Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to ask questions?

n00bs often get frustrated when they start using Linux. Partly because it is very different than Windows and partly because they lack patience. Patience to figure out what is not working and why it is not working. Patience to learn. They want quick answers and so they turn to forums and mailing lists. We have seen hundreds of stupid posts/mails which go something like this - "I can't get xyz working. Help me. NOW!".

One thing we all should understand is the people who made the software are not your servants. You should be thankful they opted to share their effort for free. Isn't it your responsibility to atleast try somethings out before wasting their precious time?? You get to learn a lot in the process too. Its a win-win situation!!

So, before posting any question to a mailing list/forum please make sure thatyou have done your best but couldn't find the solution. (Google. Ask around. Have a look at the debugging output) Let others know what you have tried. Write it in your mail/post. Be respectful and humble.

There is a nice document which documents this particular aspect. You can find it here.

Happy getting-things-to-work!!! :D

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