On Fri, 4 Jan 2002, David Gibbs wrote:
> I found this while surfing the other day... I think it really applies here:
> http://www.tuxedo.org/%7Eesr/faqs/smart-questions.html

It _definitely_ applies here.

ESR seems to go a little overboard in some of his statements in this
article.  But, by and large he's on target here...  Here are some of my

a) About 50% of the messages that I reply to, I don't feel that I've been
   given enough information to fully understand the question.   And that's
   just the ones that I bother to reply to :)

b) It feels like 25% of the messages posted to RPG400-L have nothing
   whatsoever to do with RPG.  (Though, that's not based on any actual
   counting of messages, it's just based on how I feel about it)
   Of these, nearly half have a comment that says "I know this is
   off-topic, but..."

c) At least once a day a message is posted to one of the mailing lists I
   follow that I've already answered at some point in the past.

d) People on the midrange.com mailing lists tend to be significantly
   nicer to those who ask inappropriate/vague questions than those on
   the misc other lists.   But, at the same time are the ones most
   likely to complain about someone being "Rude" or "uncalled for".

In the past week I've received private E-mails:

a) In a language that I don't speak, asking me RPG questions.

b) Saying "how do I debug my program?" without specifying the platform,
    language, or type of program he's debugging (much less specifics
    about the application)

c) Warning me that someone that I don't know is on vacation, and that
    he/she will get back to me as soon as he/she returns.  (I'm sure
    everyone on this list gets these)

d) From someone I don't know saying  "Your program crashed when I ran it.
    Can you help me?"  Without specifying which program, much less the
    circumstances of the crash.

Some times I just want to disconnect all of my computers and move to a
cave in Antarctica. :)

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