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Re^2: Special place for RTFM posts

by Erez (Priest)
on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:49 UTC ( #813857=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Special place for RTFM posts
in thread Special place for RTFM posts

"negative votes count double"

Not Agreed, as you only will make posters not take their posts there, in fear of the XP loss.

Anyway, the whole RTFM issue has been discussed over and over, here and elsewhere. Some consider this (i.e. perlmonks) to be a higher-level discussion board and that we should assume someone has tried reading the manual/FAQ, searched the Internet for a solution, and having failed all these, came here for an answer. In these people's eyes, not requesting an answer without first performing all that is disrespectful for those who visit here, and should not be "tolerated".

Others don't subscribe to this POV, claiming a: not always the "M" is available, or that the asker knows where to look for it. Maybe the documentation is too complicated. Maybe its an undocumented feature/bug. Maybe the search wasn't fruitful because the person didn't know how to identify his problem, and form the right search query.
At any rate, these don't consider the question disrespectful.

Mind you, both sides, and the range of opinions in between them have valid points. One is more newcomers friendly, the other claims that "weeding out" the RTFM questions help the people here focus on the real unanswered question and increase the signal to noise ratio. Both options are valid, both options have merits. Pick your side.

"A core tenant of the greater Perl philosophy is to trust that the developer knows enough to solve the problem" - Jay Shirley, A case for Catalyst.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^3: Special place for RTFM posts
by SilasTheMonk (Chaplain) on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:42 UTC


    Yeah I had not really thought my idea through. And thanks for taking the time to write up the history of this in coherent English.

    However I don't believe the hardman bouncer approach has much going for it. There are several more modern languages than perl (such as PHP, Ruby, Python etc). If that attitude is allowed to prevail than surely new people will not find perl a welcoming place and will be driven to those other languages and then perl will surely die.

    I have an alternative idea. On the SoPW post entry from one could add a separate mandatory textbox, to describe what one has done to solve the problem. This might do a lot to weed out time wasting questions.

      On the SoPW post entry from one could add a separate mandatory textbox, to describe what one has done to solve the problem.

      That is what the main box is for!

        I am sure that most people logging onto for the first time are under the impression that the main box is where you put your question. So what I am looking for is some way of increasing the cost of posting a silly question. I can see the XP loss ultimately does offer that, but this is analogous to the way bridges that suffer from a lot suicides often require a one penny fee to cross the bridge. It makes the potential suicide stop and think before they cross. Saying XP loss ought to be enough to deter them is a bit like saying that "life experience loss" ought to be enough to dissuade suicides. And the analogy is closer if the XP loss drives the potential user away permanently. I think it would be much better to force the user somehow to ask himself, have I done everything I can to answer this question myself. It could be for example a drop-down box listing say my documentation, man pages, book, google etc. Then if the user fails to select one of these rather than fully submitting he gets a message suggest he try those first. Such a drop down box forces a higher transactional cost to asking a silly question, but is less flexible than a text box.
      several more modern languages than perl (such as PHP, Ruby, Python etc)
      What? If ‘modern’ means “released later”, then, sure, Ruby qualifies; but that seems to be the only yardstick by which such a statement can be made without qualification.

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