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Re: Being helpful to a fault?

by delirium (Chaplain)
on Dec 11, 2003 at 14:15 UTC ( #314035=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Being helpful to a fault?

On a similar note, I've noticed many occasions where posters (Anonymous Monks usually) ask ambigious questions, and an eager set of responders try to permute every possible thing the original poster may have meant. e.g.,

Q: How to I load files into teh PERL?

A: Assuming you mean how to read a file into an array, you would say open FH, 'file'; my @array=<FH>;. On the other hand, you might mean how to download a file from an FTP server. You could use the handy Net::FTP module....

...and so forth. In my opinion, unclear questions need to be clarified a little first. This lets the poster know that someone is interested in working with them on their problem, and in the (many) cases where the poster never returns, the forum doesn't get clogged with discussion aimed at helping someone who is long gone.

For those questions that are clear, but you think the poster is heading in the wrong direction, speak up! The answer to his/her question is probably out there in a tutorial or a Perl book, and would be found eventually. But he/she came to us instead. The benefit of talking to people is that they can see when it's appropriate to meaningfully jump out of context.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: Being helpful to a fault?
by flyingmoose (Priest) on Dec 11, 2003 at 16:56 UTC
    But no one besides me had commented or inquired about whether getting this to work would be advantageous, prudent or even sensible.

    I don't think there is a fault. As previously mentioned, perhaps you have not considered all the possible ways this "auto-use" could be useful. Many applications, such as Adobe PhotoShop, have plugins folders. You can drop libraries into these folders and they automagically become loaded by the application. This is great as third party users can install plugins very easily.

    Is there a manageable security risk, yes (use access permissions!)...but is it cool? Definitely yes. It has applications. So the approach can't be completely wrong.

    Anyhow, some approaches (such as using telnet when SSHD is available) are right to question...some are in a gray area, and being pedantic can annoy some folks. I'd prefer to have these folks learn by doing rather than saying no outright. They may know more than the responder in many cases. Conclusions -- Raise potential issues, but avoid calling someone wrong or saying the approach is wrong.

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