|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Reactionary Postingby Anonymous Monk
|on Jul 02, 2002 at 19:39 UTC||Need Help??|
I've posted as Anonymous because while I feel many will agree, I also feel many people will take offense.
It seems to me that lately, there has been a bit of an elitist attitude running around here, specifically in the SoPW category. I watch Newest Nodes pretty frequently and it always looks like a race to see who can answer "Read the manual / Do your own homework / Use this module, stupid!" first and gain a few measly XP from their competitors... who will doubtlessly agree with them, wanting to post the same things themselves.
I regularly upvote people who say "Well, you should try it yourself first, but 'here' are some resources, 'here' is an example, 'here' is a module" and attempt to point people in the right direction. At least they're trying to help.
Replies like "Have you searched Google?" or "Use CPAN!" I tend to ignore or vote down.
Replies with "use Attitude::Rudeness" I almost always give -- to.
Put yourself in the shoes of those humbly requesting advice, especially those who have bothered to register and become a monk. No doubt you've found yourself in their shoes before. Maybe a manager has asked you to "over the weekend, brush up a little on .NET, we need something by Tuesday" and your first move was to find a community site like this? Do you know how to make a hash in .NET? Do they even have them? One easy way to find out... Ask!
They've come here to form an integral part of the community, and they're getting hit with a pretty nasty welcome.
I don't know if it's people who recieved nasty replies their first few times to Perlmonks, or what, but I notice a lot of mid-level monks simply brushing off the greenhorns.
Think about it, folks, how boring would it be without fresh faces here and there? Who wants to listen to the Old Guard compare notes all day when the general buzz about Perlmonks is "stay away unless you're some kind of adept" and we get no new users?
By turning these people away rudely, without hints, or with worthless hints like "try a search engine" to gain a few measly XP, we weaken the community. Who knows, maybe the Novice who has been lurking for months will come up with the next great Perl advance and we will never see it because we replied nastily to his innocent question.
By souring new visitors, we only make sour mid-level users who wander off before ever nearing Abbot, Saint, etc.
Maybe their questions are stupid, maybe they're just looking for homework help. If so, ignore them. There are better ways to gain levels than to slam them and then enjoy a good round of XP high-fiving with your friends.
When was the last time a "how do I lock a file?" question actually hurt you? Reply when you have something useful to say to Perl initiates, folks.