Explaining FreeBSD features

cali calculus at softhome.net
Thu Jun 23 11:51:47 GMT 2005

>> Ah, but help on who's terms? Telling a newbie to RTFM for an answer that
>> he asks which is in the manual IS help.
> Yes, it is help. But how dumb does a person have to be if this is of real 
> help?

If they were like ultra-newbie, they might not even know how to access the 
manual, but this is improbable.

The idea is, the newbie gets repeatedly told "RTFM", so that eventually they 
get the idea that they must work it out for themselves because they develop 
this inner fear of asking for help and being ridiculed, ie they don't want 
to portray themselves as a "lamer". Usually it works.

Sometimes there are people who will spout "RTFM" willy-nilly. I have 
witnessed on several occassions (not on this list) of people spouting "RTFM" 
when the manual in question did not contain the answer to the question asked 
at all, thereby backfiring on the "RTFM" spouter and resulting in 
self-ridicule. In such cases I believe that the spouter has some self-esteem 
problem and likes to newbie-bash, or just hazards a guess that the answer 
must be in the manual and automatically spouts "RTFM".

So the question bearer should state whether they have read the manual first. 
Then if it turns out that the answer is in the manual, they shall be 
ridiculed, resulting in them hopefully being much more careful next time 
when they read the manual.

Sometimes people ask simple questions, the answer is in the manual, but 
reading the manual to find the answer is akin to reading a book to discover 
how many pages it has. In such cases one feels that the information asked 
should be somewhere else, not buried in a big manual. It may be more useful 
in such cases to just answer the question so it ends up in the mailing 
archive and comes up when someone searches for it.


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