of it is that the _NEWBIE_ attitude has changed.  2,3,4 years
ago, we didn't have this sort of constant assult on the list for code
requests.  We didn't have a need for a WTFAQ.  We didn't have a seperate
'newbie' list, and website.  For the most part, only people who were
motiviated enough to figure things out were around.

        Why it is now that new circlemud owners think that the members of
the list exist to service their personal demands, like a sort of unpaid,
continual, required, god-given right to tech-support service, I
cannot fathom. It is nice that circle is so popular and easy to use that
even obviously computer illiterate persons can walk though a few simple
steps and get everything going.  Many (I'd like to think many) go on to
actually learn what they need to know to keep the mud going.  More though
seem to keep going only by living off the labors of others.  This type has
been increasing.

        After a while, the deluge of identical questions, or requests for
code/patches, the demonstrated inability to fix even the most basic or
common of errors is disheartening to those of us who DO know what to do.
In a nutshell, it pisses us off to have to do real work to help someone
who doesn't care enough about it to do it themselves, and even more so
when they repeat that behavior.

        Now, all that having been said;

        I don't think that some non-newbies on the list are helping the
situation.  People who post answers without explaining how they got them
are increasing the newbie's dependancy upon others.  People who post
RTFAQ/doc/WTFAQ/etc without refering to the relevant section may be
offering factual advice, but it's cloaked in extraneous material; the
equivilent of handing someone a set of encyclopedias and stating "Your
answer is in there.".  Those of you who tend to follow up these posts with
identical RTFAQ/etc messages are just being mean and spiteful.

   I think it says something good for us that this is by far the minority.

        I'd love to know how to fix both those problems, but the first
just seems to be a devoted lack of experience coupled with an extremely
self-centered personality... nothing for it but time.  The second is
mainly from anger or frustration, and should the first disappear, I think
the second will follow suit. I think I have a reasonably facisist solution
though :

if (new_circlemud_admin) {
  if(understanding_of_C < reasonable_time_and_effort ||
     understanding_of_circle < reasonable_time_and_effort) {
        (yeah, i'm bored and writing english-language-pseudocode)

        Sorry if that shocks some of you, but I think if you're going to
talk about a software distribution, you should at least know what's
required to run it (code, and program structure).  It's not enjoyable to
most to deal with unintelligent questions about something that we've put
alot of personal time and effort into - I'd rather not deal with this sort
of situation altogether.  Sometimes you throw the baby out with the
bathwater.  Better than potentially having dirty bathwater.


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