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Re: Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums

by nysus (Vicar)
on Apr 14, 2001 at 00:49 UTC ( #72480=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums
in thread IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums

One big problem I have with gruff RTFM answers is that for most non-programmers like me, the FM usually doesn't make sense. It's almost like asking someone with a 6th grade literacy level to go and read Ulysses.

I've been a Perl for the last 2 months or so and am only now starting able to refer to the Perl doc for enlightenment. There is a hell of a lot of jargon in programming and it takes a bit before it all starts sinking in. Also, Perl doc is not meant to be didactic. It's a concise reference work. Works great if you are already familiar with programming and Perl, but almost completely useless if you don't. I can no more become a Perl programmer by reading the Perldoc than I could become a medical doctor by reading Gray's Anatomy.

So I guess all I'm saying is, "do your best to have patience." I know it's hard, but do your best. You'll make the world---or at least PerlMonks---a better place. :-)

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Re: Re: Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums
by Masem (Monsignor) on Apr 14, 2001 at 01:28 UTC
    I'll agree, there are some manuals that are very poorly written that it takes a long time for the answer to sink in, and since usually that is the only major source of information for a certain program or language, well, you're pretty much SOL.

    But this IMO is a minority of manuals, and very much not true in the case of perl's documentation. Maybe the perldocs can do with some reorganization or better indexing, but the language and numerous examples used make it one of the more friendly documents I've come across.

    Most of the questions that get RTFM's are usually from people that have probably just picked up the language but don't want to bother to 'learn' it, just use it right off the bat; this is very typical of homework trolls who just want the program to work to get a good grade in the class but don't care to remember perl in the long run. In most of those cases, RTFM is the right answer, given that the answer they want is right there. But there are a good minority of posts that sometimes will get RTFM answers but the people asking does have a serious question or concern, generally even after scanning the docs. It's sometimes hard to separate out those truely asking for help from the 'do it for me' crowd, so one way to avoid getting a gruff RTFM answer is to make sure that you tell us that you've already glimped through the manual or whatever and can't find what you're looking for. That would tell us that you've done your homework before asking here, and you'll probably get a more thorough answer than typical FAQ pointers used in newsgroups and such.

    Dr. Michael K. Neylon - || "You've left the lens cap of your mind on again, Pinky" - The Brain
Re: Re: Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums
by Desdinova (Friar) on Apr 14, 2001 at 03:52 UTC
    When i first started using Perl perldoc want real useful to me becaue for the most part i didnt know what functions were out there. Personally I started out really learning perl when i got my hands on Learning Perl Thats where i started to learn how to use perl to solve problems. Then i was able to move onto Programming Perl around this time Perldoc beacme real useful for looking up specific syntax and such. The one thing that those bok and perldoc hasnt given me that i found here was a place to see problems hashed out beyond just getting something to work. For me some of the most intresting nodes are the ones where someone posts a question and thier take on it and in the process the other memebers here end up reworking the whole logic and approach to the problem. you can't really find that in any book.

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