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- Subject: Re: Lua-tutor list? was function pointers in Lua
- From: David Given <dg@...>
- Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 21:11:22 +0000
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Thomas Lauer wrote:
> But the lazy git who just can't be bothered to search the web, the
> manuals or even his/her own brain... well, that's another matter
> altogether. In this case rudeness can be necessary... as a survival
I absolutely disagree with this.
This mailing list is about communication. Communication is, crudely put,
about maximising signal and minimising noise. The social rituals we call
'politeness' are all about providing formalised frameworks for this
communication to occur efficiently; by saying 'please' what you're doing
is indicating a willingness to participate in the communication process.
Being rude is the precise opposite --- it's going out of our way to
*minimise* signal and *maximise* noise. Worse, it's deliberately trying
to alienate the other person. Thus, it's negative communication.
It's just as easy to say 'This is documented in the excellent manual,
see <link>; let us know if you have any problems with it,' than it is to
say 'RTFM, you [omitted] noob'...
> There's no perfect answer to this question but replies that
> add heat without light should probably not have been posted in the
> first place.
Definitely. I know I'm guilty of this myself, and I sometimes wonder
whether I should enforce an hour's delay in my emailer just to make me
reconsider whether I should send some messages.
When we receive a question on the mailing list, there's no context; we
don't know who the other person is, their background, their level of
skill, what language they're speaking, etc. It's entirely possible that
they don't know that they *can* search the web, or that they're having
trouble understanding something which to us seems utterly self-evident.
As such, I think it's important that simple questions go here, rather
than being pushed off to some ghetto mailing list; it's important for
those of us with experience in programming to go through the exercise in
thinking things through at a more basic level. Insight can frequently
result from this! And, more embarrassingly, I have several times, here,
answered some question only to be corrected by someone else because I'd
been misunderstanding some utterly basic topic...
I have had several people tell me that they find the level of civility
and lack of flameage on the Lua list remarkable. As a frequent poster
here, that's a lot of responsibility to live up to.
┌─── ｄｇ＠ｃｏｗｌａｒｋ．ｃｏｍ ───── http://www.cowlark.com ─────
│ "Under communism, man exploits man. Under capitalism, it's just the
│ opposite." --- John Kenneth Galbrith
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