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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.

In reply to Re: Being helpful to a fault? by delirium
in thread Being helpful to a fault? by graff

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