in reply to
Should a Socratic Dialogue be attempted?
Often times I find myself working on regular bourne shell (not bash) which only has single-equals to compare strings. I had to inform a coworker that using double-equals is undefined when he tried to use it.
Back on topic... If we were to reverse course and only say reply back with "run `perldoc perlsyn`, you'll find your answer", pretty soon people will get turned off. PerlMonks ultimately is a completely voluntary resource (save for the fine folks who are responsible for and run this great site) which is unlike school where kids are meant to learn. The philosophies under which we exchange ideas are very different so it's hard to ply the same questions to both areas.
With that being said, to me I try to answer posts in which the poster has provided some effort on their own. Posts like "I need to parse this data file, here's what it looks like, now by my code monkeys and do my homework assignment" get ignored. Other posts like "I'm trying to parse this file with this format. I wrote this perl script here but it doesn't do X or how can I make it more efficient" get a second look and possibly a response.
Their demonstrated effort goes a long way in soliciting a response from me, at least. I like to help people that help themselves, but if you aren't going to try, then neither am I.
"The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris. See the Camel Book for why." -- `man perl`