Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
laziness, impatience, and hubris

Special place for RTFM posts

by SilasTheMonk (Chaplain)
on Dec 22, 2009 at 09:42 UTC ( #813839=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Saw this post today Re: configuring language for CGI and my heart sank. What is the point of starting up your web browser just to shout RTFM (well okay he left out the "F") at someone? And the guy cannot even be bothered to login into perlmonks. How about a special consideration category for RTFM posts where the post is not actually reaped but negative votes count double?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Special place for RTFM posts
by Herkum (Parson) on Dec 22, 2009 at 20:44 UTC

    Reading the original post for this anonymous monks reply and your response to the question, I have to agree with the Anonymous Monk, he needed to read the manual.

    In fact, I think you were giving bad advice implying that the web-server even had a cgi-bin directory, which not all web servers have. It also did not address the question of what happens when a server, like Apache, no longer has a cgi-bin because someone removes it.

    While, I don't want to generate a hostile environment for questions, It is usually the post that causes the RTFM responses rather than the poster. I fail to see the benefit of down voting a RTFM poster because of someone else not putting in any effort.


      Agree. And reaping works fine for truly abusive posts.

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

Re: Special place for RTFM posts
by shmem (Chancellor) on Dec 23, 2009 at 23:42 UTC

    Nonono, no special vote weighting by whatsoever mechanism: that's a perilous path leading to sophisticated "checks and balances", or something like the infamous "relevanzkriterien" in the german wikipedia. No, please no, and not ever.

    Pure RTFM posts end buried in oblivion, which - alas - is the fate also of many a good posting. And our fate, too.

Re: Special place for RTFM posts
by Gavin (Bishop) on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:31 UTC

    "negative votes count double"

    Agreed, but really only useful as a deterrent for unhelpful suggestions if the poster had logged in.

      "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.


        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.

      good point
Re: Special place for RTFM posts
by Jenda (Abbot) on Dec 25, 2009 at 17:47 UTC

    Considering the node's reputation is 10, I don't think your "negative votes count double" would make a difference. The response was the best that could have been given considering the fact that the original poster did not even bother telling us what webserver he/she uses.

    Enoch was right!
    Enjoy the last years of Rome.

Re: Special place for RTFM posts
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 22, 2009 at 17:20 UTC

    Bare RTFM posts have absolutely no redeeming value. If you are going to post /RT.?M/i, then that post needs to have a link or three pointing to said manuals.

    Otherwise, we might as well reap it for all the same reasons as we would a blank/spam/flame post.

      Another possibility would be to provide a special RTFM button. This might add suggested links to the original post. If people liked the suggested links the original poster would get the XP not the replier. And there would be extra reasons to reap RTFM posts that did not use the RTFM functionality.
      For SilasTheMonk heart sink post, which link would you recommend?

        For SilasTheMonk heart sink post, which link would you recommend?

        Care to expand on what you're talking about?

        A google search can help, given the right search terms from someone in the know.

        However, quite simply, if you can't figure out what FM should be good to R, then don't post RTFM!

        For SilasTheMonk heart sink post, which link would you recommend?
        Okay for my next idea, how about a button to prevent anonymous monks from replying to one's posts?

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: monkdiscuss [id://813839]
Front-paged by Arunbear
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others romping around the Monastery: (4)
As of 2021-05-17 14:19 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?
    Perl 7 will be out ...

    Results (157 votes). Check out past polls.