|Keep It Simple, Stupid|
Where is the boundary between 'in bounds' and 'out of bounds'?by dws (Chancellor)
|on May 08, 2002 at 18:43 UTC||Need Help??|
A question for discussion:
In the Monastery, where is the boundary that separates "in bounds" questions from "out of bounds" questions?From watching consideration patterns over the last year, I've seen that there are some diverse opinions about where the boundary is. But discussing the question via the consideration system is like trying to communicate with semaphores in the dark. Now be a good time, given recent discussions, to air some opinions so that we can better understand one another, and perhaps have a reasoned discussion.
Where do you draw the line between "in bounds" and "out of bounds", and why?
Here's my take: To delete a question is to pretend that it was never asked. This sends people away without help. In many cases this is deserved, as when a lazy questioner takes the "I dropped my key over there in the dark, but I'll look over here because the light is better" approach, and asks something with no obvious Perl content. But the more interesting cases are when an earnest questioner poses a question that has no (or little) Perl content on the surface, but might have if one scratches a bit, particularly where the question is about an issue that blocks Perl from being used successfully.
A common type of question I see considered is about how to configure an environment to accept Perl CGIs (or how to invoke Perl scripts via SSI). From one perspective these questions have no direct Perl content. But are they worth deleting? I say (and vote) no, on the gounds that these questions are about blocking issues. A response may be to simply point the questioner towards the right document. (There are plenty of wrong docs in circulation. MS, for example, doesn't go out of their way to tell you how to configure IIS for Perl CGIs, and much of the info you find via Google is wrong or incomplete.)
Though I bend towards answering borderline questions, I also favor harsh treatment of lazy bastards. People who ask a borderline question without showing that they've taken even minimal effort on their own should be sent packing. But visibly, as an example to themselves and others.
Where is your boundary?