Re: FreeBSD-newbies group is a compromise community.
From: Tom McLaughlin (tmclaugh_at_sdf.lonestar.org)
To: Jamie <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 00:47:11 -0500
Apologies, forgot to CC the mailing list the first time.
On Thu, 2004-03-18 at 23:43, Jamie wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Mar 2004, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> > On Friday, 19 March 2004 at 9:23:52 +0700, Anurak C. wrote:
> > > On Friday, March 19, 2004 5:18 AM, Eric wrote:
> > >> Quoting Freddie Cash <email@example.com>:
> > <snip>
> Sorry, I should have read the charter. I didn't want to bother the
> gurus and wizards with what I thought might be a question which would come
> from someone inexperienced, and title "newbies" *sounded* like a good
> place to ask it. I was just judging it by the name of the group, and not
> by the charter, so thats how I made my mistake. To me, newbies sounds like
> a haven for those whose asbestos underwear are away at the laundromat. Had
> I read the charter, I wouldn't have posted in newbies.
> I see plenty of folks in freebsd-questions getting flamed for not reading
> the manual, when I think in fact many of them are so inexperienced
> that they aren't aware of just where the manual they need is yet, or
> whether the additional manual they need even exists. A lot of questions
> are probably even ignored because people read the questions and think to
> themselves "I won't answer this - the guy hasn't read the manual, or he
> doesn't have a clue what is going on". Sometimes the person with the
> question may have read the manual but misunderstood it, or could not
> locate the relevant docs.
> Maybe it is a dumb idea, but perhaps there should be a freebsd-newbies
> list for *newcomers* with technical questions, and the current
> freebsd-newbies list for general experiences could be renamed to
> freebsd-newcomers-nontechnical list (or some variant).
> - Jamie
I'll throw my hat in the ring here since I am a FreeBSD newbie (4 months
today exactly!) but have at least 5 years of *nix experience which has
helped to ease the transition. I started experimenting with linux
having a Windows only background and a copy of RedHat (and then a copy
of Mandrake because it had an auto-partition option in the install) 5.2
from Cheap Bytes plus Running Linux 2nd Edition.
I also subscribed to the RH and MDK newbie and expert mailing lists. I
ended up unsubscribing from the expert lists because I understood almost
nothing they were talking about on there. The questions on newbies were
more on my level and were the types of things I was having questions
about. I learned A LOT on those lists just by lurking for some time on
them. The problem I see with all technical and support questions be
directed to freebsd-questions and freebsd-hackers is that at least
freebsd-questions (not subscribed to freebsd-hackers) is a high volume
list. Greg, as you pointed out earlier, most people don't post, they
lurk. I think people lurk because they are looking to pickup
information and read what is relevant to their situation. I think for a
newbie it is a bit of work to sift through the noise on -questions and
find what is relevant to their situation and needs.
I don't think there should be a list that is "Don't bother reading...
Just come and ask". (Gawd I can't stand those lists.) But a list where
newbies can post limited technical questions may be of some use. What
is the average newbie's technical background today? Are more people
coming to FreeBSD without a *nix background than in years past? A place
for limited technical discussion made be an excellent place for today's
newbie to lurk and pickup information in addition to other sources.
One of the problems with newbie lists as pointed out several times
before is if you ask a question in a room full of clueless people you
will get a lot of clueless answers. When I started on the Mandrake
newbies list I remember there were a few developers on it who took time
to answer newbie questions and to make sure that people got the right
answers. OpnBSD as well has an unofficial newbie technical list run by
someone who is rather knowledgeable. I bet there are people involved
with FreeBSD who would do the same.
Lastly (Finally I'm done!), the documentation for FreeBSD is great but
sometimes I have questions on what I just read. Google is a great tool
but sometimes it yields conflicting "answers" because things change or I
just ended up with following that bum post which was wrong. Then there
are those days I get excited when I read the answer to a question I
hadn't even asked yet.
I'm done now and sleep is near. Comments, suggestions, insults about my
> Greetings from Minneapolis, MN, United States
> "A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself."
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