Re: Thanks

From: Peter Ajamian (
Date: 02/22/00

Before getting into this let me qualify by saying that I do not believe
that your recent post was unwarranted.  Granted, there was a place where
you could have gotten the answer, but it is a rather obscure place and I
don't expect a newbie to think about looking there.  I believe that the
poster you quoted was probably just telling you where to look for more
information and for how to find the answer to similar questions in the
future and did not intend to imply that you should not have posted
because the answer is in there.

Dave Ely wrote:
> I wish to thank everyone that has helped give advice, and am wondering one last thing
> is there a list or a resource that I can go that when I preface a question with [NEWBIE]
> that people understand that I am a newbie and thus that's why what is easy for YOU is
> not necessarily easy for me to figure out.

Well, That is pretty much what this list is for, I can't speak for
others, but I am usually happy to answer newbie questions if the newbie
is truely stumped.  For example, if a newbie HAS read the FAQ, read the
archives (which are searchable, BTW), and other available documentation
and is still stumped, then I have no problem in trying to clarify things
for him.

> I have noticed a trend lately where everyone is
> so quick to point out that it's either in the FAQ, coudl have found the info if you did this
> or that, when in fact they rather look down then help the person.

Well, it's not quite like that, however it can appear to be like that to
a newbie.  What happens is that someone will get a copy of CircleMUD,
read the bare minimum of documentation required to install it, then post
to the list the first time something goes wrong (or at least it seems
that way).  I see that person as wasting my time, and I believe that the
others see it the same.  There is a wealth of information available for
CircleMUD, and I would expect that a newbie at least TRY to use it
before posting to the list.

> I do understand that
> not everything can be handed to you, and you should exert an amount of effort before asking
> for help, but I feel that everytime I ask for help, that I am either going to get: No Response,

This could just mean that no-one knows the answer, also, you have to
give people time to answer your questions, we don't sit by our computers
24 hours per day just waiting for newbies to ask questions to the
mailing list.  If you have a difficult question it can take time to get
an answer, give it least a couple days (I'd even wait up to a week or
more), before assuming that you will not be getting an answer.

> a response using a scathing tone,

Read the messages on this list for a month, you'll see that well get
into a long discussion on a topic going into great detail about solving
someone's problem, then two days later a newbie will come along and ask
the exact same question (almost word for word at times).
Understandably, that can get quite irritating, so when it appears that
someone is asking a question that is clearly answered in the FAQ or in
the archives then many people will jump to the conclusion that the
person asking the question did not read the available documentation (and
is therefore wasting time and bandwidth).

If you honestly looked at the FAQ/archives/etc. and can't understand it,
or it does not fully answer your questions, then tell us exactly that.
No one can possibly know that you read the FAQ unless you tell us, and
the assumption will almost always be that you didn't.

> or a response telling you just look Here.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, if the answer you are seeking is
"Here", then the best answer is often to tell you to "just look Here".
Again, if you already looked "Here" and it didn't answer your question,
just say so and usually someone will be glad to help your further.
> To summ up my babbling rant, where can I go for people that actually remember what it's like
> working on their first code base and willing to help learn.

Well, I suppose that my experiences differ from you, because I do
remember.  I remember easily being able to find a wealth of resources
available for CircleMUD as well as tearing into the source itself.  I
learned just about everything I know about CircleMUD from the hard work
of others, but I didn't bug people for answers that were easily gotten
from other sources.  I guess that's partly because I'm impatient and
would rather take a few minutes or even an hour or two to find the
answer myself, than wait hours or days for someone else to tell me.  I
have also been on other newsgroups/mailing lists in the past and I know
better than to bug the people on the list for answers I can get myself.

Okay, to sum up MY babbling rant (if you can do it, so can I ;), people
here and everywhere are the same.  This is not the only source of help
on the internet where this problem occurs, it happens in every mailing
list or newsgroup that is there for the purpose of helping others.  Also
note that no one is getting paid to help you or anyone else here and you
are not paying for the priveledge of asking us questions.  We all do it
out of the kindness of our own hearts (at least I can't think of any
other reason).  All that we ask in return is that you reasonably try to
find the answer via other resources first personally, I don't think
that's asking a lot.  You get what you pay for, and if you don't like
what you are getting you are more than welcome to search elsewhere.

I hope this clears things up some.

Regards, Peter

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