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Re: Writing answers for newbie questions

by thpfft (Chaplain)
on Jun 27, 2001 at 02:30 UTC ( #91769=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Writing answers for newbie questions

I've often thought that the best answers come from a rung or two up the ladder, rather than echoing down from olympus. They tend to be closer to the language and vocabulary of the questioner, and what they lack in authority they sometimes make up in immediate applicability.

there are obvious exceptions, where people draw on their experience and expertise to produce a commanding, if occasionally irascible, explanation of exactly why so and how, and those answers are treasurable. there are also people here who are very good - and remarkably patient - teachers, whom i certainly don't want to discourage.

but there also many cases of people either wasting their talents pointing out that is helpful, or becoming needlessly irate at the stupidity of it all.

i can answer simple questions, but i don't because someone more expert is bound to do so. perhaps it would be better if i did? then those who know better than i can inspect my answer rather than having to deal directly with the newbie stuff. their comments will be valuable to me, as mine are hopefully useful to the original questioner. The godly would be free to deal with the problems of bishops or just get on with optimising, or whatever they do up there, and generally keep an eye on things in case the occasional thunderbolt is required.

In which case, to address the actual question for once, the ideal would be to consider each answer in terms of its likely usefulness, firstly to the person replied to, then to the community. usefulness here includes understandability, applicability and educational value as well as rightness and elegance.

i'm inclined to ++ good intentions and -- pointless exclamations, too, but i guess that's a question of taste.

just two of your mercan c

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