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Re: Writing answers for newbie questions

by Abigail (Deacon)
on Jun 27, 2001 at 22:11 UTC ( #92017=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re (tilly) 2: Writing answers for newbie questions
in thread Writing answers for newbie questions

For instance you offer an example of a substitution which most Perl programmers should be able to understand. But if someone does not, then they problably do not know about perldoc, do not know what a regular expression is, and will have no way to find perlre

Neato. So, I guess we should now cut and paste documentation of everything you use in answering a question? After all, of anything you use to answer a question, the person asking might not know about. And since there's no way to tell, (because I don't think anyone here would suggest the person asking needs to do anything more than the minimum, so just telling what said person knows or does not know is out of the question), all you can do is assume the person asking has zero knowledge.

Is it ok to cut and paste the entire OED in each posting? A person might not know a certain word you use, and it might entirely be possible the person asking doesn't own a dictionary. Hmmm, perhaps the OED isn't enough, and we should also translate the OED to all possible languages - just in the off change the person asking isn't a native English speaker. Oh, and of course we should include pictures as well, perhaps the person can't read either!

-- Abigail, thinking questions about consulting documentation should be seen as separate questions - which, once answered, could be linked to from for instance the front page.

  • Comment on Re: Writing answers for newbie questions

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Reading comprehension?
by tilly (Archbishop) on Jun 28, 2001 at 02:13 UTC
    You gave an example of an answer, after which people should know what to look up.

    I pointed out legitimate reasons why a beginner would find that answer not helpful, and then proceeded to say that the answer is one I would give, but I would handle possible confusion by being ready with a list of useful references if the follow-up indicated confusion.

    How did you get from that to the insane conclusion that I thought all posts should include the documentation for everything you used in answering the question?

    People with unexpectedly poor backgrounds are like possible tangents in a conversation. They come up every so often, and you handle them with a lazy algorithm. If the person apparently has less background than your first response assumed, you deal with it by politely pointing out appropriate existing answers and tools.

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